So, have you ever taken the infamous sleeper coaches in India? More specifically, in Maharashtra? Even more precisely, one from Goa to Mumbai? Well. if you haven’t, you should. For the sake of kicks. For the sake of seeing how some of the funniest things cater to provide convenience to our citizens.
I boarded this sleeper-A/C bus from Goa to Mumbai at 9.30 in the evening. Initially, i noticed that there was space for my two feet between a series of bunk beds one over the other on both sides. I paused and then moved towards my seat. There was someone already on my lower seat. He requested me to take his seat since he was with a group. I did not mind taking his seat which was few seats before and on the first level.
I had to climb on my ‘birth’ and wanted to park my shoes somewhere. That’s when i noticed that the lower births are on the ground and the space in between allowed people to just walk over shoes without the parking space. I decided to climb with my shoes on. I went up the birth, took off my shoes and realized that i had to lie down right away. There was no space to sit o\at 90 degrees. It was literally a "Sleeper coach". Never mind. I lied down.
Two minutes passed and out of nowhere a 30-40ish ‘uncle’ emerged. He had this weird smile on his face. He looks at me and asks "Is this your seat?" I said "Yeah". Still clueless, i paused for few seconds. Suddenly, i asked "Is this your seat?". He answered with the same smile, "yes!". Just then, i realised it was 8AB where in, 8A belonged to me and 8B belonged to this man. This seat was a single 4.5 feet birth without a partition expected to be shared by any two people of any width and of any gender within INDIA.
What the hell?
Although i managed to have the seat all for myself and the guy was shifted, this was the most bizarre and silliest idea of sleeper coaches i have seen in India. I am generally oblivious to gender considerations. (Even in the above scenario i was more worried about the ‘uncle’s" obesity to be shared than he being a man), however, for a country like India, this is the most uncomfortable idea to be taken across public transport.