Din-Din: The saviour of Indian railways

While listening to the Ashok Kumar-starrer Rail gaadi song, Din-Din vowed that one day he would be the protector and saviour of his beloved railways

As a frequent train traveller (between the years 1986-89 I went twice), I like many others was glued to my TV set in anticipation of what the 2012 Railway Budget had in store. I was very shocked when railway minister Dinesh Trivedi said that the current Indian railways was very sick and was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He then proposed a hike in fares, for instance, a three-paisa hike per kilometre for the sleeper class.

Now if you are in a sleeper class in an institution which is in the ICU, a hike in fares would be the least of your problems. The hiked fares would lead to revenue of `7,000 crore or basically what Jet Airways owes the government. In other words, with that money we could let the patient die in the ICU and save the one functioning premium airline left.
Of course, the proposed hike meant that Mamata Bannerjee would be sending Mr Trivedi to the sick bay with immediate effect. So now he could personally experience what it’s like to be the Great Indian Railways and have so many people ride roughshod over him.
Mr Trivedi then announced 75 new trains and a new line between Agartala and Akura in Bangladesh, thus doubling the number of Bangladeshi refugees in the country.
Of course, his other proposals, like escalators at all stations, were frowned upon by the ruling party as a slap on the face of the Opposition (escalators are essential for all BJP members with an average age of 83, and are now compulsory at all BJP meetings).
But who is Dinesh Trivedi? Where did he come from? What’s his background? And most significantly why does he always wear waistcoats even though he’s not in the catering department? I did some research and unearthed some facts.
Mr Trivedi was born in Agartala many years ago. As a young boy he would spend his summers going from Agartala to Akura. This journey would take him the whole summer, which meant he was always late in rejoining school. At a young age, Din-Din (as he was affectionately called) showed a remarkable attachment to trains. This attachment became quite literal when he finally tied himself to the Howrah Mail. After that unfortunate accident Mr Trivedi’s parents really thought that he would give up this infantile fascination for trains. Sadly, they were wrong.
Mr Trivedi plunged into literature head first — rail literature. Thomas the Tank engine was devoured. Chitty chitty bang bang was committed to memory. Von Ryan’s Express became the one movie he would watch. If anybody mentioned Ravi Chopra’s The Burning Train, he would cry hysterically. While other teenage boys had pictures of Shammi Kapoor up on their cupboards, young Din-Din had pictures of a still unauthenticated picture of George Stevenson, the so-called founder of the steam engine circa 1829.
One day while sitting in the pouring rain listening to the Ashok Kumar-starrer Rail gaadi song, for the 13,874th time, he vowed that one day he would be the protector and saviour of his beloved railways.
Is it any wonder that now with his great love afflicted by disease and close to extinction that he would do whatever it takes to reverse the life support situation turn back the clock and return the great Indian Railways to the pristine condition it once found itself in? I for one wholly support Mr Trivedi’s increased process package as the end amply justifies the means. Let’s end with Mr Trivedi’s favourite song,
“Choo choo train coming down the track, something something something never going back.”
I have a one way ticket to the moon.”

Let’s not get to the moon as yet; let’s enjoy the railways on earth first. Support your railway minister.

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