Since childhood travelling by train had always been exciting. Maa used to carry lots of scrumptious treats for us to eat. Once inside the train, we used to jump around the window seats as well as up and down the berths.
It’s always a nostalgic feeling travelling by trains especially long distances. But when it comes to travelling short distances I have my limitations. My husband says I’m growing old hence I have less tolerance with howling babies and screaming children. But honestly, I don’t think so.
I have been a mother too and have two grown-up children now. And I was a kid too but I never remember my mother allowing us to scream in the train or throwing up a tantrum! Her acid gaze was enough to fix us permanently.
Being a mother of two naughty kids…I also used the same acid gaze trick on my kids. Well, I thought that mine were the naughtiest…! Guess all mothers think that. Anyways that’s beside the point, the point is that even though I had naughty kids who wouldn’t stop prancing in the train, they were never allowed to disturb other fellow passengers.
Maybe I was a strict mom, but even while travelling in the chair car, I never let my kids loose on fellow passengers. They HAD to keep their voice down. Even as infants I took care that they were properly fed and my husband would rock them endlessly till they slept off.
Today most of the times I find myself admonishing a parent to please tell the child not to scream as if he has seen a dead body and not entertain temper tantrums in the train.
Just 2 days ago I had to be shameless and admonish the parents in the chair car of Double Decker Express. I was returning from Delhi to Alwar. The parents were busy with their mobiles, the child’s aunt had an earphone stuffed in her ear and we were left at the mercy of the 4-year-old.
He wanted attention and the only way he could manage it was by blessing us with his ear-splitting screams which he supposedly thought was done a piece of fine music. The only thing parents did was manage a feeble Shh… and before long they were all again engrossed with their mobiles.
Once, twice, thrice and I had had enough! I just walked up to them shook their shoulder and in a very acid tone asked them to either discipline their child or to shut down that phone and pay attention to the child. Unfortunately, I had to remind them that this was a public place and not their bedroom!
Though they complied grudgingly I came back to my seat feeling a little relaxed that at least next 1 hr the journey would be peaceful. And it was… except for two or three more outbursts from the child things had improved.
Every time the child would throw a tantrum the parents and the aunt would hurriedly turn their necks to see if I was watching or not and I would be with the same acid look in my eyes that my mother used to practice on us as kids and then all would be quiet.
I don’t know how many of you have had the same experience but if you have suffered it I would love to hear your experience. Do leave your comments in the comments section. Goodbye till I meet you again in my Train Diaries, part 2.
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