Thoughts and other trivia...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Can you guess why the following letter, written by Okhil babu to the Railways, is of historic value?

"I am arrive by passenger train Ahmedpur station and my belly is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just I doing the nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with lotah in one hand and dhoti in the next when I am fall over and expose all my shocking to to man and female women on plateform. I am got leaved at Ahmedpur station.

"This too much bad, if passenger go to make dung that damn guard not wait train five minutes for him. I am therefore pray your honour to make big fine on that guard for public sake. Otherwise I am making big report to papers."

Okhil Chandra Sen wrote this letter to the Sahibganj divisional railway office in 1909. It is on display at the Railway Museum in New Delhi...and, for doubting Thomases, I've seen this myself :-) It was also reproduced under the caption "Travellers' Tales" in the Far Eastern Economic Review. Anyway, apparently, it's entirely due to Okhil babu's efforts that we have toilets on trains! Some relief, eh?


Blogger Ash said...

*fall down, now clutching stomach and laughter hard - this is too much funny* ;-)
Okhil Chandra Sen style eh???

11:18 am  
Blogger Fingers said...

Wow! Hahahahah!

1:55 pm  
Blogger Shivangi said...

Thanks for dropping by. That's quite some letter. The officers in charge would've 'dunged' in their pants themselves!
Btw, what kind of films do you make?

3:33 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

LoL at that. Exquisite story! But really, didnt we have toilets on trains before? Rather, maybe I should say, didnt 'they' have toilets on trains before? What about the trains with dining cars and deluxe rooms and all? No loo's? Or am I getting my periods mixed up?

4:38 pm  
Blogger Prerona said...

The highway is alive tonight
But where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Waitin' on the ghost

7:39 pm  
Blogger Khizzy said...

uff...that letter was hilarious!

5:20 am  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

ashley: When falling down, as Okhil babu would say, plesae do not be exposing your shocking :-)

fingers: Exactly :-)

shivangi: Oh, I make all sorts of films...actually, anything they'll let me make :-) Seriously, my last films were awareness films about a month ago but also make docus, have done a couple of music videos (years ago), a couple of ads, corporate films. Been trying to get a full length film off the ground for a long time but can't find the money! :-)

prerona: Now that you mention this, I wonder too. Seems odd that they didn't have loos before that. But the leter is genuine and I have seen it myself so, maybe, there's something to it.

"waitin' on the ghost" - Bingo, prerona. A Springsteen fan? Me too :-)

khizzy: Thanks for dropping by. If you liked this, maybe you'll like the essay on the cow, which I posted a few days before this.

2:17 pm  
Blogger 3rd world celebrity said...

i read 'the cow'!


6:45 pm  
Blogger Khizzy said...

errrr...that last comment about reading 'the cow' was me...i didnt realize my brother was signed!

8:13 pm  
Blogger aquamarine said...

hi, thx for dropping by my blog. Yeah, I have read this one before. I hope to make my docus in the long run..:)

10:21 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

khizzy: No problem at all :-)

aquamarine: Docus are long as you can find the money. Always comes down to that, doesn't it? :-)

12:01 am  
Blogger Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Mistuh Joad, you left an impassioned comment on my blog and I thought you might forswear my company altogether. Has it occurred to you that stories may be fiction? (Then again, they may not.)
Relax. But also, 'judge not that ye be not judged'.

And please, no more chestnuts from the Raj?

2:39 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

AQC: Perhaps a more careful study of the "impassioned comment" may reveal that, indeed, you have committed that cardinal sin of having leapt without having looked well enough. Be that as it may, as I have explained in my follow-up comment on your blog, the thought that the story might be just that did cross my puerile brain but then, as you so knowlegdeably alluded to my presumed age, boys will be boys. As far as the "chestnuts from the Raj" are concerned, once again I refer you to my comment on your blog, there's no one holding a gun to your head to visit this space. On second thoughts, do visit're a funny person. And, this time I mean it in a good way :-)

10:07 pm  
Blogger Archster said...

so very hilarious!

wherevr u find these glad u put it up :)

5:04 pm  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

archster: Thank you & I'm glad you liked it. One Mr AQC to please note :-)

9:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » »

12:20 pm  

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