ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Stranger on Train: The Handwriting Expert

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With the advent of discount airlines in India, frequency of my train travel had become lesser and lesser. I must admit that train travel is an experience of its own. More often than not you meet people who are far from ordinary. You find yourself in situations which you would never find during the normal course of life. Also with each train travel you find more grey hairs on your head, such is the learning you get.

Now that the air fare has sky-rocketed, train travel has once again come back to the fore. This Diwali, we boarded Goa Express from Pune to Agra. Now why didn’t I have confirmed seats and why were we standing through half the journey is a different story altogether and I will cover it up separately. For now I want to tell you about a stranger I met on the train.

Let’s start. I was lying on the upper berth when I heard someone spreading “Gyan”. Don’t ask me how and why, I just know it when some one is giving Gyan. There was this Guy Gyaaning a fellow passenger how to stop eating Gutkha through self control and self motivation. He was a middle aged lean person, whose bald head was shining in my eyes helped by the sunlight from the window. It was a hot day. Apparently, this person was able to study another person by his handwriting. Quite a few passengers were taken aback by his observations about their past and future.

A couple was sitting beside him. The husband in a bid to impress his newly wedded wife; took it upon him to bare the bald con man naked. He jotted down six different signatures of his and threw the challenge to now study him. I could see the wife was really impressed by his hubby’s brilliant stroke as she leaned closer against him. I couldn’t hear what the bald man’s observation were but I could clearly make out the brimming with confidence face of the husband getting paler and paler until he retreated behind his wife, who seemed not much amused now.

I called from above. “Chacha whats up! Whats this art all about”. According to him, this was a quite old American art revived in India by his Guru in Mumbai. He named a number of famous personalities including Sachin Tendulkar who have sought his Gurujis help. According to him Sachin has a certain flaw in his signature which reflects uncertain health issues thus causing frequent elbow injuries. Hmm…Impressive. So the guy knew his art well. I and my friend climbed down to test for ourselves. First me. I wrote down. “My name is Arpit Garg. Tell me something.” It was followed by my signature. He made me write down “dog”, “cat” and couple more of such short words. I was expecting some loose vague remarks, when the very first line he uttered left me shell shocked. I won’t go into detail of the remark as it was something personal about my family. I can only reveal that it was about a relative of ours who has wronged us. Had it been a remark about a vague relative, I would have understood. Instead he pinpointed who the relative was, i.e Chacha, Mama, Foofa, Tau etc. He made certain remarks about my laborious and sharp mind and such other things. By then I wanted to listen no more. When he was about to embark upon my future, I asked him to discontinue. In fact I don’t like predictions about my future in general. But his very first observation about me still lingers in my mind.

I can tell from the faces of people in my compartment that they were quite curious. Many wanted to know about their job prospects, success/failure in business, family, health etc. The usual. Was he a con artist, was he real, was he fake, was he a messenger, was he the Oracle or just a bug.

I have decided to travel by train as much as possible. Come with me. Just one thing. It should be the sleeper compartment. Coz therein lays the true mystic and majestic journey through India.

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Written by arpitgarg

November 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm

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