Domestic, Facts and Fiction, Humor, In real life, Ooty, P U Krishnan, Short Stories, Travel

Honest to the core?

Though I prefer train to bus or car, I avoid journey by train these days mainly because of the tough spade work required for booking a berth. Weeks before your journey, you have to get your seat reserved and that too by standing in a long queue. At times, when your turn comes, the clerk at the ticket counter would say, “you are in the waiting list”. That means your chances are 50-50!

In the good old days all you had to do was to arrive at the station 10 to 15 minutes before the departure time and get into any compartment. The journey won’t be monotonous, for the passengers could either listen to some serious discussions or enjoy watching the fast-moving ‘world’ outside….the rivers, paddy fields or some rural games.

A couple of years ago, I did have an opportunity to travel in an unreserved compartment. Fortunately, it was not crowded and I could occupy a window seat. A middle-aged person, newspaper in hand, was giving his views about certain important news items. “These politicians are very clever. Just when the officials concerned are getting ready to expose the ones involved in a corruption charge, the affected person or party would rake up an old and closed chapter to divert people’s attention. Let us forget the politicians. We the people should set an example. We should be honest to the core..” Just when he was waxing eloquent on this principle, the ticket examiner entered the scene, the travelers except the middle aged person took out their tickets. The examiner had a look at the tickets and returned them to the respective travelers. He was about to leave but the ‘principled’ person called the examiner and told him, “I am ticket-less. Collect the money including fine”. I was a bit surprised…so were the other passengers.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.


  1. It is often seen people who tell tales about moral police rarely have a bit in themselves. As the saying goes..empty vessels sound much..

  2. well when he said that we should be honest to core, and then the examiner came, its pretty obvious that he didn’t want to make a fool of himself infront of his listeners 😉
    Nice post 🙂

  3. Every train journey has an experience of its own. But very few are sensitive to the small joys of various experiences..
    You have painted the picture of the train journey of the yester years so well..
    Nice write-up.. Enjoyed..

  4. It is often that the ones who feel the need to boast of honesty and other virtues, do so because they lack them themselves.
    Great post.

  5. For once why don’t we accept that what he did was rightful & give him the credit for whatever reason prompted him to do it instead of writing 10 reasons why he would have done that. “We intellect Indians, always try to read in between the lines”.

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