The hyena’s laughter

Years ago, I saw an interesting incident on Discovery Channel. A group of leopards, going hungry for several days finally hunted a bison and were all ready for the feast. They had hardly started when a few laughing hyenas (Kudoz to the person who coined the term ‘laughing’ for hyenas’ sounds) arrived from nowhere, scared the leopards off, took the food with them. The relatives of the so called King of the jungle, the fastest runners must have become the laughing stocks in their neighbourhood in the jungle.

The motive of the story was to know whether any of you have felt like those leopards? (Do tell me in the comments. I like comments. I laugh like hyenas when you do that) You can see how excited I become after seeing your comments here (00:30).

Coming back, I did feel like those leopards. My college ended a few days back and it was time to return to my hometown as fortunately, that is the place where I’ll be doing my first permanent job (Yayy). So in order to travel this journey of 1500 km from Kharagpur (West Bengal) to Delhi with loads and loads of luggage, I needed a train ticket which has to be booked by the most notorious website made in the world history – IRCTC. This website is like a relationship between two very possessive people. The presence of a third individual ‘crashes’ the relationship.

Since the normal tickets had already been booked till I became sure of my date of travel, I had to rely on the Tatkal (emergency) service. To give a little introduction to those who are unaware, this is a service which allows you to book the tickets 24 hours before the train departs. But this ‘allowing’ is as believable as your girlfriend’s “I am fine”. The train which I wanted has 132 tickets for Tatkal booking every day, the journey is of 18 hours, all coaches are air-conditioned and most importantly they give free food. But the most beautiful girl in the college never has just one admirer. The booking starts at 10am and I used to be ready with everything since 6am. Still, somehow I was proved to be late for two days. At 10:00 I fill my details, pay by internet banking at 10:01, the transaction becomes successful at 10:02 and I realize the 132 tickets were booked at 10:01. India would have been a superpower if the same dexterity was shown by people in every sphere. It was like you are thinking to have sex and the doctor comes shouting, “It’s a girl ! Congratulations !”

Anyways, the same thing continued for two days with being ticketless and five thousand bucks down. Fortunately I got an RAC (Reservation against cancellation) ticket in a train that takes 26 hours, in a coach without air-conditioning with a ticket that guarantees travel, but the berth has to be shared with another person, who somehow is never a cute girl 😦

But the God was with me (as the leopards thought) and just 4 hours before the departure, my ticket got upgraded to ‘confirmed’ which guaranteed me a shitty but complete berth in the shitty coach of the shitty train in a shitty weather (>40 degree Celsius).

Finally going home, happily I do my final packing and enter the train which was scheduled to depart at the comfortable hour of 4:15am and is never ever late. I go to my top berth and lie down with the fan taking all the heat from the ceiling and showering me with its love. Still, determined to sleep I close my eyes only to wake up by a ticklish feeling at my toes. Startled, I see that my topless overweight neighbour cannot be contained by his small berth and his hands are awkwardly trying to play with my toes. I fold my legs and spend the day reading a book.

As the night approached, I gladly welcome it because it was time to bid the scorching heat goodbye. Then, it was time for the hyenas to enter the scene. An elderly man came to me and said, “It is very difficult to travel without ticket”.
I : “Yes uncle, you are absolutely right” (How about, illegal ? :/ )
He : I am glad you understand. Would you mind? (and he pointed at my berth)
I thought he needed a place to sit which I couldn’t refuse because of his age and the fact that every berth around me had two people sharing it. Yes, the lack of strictness in non-ac coaches makes the travel for those without tickets very easy.

I gave him the place to sit but the naughty fellow craved for more. When I closed my eyes he tapped on my legs and signaled me to move aside. Before I could react, he lied down with me with his feet near my  face and vice versa. It was a berth that was probably 6 feet long and ONE FEET WIDE and two people and my laptop bag were on it. Needless to say, only that much portion of my body was lying on the berth which was necessary to keep me from falling. All the rest were hanging or taking support from other hanging things. The laughter of the hyena echoed in my ears. Yes he started snoring. Loudly. Louder than I ever heard. Woke up a child. The child started crying. Loudly. Louder than I ever heard. And that is how my confirmed ticket proved to be that bison who died in vain. Finally at 6 in the morning I ran towards my home to give some solid support to my ass and rest to my eyes.

