When two male French tourists unknowingly accompanied their two women counterparts inside the ladies' compartment of the CST bound local the previous Tuesday, an Indian woman politely pointed out to one of the white women, "Excuse me, this is ladies".
To which, the female tourist, who couldn't comprehend the statement was indirectly meant for her male friends, shot back, in heavily accented English, "But I am lady, right?" The Indian passenger then had to point towards the men who were hanging out near the door and blissfully taking in the wet landscape. "Next station, that side", she said this time, stressing on every word as if she herself were French.
Of course, it worked. While the men got off, the women stayed back, making the otherwise sluggish "slow" journey to CST quite a memorable one. For starters, they had almost every female passenger in the compartment, including the one who got rid of their friends, blushing when they started taking pictures of them.
"Bictoria Station?" they enquired and when someone answered "last" perhaps decided they had enough time to subside their hunger pangs. So, from their shopping bag, out came a packet of Indian ginger cookies and pasteurized milk, which, to the amazement of Indian co-passengers, the duo drank directly from the plastic pack.
A rubber-band, fresh from supporting a pony tail, was then used to fasten the remaining milk, securing it for future use. They also watched in awe as women passengers "booked" seats in advance and everytime someone impatiently pushed them while alighting, one of these uninitiated women would say, "Wait, senora", step behind and add, "Now go".
Finally at Dadar, when they were blessed with a seat, it started raining. The always open doors were immediately shut, but what amused the French women was the fact that water found its way to their seats from the window, despite it being shut. They laughed at the sight and this time, the Indian co-passengers surprisingly joined in the laughter. "India, India" they chorused happily, staring at the gaps that were perhaps too obviously symbolic of the loopholes in our system.