Mr No.32 is a very busy businessman. He is the promoter of an enterprise engaged in the business of manufacture and sale of textile machinery parts. He is a taskmaster and expects meticulous execution of work by every employee. He likes to monitor the progress of work very frequently, more often when he is away from the workplace. His secretary Vidya helps in coordinating not only the official requirements but also personal emergencies. He enjoys the freedom to call her even at odd hours when she is fall asleep or when she would be busy with her domestic affairs. He is worried about the careless client management of Mr Ganesh, one of his managers. Ganesh doesn't attend to the company’s clients promptly. A few minutes before, he almost ‘gently’ threatened him stating that company can’t tolerate the personnel who are careless in their work.
He is on his way to Chennai to ‘personally see’ the chief general manager of a nationalized bank to bypass a few objections raised by his bank manager regarding a huge loan urgently required by his company. He will be staying in Hotel Taj at Chennai for next two days. He is also planning to host a dinner for the CGM there. In case that is not convenient for him, his alternative plan is the Boat Club where he has an affiliated membership. At Chennai, he will also meet a minister in the Tamil Nadu Government who had promised to help him to get a project approved. He is happy that the government got an extended mandate, though initially when the gallup poll gave a different finding, he had worried. He incurred a cell phone bill of Rs. 56500 for his Airtel No. xxxx for a two days trip to Beijing. He asked Vidya to file a complaint with Airtel for charging an exorbitant sum when he was on international roaming. Normally he doesn't make frequent calls to home when he is on such short overseas trips unless there was an urgent need. That time was his 20th wedding anniversary and wife was not too happy that he was not at home on that day. In order to pacify his wife he called more times! But the bill can't be Rs 56500/-, he says.
Mr No. 31 is going to Chennai and he will get picked up by Victor, his classmate who is having a property measuring about 10000 sq ft. just a few meters from the Mount Road in Chennai. Normally he stays in Hyatt, Taj Coromandel or ITC Grand Chola while he is in Chennai. This time, Victor insisted him to stay at his place. Victor’s wife has gone to London to be with their eldest daughter who is pregnant and due for delivery next month. Victor has a good cook and is happy to host Mr No. 31. The purpose of visit to Chennai is to see his property near Adyar. The compound wall was partially damaged due to heavy rains recently and caretaker Muthu has to be briefed on the extent of repair work to be done. He also has to pick up a few stainless steel utensils specially ordered by his wife through her friend Rjalakshmi who lives in Anna Nagar Chennai. Rajalakshmi is the wife of his close friend Mr Rajan. They worked together in Ashok Leyland for about 15 years and the wives became thick friends. Shailaja, Mr 31’s wife believes that there are many stores in T Nagar where high quality steel utensils are sold.
Mrs No. 33 has too many relatives in Chennai, but she prefers to stay with her old neighbor Sujata. They stayed at the same colony in Wilson garden in Bangalore earlier. Mrs No. 33 is going to attend a marriage reception of her relative’s daughter. The marriage was in US. The bridegroom is a European who is settled in Washington DC. Sujata wants to visit the famous Sree Kumaran Thangamaligai at Usman Road to exchange some old gold for new.
Mr No. 34 is very far away from me. But the fact that he is has entered into an agreement to sell 6500 sq ft of prime property in a prime location at Jayanagar was a ‘breaking news’ to around 40 persons sitting along with me. He had nothing to hide. His advocate Shri Lakshminarayana had given him a wise advice that he should register the property for the guideline value of 1.25 crore which he received as cheque, though the purchaser is paying him around 3.75 crore.
Mr No. 36 has two flats in Bangalore, one in L&T South City and the other in Prestige shantiniketan. He is looking for tenants for both the flats as they are vacant now. He is expecting a rent of about Rs 50000 for the three bedroom flat in Prestige Shantiniketan, apart from 10 months deposit. Seven people called him in the last 1 hour based on an advertisement he posted last night in the magic bricks.com. He clearly told the first two callers that he cannot settle for a lesser rent. But to the fourth caller he agreed to come down to Rs 48000 and to the last caller he said Rs 45000 is the last figure.
Mr No. 35 managed to have ‘sound’ sleep amidst all the above information crisscrossing all around. His snore, though was a disturbance initially, became very rhythmic later on and he never let out any information in his sleep.
You must be wondering how could I gather such vital personal information about the above five persons. I don't know the names of anyone of them. Did I take conscious efforts to probe their personal affairs? Did I snoop on them? No, I never committed any such crime. Did they talk to me? No; not even one word! All these information was thrusted to my ears by each one of them indirectly and carelessly.
I was in a super fast train from Bangalore to Chennai and all the above persons were my co-passengers. They blabbered all these personal information to people with whom they had chatted over the cellphone while traveling.
I carried a book to read. But I couldn't focus on the reading due to the loud cellphone chat all around. I wanted to take a nap for a while. But couldn’t. I had no other option but to hear all such nonsensical stuff as far as I am concerned.
Why do people converse so loudly in a public transport? Why do they let out their personal affairs in front of strangers? Why do they remotely run their offices while in a public transport? Had there been no cellphone, they would have definitely read a book, slept well or chatted with co-passengers.
The loud cellphone conversations have become the greatest nuisance while using public transport. It is torture for others. Who will teach those blabberers, the cellphone etiquette?
(c) Sibichen K Mathew Views are personal. Comments welcome