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Some Memories..
Prakash Tendulkar

 

This is a story from early 70s.

One day, my friend, let's call him John Doe, since he still works for WR, was working VR fast train leaving CCG around 20:30 hrs. Those days, it was the last fast train for VR running fast from BCT - DDR - BA - ADH - BVI.

This train departed from DDR at 20:55 and reached BA a few minutes after 21:00 hrs. Lots of folks from BVI used to travel from VT - DR on CR mainline and jumping this train at DDR. (For those unfamiliar, CR has station code DR for Dadar and WR calls it DDR).

Males were allowed in ladies first class compartment after 21:00 hrs.

This train was notorious in a sense that a lady who traveled in 1st class ladies compartment did not like males entering in ladies compartment at 20:55. She lived in BA and would always pull EC when male passenger entered at DDR.

I had heard of this earlier and was told she is nuts. Well! I believed the description till that day.

John Doe and I were walking towards driving cab when I heard someone calling me by my nickname. My friend, P. D'Mello who worked as A-grade driver on WR, his sister, letís call her Jane Doe, wanted to talk to me.

She knew how integral part I was of WR driving crew. She complained about male passengers encroaching the compartment at 20:55, full five minuets before they were allowed.

Jane Doe was beautiful, even at her age of 45 years and I knew for sure she was not nuts. I understood her concern. I introduced her to John Doe as sister of P. D'Mello. John Doe knew him well, too. He replied, "I'll take care of it today". Jane Doe smiled.

We arrived at DDR on time and as we were about to start, EC pull occurred. Normally, guard would still hit bell twice and as his cab passes ASM's office, would honk a hooter and ask ASM to send a porter at BA to reset the flag.

It happened the same way that day but John Doe refused to start the train. He walked to ASM's office and asked him that male passengers be removed from ladies compartment.

ASM picked up the microphone and asked GRP to come to his office. After ten minutes and repeated announcements, GRP was nowhere to be seen. I guess they have a sixth sense to stay away from trouble.

Standing passengers from the train were on platform now so ASM called Dadar (city) Police Station for help. Five minutes later, a Police Sub-Inspector (or PSI) with 3 constables were on PF #3.

PSI came to me, noted M/man's name and ordered his crew to baton charge to clean platform. He instructed one constable to stop at Ladies compartment to hold the passengers in it.

Believe it or not, the platform was cleared of bystanders in 3 minutes. Mumbai Police are (or were???) good at this type of job.

They then came to ladies compartment, asked ever male passenger to get down and led them in a group near Matunga end of platform.

What happened to them, I do not know. John Doe came back to cab, I pushed him on guard's seat, started the train and honked at those encroachers as we passed them.

Surprisingly, two GRP were there, too.

Jane Doe told me later that her problem has been solved for good.

Hats off to Mumbai Police!!!

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