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|Fellow Travelers (standard:travel stories, 1521 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Oct 29 2010||Views/Reads: 1533/789||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A story on traveling in India by train.|
Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story “You see, around half billion people living in the rich countries like USA, Canada, Europe and Australia are responsible for emitting most of the green-house gasses or carbon into the atmosphere and the rest of the world population, around 5 ½ billion were being severely impacted from it,” “now you tell me where is the justice?” Not waiting for any answer from Juggernaut, Mr.Rasool continued his monologue. “As a responsible citizen of the world and as a dedicated eco-Journalist, I came out with a plan to share equally the burden of global warming among the 6 billion citizens of the world. We know from the scientific community, how much green house gasses or say carbon units we can release per year without adversely affecting the atmosphere, and we shall divide this equally among the 6 billion people on the earth. Each person owns equal amount of carbon units that can be released into the atmosphere from their consumption of products and services. If a person wants more carbon units than their share, then they can buy the carbon units from any person willing to sell their share of carbon in open market on EBay, Craig's list, facebook or any other social network, I call it ‘Cash for Carbon'. If people want to live a lavish life style, its fine, but they have to pay for the additional carbon released into the atmosphere from their high style living.” “Sounds fair, but I am not sure how this plan can be monitored for compliance,” Juggernaut was not sure. “It is simple; a regulatory agency named “Carbon Protection Force (CPF)” would be established just like Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor the ‘carbon exchange' on the open market. “Well, the SEC and FDA were not known for their stringent compliance practices, you know,” Juggernaut was doubtful. “True, but any new institution has to evolve through growing pains.” Mr. Rasool was confident. “Certainly, I like your plan Mr. Rasool, I hope you will find support for your novel idea of ‘Cash for Carbon' in the conference,” complemented Juggernaut. “Thank you sir,” Mr. Rasool appeared satisfied. Paying no attention to the world environmental problems being discussed, Mr. Viswanath kept reading religious journal ‘Moksha', intermittently smiling with his thin lips tightly closed and shaking his head up and down as if he concurs with whatever he was reading. Meanwhile, the lobbyist kept dropping names of big time politicians like bird droppings in his telephone conversation. If one were to take his conversation seriously, the world is spinning around him, he being the axle rod. The rail car attendant meanwhile was busy supplying liquor, club soda and snacks to the gambling travelers in the adjoin coupe. The railway employee became a paid private servant to these unruly travelers. One can hear emotional outbursts mixed with colorful curse words. Since it was well over the bed time, the Juggernaut closed the sliding door making preparations to sleep. The lobbyist slept on the lower berth and so as the Mr. Viswanath. Juggernaut and Mr. Rasool each took the upper berths. Juggernaut fell asleep immediately only to get up from a loud bang as if somebody was thrown against the separating wall between coupes. From heavy drinking and perhaps loss of betting money, the members resorted to a fist fight. With no cops on board and no fellow passengers dared to interfere, the fight continued for some time. The lobbyist was snoring in his sleep making annoying noise louder than his earlier telephone calls. Mr. Viswanath though sleeping, his lips were moving slowly as if he was chanting in silence. Juggernaut hadn't slept much during the night was awakened early in the morning when Mr. Viswanath started chanting hymns loudly sitting in a lotus position on his berth. At the same time, Mr. Rasool got up and started discussing loudly on the cell phone with his superior about his plans for the day. Juggernaut jumped from his upper berth to open the door to use the latrine. The rail car attendant removed a sack full of empty bottles from the adjoin coupe, later he hurled the bag full of bottles on to the tracks from the running train. The latrine in the first class was kept clean and more user friendly with less odor. When the train reached the destination, the gamblers hurried themselves out first. The lobbyist talking on the phone pushed himself out of the coupe. Mr. Viswanath having completed his morning prayer on the wheels, walked out slowly as if he figured out everything what to expect next. Mr. Rasool with full of hope that his novel idea ‘Cash for Carbon' would receive wide acceptance in the conference bade farewell to Juggernaut. While the travel in coach class was intolerable from the latrine stench, the close encounter with mankind in the first class coupe was no better from inconsiderate fellow travelers. “Next time, I shall travel by air”, thought Juggernaut. Tweet
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