61 thoughts on “The hyena’s laughter

  1. Beth May 14, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    Well, I guess it’s at least a small blessing not to be the bison, right?

    What an uncomfortable (and really LONG) train ride, Prateek! It sounds next-to-impossible to get a comfortable berth and you must have alot of patience to have endured such a trip. It sounds much worse than my recent nightmare on a train (except they didn’t try to throw you off the train at midnight in a seedy town over-run by wild monkeys:0)).

    Oh yes, I”ve been a leopard many times in life, especially related to being polite! Your analogies of the hyena and the beautiful girl were good, and this was a really funny and clever post that I enjoyed very much.

    Congratulations on being finished with your studies and I’m glad you’re (finally) home in New Delhi. Good luck on your new job and getting adjusted back home!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli May 16, 2015 / 4:33 am

      Beth, I love this comment of yours! *Laughing like hyena*. Thank you!
      And yes, you are absolutely right, Beth! Being a leopard is still better than being the bison 😀
      And I must admit I am dying to know more about your nightmare. It sounds much more interesting than my post 😉
      I am really glad to receive your such genuine appreciation. Being appreciated by a wonderful traveler and writer is always amazing. Thank you for that and also for the lovely wishes 🙂 Have a beautiful weekend ahead 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli May 16, 2015 / 4:40 am

      I am sorry, I just saw that it has already been posted. Rushing to it right now 🙂


  2. AdiC May 15, 2015 / 2:20 am

    Oh you poor chap! I can’t help but laugh at your plight! No wonder you wouldn’t talk about sleep! 😛 Did the early morning welcome of the dogs feel heavenly?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli May 16, 2015 / 9:17 am

      Haha I was wrong. The New Delhi station was as crowded as ever even at that time. People never cease to travel 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • AdiC May 16, 2015 / 10:30 am

        Well at least your morning wasn’t as touchy-feely as your night was! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 17, 2015 / 8:33 pm

        Haha regarding touchiness of the night, I have to say that . . . let’s just forget it 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • AdiC May 18, 2015 / 12:28 am

        I’m not forgetting it anytime soon! Every time you recount about Vivek, I’ll remind you of this ! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 6:22 am

        Haha blackmail ! Vivek would be so happy to find his only fan 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • AdiC May 19, 2015 / 6:33 am

        Oh! His wife isn’t a fan? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. shambhavi31 May 15, 2015 / 3:17 am

    Haha 😀 This is so hilarious. I am in splits. 😀
    You write so well, the imagery you have set is so funny and this reminds me of my plane journey. But, definitely your journey sounds painfully eventful, with that elderly individual and his snoring and illegal occupancy as topping. The comparisions mentioned throughout the article is apt, God, my stomach hurts. 😀
    I hope you are well rested and there are no hands tickling your feet out of nowhere, cause if that’s the case, you need to visit a doc soon. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli May 16, 2015 / 10:18 am

      Haha I really feel as if I achieved something to see you laugh on this. I have always felt that comedy comes from the timing and expressions which can only happen by seeing someone live and not while reading.
      You have given a lot of encouragement here. I’ll try doing the same in the next post too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • shambhavi31 May 16, 2015 / 3:12 pm

        You write really well Prateek. Please do venture in this dept. You are great at it. I enjoyed it a lot. 😀 I couldn’t stop laughing. It reminds me of my plane journey,which I indulge in often. Even I have written a post on our journey mis adventure ‘Travelling Blues’. But, nothing can beat your story. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 17, 2015 / 8:56 pm

        Haha that was the first post I read after coming across your blog. I remember it well xD
        And thank you so much, as always for the encouraging words you always have in store. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

