Last week I got caught in a miserable discussion with three fellow women travelers in the local train. The women had a 2 yr old child with them who was squirming in her tight pants. The women promptly decided that the child wanted to urinate, so they undid her pants, and made her sit in the local train* and made noises like psssss, pssssss to make the child piss. Turned out i was the only person in the compartment to protest. The train was stationary, scheduled to leave after 5 – 7 minutes, giving them ample time to take the kid off the train (not that pissing on the platform is any different!).
In any case, the child refused to cooperate, but the women began to “talk” to me. ” If you were married, and had a kid, you would know”, “So what if a child pisses in the train, she’s a kid”, Don’t big women throw up in the trains?” and so on. Clearly, they had never heard of diapers, or plain cotton cloth.
Knowingly indulging in bad behavior, and then justifying it really gets my goat. Unfortunately it also gets my tongue. So i replied as best as possible, kept up my most disgusted look, and sought dignity in the Harold Robbins** paperback i was reading.
Through the next 45 minutes till my destination, both parties silently indulged in mental calisthenics. They hoped the kid would piss “just to show me “, while i hoped the child would not, “just to snub them”. The kid showed all the hallmarks of a responsible commuter and minded her own business.
The whole episode left me quite exhausted. Its becoming a struggle to constantly confront people who litter, spit, and generally make a nuisance of themselves in public spaces. Most commutes increasingly leave me troubled. So now i usually take up whats possible, ignore certain things, or generally chill. Like in this case where the family is merrily eating oranges and feeding the skin to the train.
As things stand, if i see people commuting comfortably and safely, it mostly surprises me… like this woman the other morning. Rare but an entirely pleasing sight.
*Local trains do not have toilets inside compartments **The last Harold Robinns novel I had read was in class 9 and was duly caught by Merlin Teacher. :) (Also how much dignity can you really muster when you are reading a sleazy novel?)