Queer Travel with Strangers!




With a great content that Delhi has given me regarding the Queer lifestyle scenario and metropolitan mindsets in the capital city, I left Delhi with a lot of cherishing experiences. It was quite enchanting and euphoric. Delhi has given me an encouragement to write something important about queer lifestyle. It boosted me to work some more to tell the untold stories of the world and reveal the hidden truths and struggles of many people in India.







After a lot of waiting in so called air conditioned waiting halls where people were jam-packed because of summers in Delhi, I have courted my train with the help of a Coolie who carried my 45 kilos of luggage and safely dropped me till my berth. It was Duronto Superfast Express from Hazrat Nizamuddin to Secunderabad Railway station. My berth was Side upper one in a three tier compartment. I have settled all the luggage and carried all my requirements to my berth. Well, I still don't understand why people court trains to just sleep. I got fed up with my co-passenger, hence I took my headphones and Elif Shafak's The Forty Rules of Love with me. The best thing in Duronto train was, the food would be provided which was included in the fare. But also the annoying thing was they were too particular in delivering the food specifically in eating timings. I was habituated of flexible, lifestyle and hence I found it weird.




The departure time was 3.30 and it was 5 when they delivered my snacks and coffee. I paused reading my book and indulged myself in preparing my own coffee on my berth instantly. Accidentally, I looked at the guy who has seated diagonally to me in the lower berth of next cabin. I could see him from my berth clearly. He was a Punjabi Sardar and gave me a look while he was dipping a tea bag in a cup of milk. Coincidentally, I also saw him and just gave a smile. He also smiled back. I love Punjabi guys. I have huge respect for them too. I thought he was cool, but he ended up like a typical desperate human.





In my cabin, I had to share the cabin space with a loquacious woman, a boasting corporate man, an ex military-army man, a clinical psychologist lady and an all time drowsy man. Everyone was kind of boring and disinterested except one calm woman who was reading the book "How to be a Good Mother." I could read the title from upwards. My talkative personality questioned her the reason behind reading the book. She was a mother for one school going kid and also a psychologist. She answered me that she was referring the book for a few details regarding balancing of time schedules between work and home. This is an everyday issue with every working mother. I understood her and got connected with her profession. Psychology is one thing I can always get related to. Because, I had my psychologist to treat my minor psychological issues like anxiety and depression.



After a few hours of nap, I got down from my upper berth. While I was taking a few other books out. She asked me what I was reading and what books I was into. I mentioned about my favorite Sufi poet Rumi and asked her to take a random page from "The Pocket Rumi". I asked her to create some interesting environment as everyone around was just in their own boring world. She asked me the reason. I told her to open any random page and read it. Because, the lines in that particular page would be definitely related to the current scenario in one's own life. It was magical and believable too. She surprised after reading the page and asked about me and my huge luggage. I told her every single thing about me. From my trips to cancellation of my engagement with one of my ex boyfriends. We spoke for an hour and she literally scanned every single detail and complimented me that I was Special but also controversial. She suggested me few life tips and I felt it nostalgic. It was like another psychological session with my doctor. She was informative. She was carrying her personality with an elegance and no extra emotional baggage. She was a working mother and a lovely wife. She was very calm and poised.


I was louder when I was sharing my personal details because I never felt shy about my sexual orientation and my personal life. The two uncles who were sharing the cabin has finally changed their expressions in an excited way after I talked to her. They also joined the conversations and talked about a present queer scenario in India. I was happy that I wasn't sharing my space with judgmental people. But I didn't know that the Sardar in the next cabin was also listening to my loud voice.


It was the dinner time. The railway food supplier person became like a pal for me since I boarded the train. He was sweet, not because he gave me an extra cup of ice cream. He was jovial. He distributed the trays of food to everyone according to their own selection of menus. I didn't feel hungry because I had a large pizza in the afternoon. And it was just 8.30 pm. I went back to my berth and restarted reading my book. Suddenly, I heard someone screaming on the food supplier I knew. It was Sardar in the next cabin, shouting at him for giving a less number of rotis. I laughed out loud while he was shouting because it was totally ridiculous. He once again proved to me that the appetite levels of Punjabis are quite high. He saw me while I broke into laughter and stopped arguing with the food service guy.


The creepiness begun then. While he was going to wash his hands to the washroom, he had to cross my berth. He came near my berth and touched my thigh and gave me a signal with his eyes. I was annoyed for his gesture. I couldn't be able to understand him. Suddenly, the corporate uncle who has seen him touching my thigh has asked me what that Sardar has done to me. He claimed that he had seen the way he approached me. He seemed to be observing the whole scene. I have ignored it and said I didn't know what just has happened. The Corporate Uncle has left the issue.