Sep 12, 2010

Simply Complex!

I am not a 'taller than six and a half foot' giant that I should complain about people/things around me being short/small. However, a six footer does face most of those,especially if there is a 'discrepancy'  in the torso to limbs ratio.

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"!!


Laks said...

Welcome to the Tall man's club.
Side berths are always a pain, so thats why i always choose to be on the middle berth, so i can hang my legs out :)

Train is once a while, but imagine the MTC buses and the olden days Tambaram-Beach metre gauge train.
I dont remember ever seeing the top of the bus/train as i was always in the S position standing!

And then comes the generous thought of giving away the seat in the bus, thats not because i am generous always. Its only because my knees wouldnt fit inside that seat unless i get a corner seat in an empty bus where i can stretch them out on the walkway :P

Anonymous said...

haha...nice analysis :P

im glad im just 5'5" :D

Mrithyunjay said...

Wow ... lot of effort put into writing this blog! :-P

btw Nice analysis ... totally understand what you mean ...

Lava (Sanskrit: लव) said...

MBA made full use of!

n@veen said...

@laks: Ha ha...Perhaps U shud add sketches to ur 'Bus seats' generosity, to drive it home!

@Mjay: Ha ha..Not too much of an effort I shud say,espcly the sketches which I drew in office lunch break for 20 mins :P

@Rams: good 4 u!

@ Lava: Now! they didnt teach me MS paint in MBA :)

Dj's Space© said...

Empathise completely :)
at least you have enough space (read as thin enough) to fit diagonally :D Immagine the condition of rest of India who are like me! :)

gops' blog said...

absolutely wonderful analysis.. and the diagrams made it even more interesting to read.
for me, all four positions wouldnt work... and i cant sit either on upper berth as i am not short enough to do that!!
the only thing i can do with side upper berth is.... ADANDON IT and look at brighter side of life :)

well written man... and your friend's article about S shaped dilema... tremendous :)