Most foreign travellers in India would experience it. We hadn’t by the time the story was told to us about how Indian men stare at women… ‘They stare, stare, and stare…’ Told the traveller we met at Attcha restaurant, Puri. Well, we experienced it on a local train ourselves soon after.

This local train we boarded from Puri  we had to jump off at Khurda road after one hour on the train, in order to catch a sleeper class train to Chennai.

In this one hour we had brand new experience of India: people were gathering on the floor, drinking, playing cards, making noise pollution and eating peanuts. Peanut shells were thrown all over, accompanying their spit and whatever came out from their mouths. Millions of baby crochoces crawling everyway, Alex spotted a few crochoces families – daddy, mummy plus babies matching through from one cabin to the other.

“I never see such big daddy crochoces before in my life.” Alex exclaimed after we got off, thanks to her sensibility.

On the train, we were originally sitting on a banch in the so called cabin, where a tiny mother with her three children sat directly opposite us. She looked maximum 14 years old, having a little baby in her arm, while one other kid sat comfortably on the window ladge and the other lying on the overhead lugage space…

Later we were changed to the alley single seats, and THE MANÄ was standing just next to Alex. I suppose Alex must have seen him from the corner of her eyes, she suddenly gestured uncomfortably. I looked across, and saw this man was staring down at her with a deadly glare in his eyes. The stare expressed neither curious nor interested. They were practically lifeless. He stared hard at Alex, I stared curiously at him. Only after a long long time, then, the eyes turned to me. I saw its white was yellowish-red, and hard to figure out what they meant. I returned my stare, still curious and not competing… Soon I developed an illusion of what I saw was only the eyes, not the person. Long enough, the eyes would moved away but returned within a blink. Yes, within a blink. Exectly as what had been described to us earlier.

The man was practically staring at us (mostly Alex, occasionly me) for at least 90% of the time in our journey. I don’t know how he could hold his stare for so long. For me, my eyes started to ache and headache plus nuesal developed after 5 minutes.

The man got off with us. His stare continued to the last minute until he boarded another train and off… So strange!

Anyway, it seemed lots of strange things had happened tonight… After finished a phone call to make hotel reservation in Chennai, I took out my wallet to pay for the phone call. A man who wrapped in a blanket appeared at my right shoulder, his eyes fixed onto my waist pouch where I put my video camera. While reaching out my hand with Rs50 to the STD owner, this man suddenly collapsed onto me and the force pushed me banged onto a telephone booth. On this very moment I heard Alex calling me from another platform across two train lines. She was looking after our luggages as well as watching me from there.  I finally pushed him away and quickly check through my belongings. Nothing missing…

Jing

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