I began 2016 by applying for transfer. In the reason, I mentioned the medical condition of my mom and submitted it.

“Have you written a valid reason? Or for getting the transfer fast, you wrote any reason in that application?” Dharmendra Sir was curious to know what reason I wrote when he came to know that I have submitted the transfer application.

“No no, I have written a valid reason in it.” I assured him about it.

“Tell me, what reason have you written in the application?” Dharmendra Sir was in the mood of taking a class.

“I have written about the medical condition of my mom. She is having a knee problem and we are thinking for knee replacement operation. So I have written about that.” I revealed my reason to Dharmendra Sir.

“If you have written about the medical condition of your mom then it is good reason to get the transfer otherwise some people write that I get tired by travelling for hours daily. So for the sake of efficiency give the transfer to my hometown.” Dharmendra Sir revealed the reason behind his curiosity. “Company don’t say us to do up down. In fact as per the company rules, we have to live in that city where we are posted. So writing the reason that ‘I get tired by travelling’ is going to provoke the HR personnel of the company. And you never get the transfer of your choice on the basis of that. That’s why I pushed you to tell me the reason you wrote in that application.” Dharmendra shared his wisdom and experience.

We were discussing this in the Ahmedabad memu in the evening. As we finished our discussion, a boy and a girl drew our attention. They were sharing the seat with us from Anand but we were so deep in our discussion that we didn’t realise it. Their accent of speaking english drew our attention towards them. They were conversing with each other in the US accent. Anand is the land of NRIs. 70% of the population of Anand are NRIs and most of them are settled in USA. Only 30% live and work in Anand. In month of December and January, they come back in India to save themselves from the cold of USA. They mainly come to marry, to attend one or to explore India.

From the conversation of that boy and a girl, we came to that they are siblings. They were talking on our discussion only.

“Do you work in Anand?” Boy asked me as he realised that I am listening to their conversation.

“Yes,” I tried to reply to him in his accent.

“You guys were talking about commuting and transfer. So where do you guys live?” That guy further inquired.

“We live in Ahmedabad and we commute to Anand daily as we are posted there by our company.” I replied in my own English as I realised that I can’t copy his accent.

“Oh, Ahmedabad! We are going there only,” That guy gestured we with his hands between him and his sister. “We have flight from Ahmedabad. We are going to Bangalore to explore the city.” That guy shared his purpose of being in the memu.

“Bangalore is the nice city to explore. What were you guys doing in Anand? And what are your names?” I took the conversation forward.

“My name is Hiren and she is Shefali,” She smiled. “Anand is our hometown. Our grandparents live here. We were here to attend the wedding. As the wedding is over, we would like to explore India.” Hiren took equal amount of interest in the conversation.

“At what age you guys left India?” I started enjoying the conversation.

“We shifted in US when I was five years old and she was seven. We live in New Jersey and we come to India once in every two years.” Hiren started telling his story. “We have explored most of the big cities in India. We have explored Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala, Chennai,” Hiren started remembering the cities he had visited. “And Goa.” Shefali added. “This time we are going to Bangalore.” Hiren completed the list.

“From Anand, you could have booked a car to Ahmedabad who recommended you this train.” I wanted to know, why they chose this train to reach Ahmedabad.

“Our father recommended this train as he had travelled a lot in local trains. On his recommendation, we decided to experience the journey in this local train.” Hiren revealed the reason behind choosing this train.

“So how is the experience so far?”

“It is very different from travelling in metros in US. First thing is that the trains here are not running on time,” Ahmedabad memu was late by an hour and thirty minutes that day. “And of course the people. I mean, here in this train I can see that there are more commuters and less villagers. We have travelled in local trains of Mumbai as well. So this journey is more comfortable. Only thing I don’t like is spreading of the legs on the parallel seat and thinking that you own the train,” pointing towards the man in the opposite row who was sitting by spreading his legs on the parallel seat. “Otherwise it’s good. We love to wander in the cities through auto rickshaws, local trains, cycle carts etc. We enjoy street food. We might be the citizens of US now but our heart is still Indian.” Hiren became patriotic.

“So what we should do to reach Ahmedabad airport quickly from Ahmedabad railway station.” Shefali interrupted Hiren as the train was approaching Ahmedabad station.

“You can get an auto rickshaw or a taxi from the station but I would suggest you to book a uber from station for a comfortable and quick ride to Airport.” Ahmedabad memu entered in platform no. 3 and Shefali started downloading uber app in her phone. I left them at the exit and went on my way to parking.

#AtoZChallenge: Life in Local Train – Xender

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