The flag waving

I had gone this morning to Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station to receive a relative.  I was well on time and was pleasantly surprised to find the ticket counter open, from where I could buy the platform ticket.

Of course, there was the unpleasant experience too - of a person who barged in from nowhere and  thrust a Rs.5/- in my hand to get another ticket.  This when there was hardly any queue for tickets. The ticket issuer flatly refused to give me the second one!

The train was late and I had the pleasure of watching a couple of passenger trains make their way through the Station.  Each time the train came in, out came a pot-bellied guy in khakhis, holding two flags - a red one and a green one.  He did not wave the flag, but instead waved his hands 5 times to the "Guard" of the train in the back - who did likewise.   As the train began to depart, he waved the green flag 5 times.

What amused me was this ritual in this modern age of electronic signals and sign-boards.  A bit of googling revealed this link from an "unofficial" railways site.  I do remember the ringing of the bells heralding the arrival of train.  I could no longer find that - I wonder why.  Or the whistle...


  1. Good observation. Just an elaboration.
    1. Why do we need (figure heads) governors in every state. Legacy of the Roman Empire. You can fax the bills to president and the president can sign on it. It is not as if president is sweating every day. My guess (rough calc) mantaining governor costs 2 crores every month.

    2. Why do we need Rajya Sabha MPs? Copied from house of lords. Tony Blair severely degraded house of lords both in perks and in power. Hema Malini and Vijay Mallya have found their way into it. There are 200+ of them. 1 crore per MP per Month - my guess calc. Backdoor entry into politics

    3. Why do we need MLCs? Why do we need many commissions and tribunals. These three are so obviously useless. If you look further into the govt, more redundant jobs will come out and I am not part of govt. Tamil nadu does not have MLCs. so other states can copy

    No party (bjp, congress, state parties) are talking about cutting redundant jobs. The day governor jobs are dissolved indian govt has started functioning.


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