Sleeper berths in Indian railways are ideal for those who fit into the boundaries of the berth. Once you cross one of those, more often than not, you are in for action!
It can be anything from those unknown Co-passengers on the walkway, touching your feet with their heads to weird 'S' shapes on the berth while sleeping. My friend describes the 'S' shape dilemma here. Given an option, I always prefer upper berth where a protruding feet is not a problem for the walkway passengers. Indian railways don't give an option every time you travel, do they?!!
My amma and I were traveling back to madras in train after a good 4 day vacation at friend's and this time I had to deal with the 'Side Upper' berth which actually gives an isolated feel and hence minimal disturbance to other passengers in the bay. However, they are a bit shorter than the other berths (or i feel that way!). I try negating the length by choosing a diagonal position which works most of the time(Refer Pic 1!).
Picture 1: Top View of the Sleeper berth (And that is me!)
My amma though had other plans. She chose to make my problems a bit more complex by giving me two hand baggage to be kept besides me as they had 'valuable' contents. Keeping them under the seats would be risky! Apparently!
So now, My problem statement was simple. Sleep on a berth that would not fit me in and also safeguard the 'valuable' contents! I was trying to stay awake by sitting on the berth, leaning on one of the baggage and holding the other on the inner side of the berth like in Picture 2
Picture 2: Side view of the Berth (Chose the side view so that the baggage positions can be clearly shown. Again, Thats me!)
Obviously,I knew that was not the way I can sleep a whole night.I was just delaying my sleep as I could not come up with any solution,so to say!
An 'S' shape facing outwards would create two slots on the inner side where the two bags can be placed. This is how it looked
Picture 3: Back to top View of the berth to show the 'S' shape. Though I have shown the bags to fit into the slot, they actually didn't!
However, the baggages wouldn't fit into those slots (Damn! will enything ever fit In!!??) More than that, IT WAS painful to be in that position for more than 30 mins!
Whatever it was, One thing was pretty clear that I was not going to get a comfortable sleep that night.So I had to settle down for a less painful option. One that will ensure the safety of those bags and accommodate me on the berth...well almost accommodate me! And the solution looked something like this
Picture 4: Side view of the berth. I was in that position for 5 Hours with my eyes closed and trying to sleep!
The inclination on the bag helped in reducing the body length to be accommodated in the berth by a few inches. Owing to a poor torso to limbs proportion, it wasn't a major reduction! So I had to take the diagonal position as well! This position was not comforting, but less painful. One which I could take for 5 hours and not more than that!
And It was 6 in the morning. I stepped down from my berth and found my mom awake. She asked 2 questions
"Good morning! Did u sleep well last night? And are the bags safe??"
She wished me Good morning! So I chose not to talk the details of it, just smiled and said "Yes"!!