The Brown Chaddi Campaign

I guess, I’ve articulated many a times now of my philosophies and brass tacks, and enough of philanthropic, benevolent gestures thrown at your face. This time around I wish to hurdle over my customary, pain staking, idiotic preaching and wander into the manors of – embarrassment…That’s right, there’s no typographical error…I am going to tell you all about the most embarrassing moment of my life. A moment, where I had no other alternative but to cover my face. A moment which has been etched into my memories with deep engraving acid.


Before I begin reliving those horrifying moments, I think I should give a small prologue about my wonderful family. My family is a quite diversified one, in every terms you can think of. Be it age, gender, generation, profession or level of lunacy, all vary from the lowest to the highest; and we are the craziest bunch of cousins, gelling together so impeccably and madly, that whatever one of us says we simply follow without bothering to rethink what who has said, and this habit more often than not has landed us into big time troubles.

So…it’s time now to begin my appalling tale…It was summers of 1998 when I was a 9th grader, old enough to be embarrassed by embarrassing situations and understand the aftermaths of such moments. My entire family had assembled for the baraat of my uncle at Allahabad. We were put up at a nice, clean lodge near the railway station with plenty of baths, but still the number was not sufficient for host 5 dozen of absolutely maddening crowd. The problem had escalated as our crowd also had a plethora of female species who have this uncanny capability of spending hours inside an extremely compact, low on ventilation, enclosed space with just one advantage of a large, highly reflective, piece of glass.

This had infuriated my gang of brothers in arms, and all of us hastily decided to bath at the Railway station which was at a pebble’s throw distance. Unfortunately for us, our lodge was at the leeward side of the entrance of the station and to add to our miseries a new platform was being constructed towards the side we entered the station premises. It was almost deserted, flanked only by a few stray dogs who could not have even imagined to foray into the territory of we brothers – who were louder than public address system of the station and fiery than the mob of 50 strong men. Actually, it was then when I counted that our number was three more than a dozen. And, it was almost the moment I had finished counting that the youngest amongst us spotted a new, clean, freshly installed array of water taps and which was large enough to accommodate all of us to bathe under them. So, as always, without contemplating the idea, rushed under the taps. I just imagine, now how great it would have been, had anyone thought of the consequences. But, as great Mr. Murphy says “If something has to go wrong…it WILL go wrong.” As soon as we reached the taps, we looked around, and found out that, there was a leeward side to it, which was not visible to anyone from other platforms(this one being the last one) and we could easily slip down to our bare minimums as there was just one track adjacent to this platform and no train could be made to arrive on that(that was what we thought, at that moment, in the heat of the excitement of getting a good shower).

So, all 15 of us ranging in age from 12 to 25 stripped down to our under wears. Blue, black, green and the worst coloured undies you can ever buy – brown, also, it was the year 1998 when the majority of men’s population was unaware of brands like Jockey, CK, Tommy Hilfiger, and undies were available for mere Rs 40 or Rs 50. Men of that era were also unaware of the phenomenon called ‘six packs’ and were proud to have pot bellies. Now, imagine the situation, 15 of such men, on the platform, all covered with foam of Lux soap(the only good soap available then), in the worst attire they want women to see them, bathing carelessly…. get to hear a loud honk…and voila!

A train…a fully fledged, doubly occupied, overflowing with people arrives…right next, merely 10 metres from us. If this is not enough, and even before we could react to the shock of this sight…the ladies bogie, booked by some women’s college, occupied by some of the most B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. members of the opposite sex, I had ever seen with my eyes, with no such thing called as a TV screen between me and them…stops right in front. For a few seconds, all of us, even the 12 year old did not know how to react, we were all standing, all of us without even battling an eyelid, as if the thing that covered was not foam but quick dry cement which had frozen us into those postures. Nobody moved, until all the girls started giggling, shying away from the window, laughing. It was then when I looked that it was not only me who had his hand glued to his hair…everyone was awestruck, by this amazing game the wheel of fortune had played with us. Nobody, still moved or tried to scamper anywhere, until one of those brave and beautiful ladies had the courage to make us do so. She came, walking straight towards us…our body unable to react, caught in the dilemma of shock and admiration, still stood its grounds…only till the time she said “Aaplog zara side hatenge…paani bharna hai mujhe!!” Till that time it had never struck me, actually, that I was wearing a brown coloured underwear, and with water and foam it was difficult to make from a distance that whether I had one On or not. I had just started analysing my look when I lifted my head to see…all my brothers had vanished, disappeared…there was no one for my help…for my assistance…to guide me…I was left alone for the staring eyes of those girls to savour and laugh about.

And, me being the brave one, a valiant 15 year old …did what any other valiant boy of my age would have done…stood my grounds…with tears washing off the foam from my face…and gave one more reason to laugh to those lovely ladies.It has become horrifying enough already… and what happened after that is something I do not wish to recall or tell anybody…It is simply too insulting to the ego of a chauvinistic pig(as we men are called) to mention anywhere। I have made it a point though, that I won’t step on to a platform until and unless I am either boarding a train or receiving somebody…and please do let your younger one’s know…that the most dangerous adventure sports of all time, where insult and injury is a must… is bathing on a Railways platform!!:( 😦

A repost from my personal blog Whimsical Acumen