The recent announcement that passengers on each coach of the Bangalore-Chennai Shatabdi will get to watch an infotainment channel during the five hours journey TWO LCD installed in each coach , the categories all under the sun catering to a toddler to senior citizens. Who knows very soon we may have RJs and VJs taking over the LCDs and entertain us? Or may be a bar and disco?
The question is, do we really need entertainment?
Of late it has become an irritating journey even by A/C CC and the noise level by those who speak over the cell phone , it's just unbearable! Too much. Actually someone at home should tell these people not to shout while speaking over phones especially in A/C compartments. It's a nuisance and a free entertainment with the passengers using the cell phones and shouting at the top of their voice. Under such circumstances , do we require this new found system?
As it is people try to do something quiet during the journey: many pick up reading, some listening to music, watching movies on laptop, professionals working on laptops, some catching up the sleep due to the unusual early morning departure of the train others simply watching the others activities.
The worst part is the LCDs and the multiple channels thrown open to the travelers. They will get mad! who decides the channels and the volume?
In interior Tamil Nadu, most of the private bus operators have video coaches for the passengers. I remember many times on our journey from Tuticorin and Rameswaram to Madurai, we were left with no option but to take them. It was with the grace of God that we have not become partially deaf or totally deaf! Invariably , we were allotted the third or the fourth row seats and we were the only odd couple there who were totally against the DVD being played. Either a movie or songs would be played in full volume.
The crowd packed like sardines, the non a/c, the high volume, the sultry weather all would irritate us to such an extent that every time we would swear to ourselves that this would be the last time we are taking the public transport , but there is 'never' a 'never'!
Many times we had requested the conductors to minimize the volume but he did not heed to our request saying that a majority of them choose to board the bus mainly for the simple pleasure of watching a movie! We have entered a wrong bus, nothing else. If we had so much to complain we should have taken a private vehicle instead of the public transport.
In Shatabdi definitely the scenario can't be better than this! Here it's the elite group some might silently bear the nuisance, some enjoy the verbal dual, some like me would raise objection and preach and finally who is going to win? The railways!
What a mockery of the tax payers money. Instead of providing these frills, the Railways can very well improve the cleanliness of the train, the stations, the public conveniences , the toilets in the general coaches .
The old sleeper coaches need repairs especially in long distance trains -the berth's fastening chains, the small book cases, the bottle holders. Earlier in A/C coaches passengers were supplied with a towel and the blankets with a pillow and two bed sheets. A few years back they have stopped giving towels stating that passengers do not return them . Most of the time I have argued and got it from them. The coaches had rats, cockroaches taking free tour of the train compartments, the passengers even carried the cockroaches home, and if by mistake had kept their bags opened, they were all quality tested by rats. God only knows, where all these creatures crept and finally landed on the passengers! God save these innocent passengers from termites and rodents.