Benefits of being a child of an Indian Railways employee? Well, Train travels are easy, free, and you almost always travel in the best possible standard, in terms of railways, that would be an AC class bogey.
Not much, I know, but there always is this subtle sense of classism that manages to permeate through the fabric of our society.
It isn’t just the fact you paid more, hence you got served better, but also the certain feeling of being in a “more secure”, “more hygienic” and “Attendant provided” environment that creates an appeal about the “AC bogey”.
Thinking of It, I wonder, if one only pays more for the AC, pillow, and blanket provided, then why do these other differences arise? Is it done on purpose to draw more people towards the AC bogey? Because, as the trend says, even the lower-middle-class families who aren’t comfortable paying for the difference between the two bogies, go over the top and pay for the AC class anyway.
Conspiracy theories aside, It has been a year since I’ve found a certain interest in travelling in the sleeper class. It doesn’t come out of the fact that I hate freeloading on the privilege I have because of my father’s position (Can’t say I hate it, cause yaay, I’m only enjoying what he earned), but from the very experience of being closer to the grassroots of the nation.
Open windows open us to experiences, experiences, which cannot be gained sitting within confinements of glass, and class.
One window opens me up to uncontrolled nature, another, opens me up to an unsieved nation, both, are experiences worth paying for, unlike the AC experience, that you easily can get in your bedroom.
I cannot say It always is pleasant, but the very act of observing and understanding the people whom you probably would never get to know on a deeper level, in an undiluted manner, is what draws me towards it.
People try to escape their own realities, and they long for what they don’t have, while those around me in this bogey are looking for comfort, I’m looking for experience.
They’re looking forward to having the “AC experience” one day, While I’m planning to return in a General bogey, hoping, my belongings don’t get stolen.