August 27, 2009

Plain Horse Sense

Here's an incident narrated to me by K. R. Vaidyanathan. Click here to read about who Mr Vaidyanathan is.
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"THERE WAS AN ENGLISHMAN who retired from the ex-G.I.P. Railway and settled in England. A hobby after his retirement was to cast his mind back over the happy years spent in India and recall the good old times in conversation and in his writings. These anecdotes are indeed collectors’ items which any rail fan would be happy to possess.
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Speaking of those days, he recalls a certain Resident Engineer (R. E.) in British days, who was transferred from his station to a place some 300 odd miles away on the Jhansi division of the GIP Railway. This gentleman had a horse of which he was very fond and which he was accustomed to ride on his jaunts. He was also a little tight-fisted with his money. He had a first class Silver Pass that entitled him to a four-wheeled saloon on transfer.
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This man had a brain-wave as to how to save the fare for his horse, for which he did not get free carriage. He decided to put the horse in the kitchen end of his saloon while he himself refrained from using the saloon, travelling a few carriages away as an ordinary citizen.
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When the train arrived at the new station, a crowd had assembled waiting anxiously outside the saloon to greet the new R.E. The Englishman got off the train and walked up to the saloon to find a great commotion among the station staff who had gathered to welcome him.
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What had been the matter? The kitchen window of the saloon had dropped and the horse had poked his head out, introducing itself to the crowd as the new Resident Engineer of the district."
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