      • shambhavi31 May 25, 2015 / 4:53 am

        Haha 😀 thank you Prateek. I have been off wp for long. I have a lot to grasp. I miss writing, so caught up in studies. Will be like that for quite sometime. 🙂
        Encouragement is shared! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 25, 2015 / 9:34 pm

        Ah ! Studies are ruining our generation 😀
        Don’t worry, your blog and your readers would be here, waiting for you until you are back. Study well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • shambhavi31 June 17, 2015 / 8:54 pm

        Oh, thank you! I have missed reading and writing, have I missed a lot? Don’t tell me. I will stop by after a while and do some snooping around The Uncertainty Principle. I need my dose of inspiration 🙂 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli June 18, 2015 / 6:25 am

        Whenever you get time, uncertainty principle will be waiting to entertain 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • shambhavi31 June 18, 2015 / 6:34 pm

        Yes! Don’t you worry! I can be bn bulay mehman also 😛 😀 (”Devil’s laugh”). hhhaaahhhaaa

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli June 18, 2015 / 6:45 pm

        Will keep the devil glued with the help of Bohemia songs 😛
        “Atithi devo bhava” Jai ho Amir khan ki !

        Liked by 1 person

      • shambhavi31 June 18, 2015 / 7:00 pm

        Please don’t talk about Bohemia, he is just too awesome! I don’t fancy actors and actresses or singers for that sake, but Bohemia holds a special place man! Other than Bohemia it got to be Eminem. It’s not like I am stuck to rap, but the way they sing, rap it’s awesomeness at it’s best! 😀 Okay, I blabber a lot! But, can’t help it, as you mentioned Bohemia’s name. I think I am lost! 😛


      • Prateek Kohli June 18, 2015 / 7:08 pm

        You zodiac sign must be ‘swaggitarius’ 😀
        It is ok. It happens. May you get to meet him soon. Do ask for a Jaguar that day 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • shambhavi31 June 18, 2015 / 7:15 pm

        You’re too close! I am a Capricorn with swag-ing abilities 😉 That sounds funny. 😛
        Brand New Swag I suppose!
        Hey wait, he won’t be able to see my love in absence of Jaguar’s headlight! I must ask for Jaguar! Not for but for him 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sudakshi De Zoysa May 15, 2015 / 3:19 am

    Sorry but I can’t stop LAUGHING! 😛

    Hahaha btw this piece of art reminded me of the writing style of Chetan Bhagat (you must be knowing him well, i think ). I’ve read two of his books and while i was reading your post i couldn’t help but remember him and the two books I read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli May 16, 2015 / 7:34 pm

      Hehe glad to know that my friend. The laughter sounded as music and came as encouragement here 🙂
      And thank you so much for the compliment (I hope the comparison WAS done for complimenting 😛 )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. izza ifzaal May 15, 2015 / 7:26 am

    hahahhahh! My goodness! 😛
    Well you reached home still after such a hilarious adventure 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli May 15, 2015 / 7:30 am

      Haha you know now why I wasn’t able to feel the touch of my saint till now. Rested, embrace yourself, comments are coming 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • izza ifzaal May 15, 2015 / 7:34 am

        *Gets up and wears an Armour * 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Kritika Vashist May 15, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Can I laugh at the pain that welcomed you during the journey? 😛
    I know this sounds funny while narrating, but when it actually happens, you are so infuriated then you might just kill someone. A similar incident has happened with me while I was coming from Maharashtra. If it was legal to shoot down few people, I swear, I would have done that. My neck, my back, my eyes, legs, and everything, that was the worst ever. At the top of that when people sleeping in the same coach snore as loudly as they can. I don’t want to remember that now.
    Welcome to Delhi. Have fun, mate! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Prateek Kohli May 17, 2015 / 1:26 pm

      Haha the pain would be successful after hearing the laughter 😉
      And I am not so glad that you could relate to the plight. But the worst things always become funny memories later, right? 😀
      Thank you for the warm welcome. Delhi, where even the crowd at Rajiv chowk is bearable 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kritika Vashist May 17, 2015 / 2:44 pm

        Bearable? Well, yes, now I’m used to metro rush. Delhi welcomes you this way. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 17, 2015 / 9:41 pm

        I kind of find it amusing to observe the complete spectrum of things that people do in the metro 😀
        The liveliness never allows boredom to come near, right? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kritika Vashist May 18, 2015 / 5:34 am

        Sounds like you haven’t been pushed by people, asked to vacant the seat, etcetera etcetera. 😛
        I like your optimism, man!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 10:33 am

        *Stands up with tears in eyes and salutes you*. I understand my friend, some wounds are too deep to get filled. 😀
        May those people never get a confirmed seat 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kritika Vashist May 19, 2015 / 10:35 am

        Hey? Now I know all tricks for seats and space 😉 If you ever need me to guide you, let me know. I won’t even charge you for telling my secrets. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 10:50 am

        Haha I am honored to be the privileged customer of your tricks 😀
        I now know whom to call in times of distress – the Seat-girl !


      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 7:16 pm

        Yes I know and I really acknowledge it! Its just one of your many many amazing talents but still, it shouldn’t go un-admired you know 😀
        By the way, speaking of talents I remember you once said that you’ll do some additions to your photo gallery. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kritika Vashist May 19, 2015 / 7:20 pm

        You make me blush! Haha!

        Arey yaar, I have been searching on how to publish a post on a separate page. I don’t know how that can be done. So I’ll have to add photos to the page, and then it will look so vague, also, I’ll have to share the link. Too much of a task, it would be.
        If you can help me here, I would be glad!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 7:25 pm

        Oh yes ! I didn’t think of that 😀 You can probably add new photos in a normal post and then categorize it accordingly. Then the categories can be shown on the home page. Or, your words paint equally beautiful pictures. We’ll live with that 😀


      • Kritika Vashist May 19, 2015 / 7:27 pm

        As if I didn’t try it 😛
        Hahaha! That is more like an escape route 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 7:33 pm

        Escape route for whom? 😛
        I have passed on the problem to a friend who maintains a photoblog. Let’s see if he has a solution 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kritika Vashist May 19, 2015 / 7:35 pm

        “Arey chal na yaar, chodh, dimag kharab hogaya. Post he likh deti hu” -Escape route for me. 😛

        Thaaank you. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 7:38 pm

        Aise kaise ! What if Mahatma Gandhi had thought like this? “Arey chal na yar, chodh, dimag kharab hogaya. London me law practice hi kar leta hu”. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 7:44 pm

        ^_^ I was chosen as a cheer leader. But then quit because the pom poms were irritating 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Prateek Kohli May 19, 2015 / 7:52 pm

        Will now go and read ‘the diary of a young girl’ 😀 Khali dimag cheerleader ka ghar -_-


    • Prateek Kohli May 17, 2015 / 1:28 pm

      And your comment made mine. I hope I’ll be able to keep on doing the same 😉
      Thank you 🙂


  7. maryam191 May 15, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    Oh Prateek, that’s so pitiful 😦 but I must say ,you are a T-O-U-G-H Guy !
    While going through this , I recalled an incident from my early college days when I felt utterly fooled and the similar hyena’s laughter upon me.
    I am a computer science student and we were given our assignment on Computer Graphics. I was the first one to finish it with clinical expertise. All codes clean, bug less, running with accurate outputs. All of my classmates got my solutions xeroxed. Everybody has this as a birth right on others’ work. Randomly, some of them were spotted as cheaters by our Prof. To my horror, they felt my own assignment cheated from someone. I couldn’t narrate him my plight as it could affect the unity of our class. My hands trembled, I was broken and felt like one big loser ; ( Doing all the work again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Prateek Kohli May 17, 2015 / 1:54 pm

      Ah I understand, Maryam. Incidents like these pinch like a sword. Something similar happened with me too and I completely agree with you that when hard-work is not acknowledged but falsely called guilty of cheating, one feels broken.
      But let’s take a lesson from these events and ensure that nothing of the sort happens with us in the future. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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