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07 Dec 23
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The following story, titled "Class Divide,BHED" is penned by Dr. Prerana Gaur 'Shree' in Hindi and has been translated into English.

The story recounts a recent train journey, highlighting the class-based discrimination faced by the protagonist, Armaan. The setting is a Third AC compartment, with reservations distributed across various berths. As passengers settle in, conversations unfold, revealing underlying tensions. Armaan observes a woman occupying the middle berth, and her discontent surfaces upon realizing that the reserved lower berth belongs to him.

As passengers prepare for the night in the chilly weather, blankets and pillows are distributed. A conflict arises when the woman demands a better pillow from Tee Tee, the attendant. Despite Armaan assuring her that she already has a pillow, the woman insists on getting another one, openly criticizing Tee Tee.

TTE maintaining composure, explains that he has already provided her with a pillow but she remains unsatisfied. He suggests waiting until everyone has received their bedding, and then he will fetch her another pillow. The woman, unyielding, scolds Tee Tee and orders him to bring her a pillow immediately. Tee Tee responds with respectful compliance.

After TTE leaves, the woman proudly boasts to other passengers about her ability to manipulate the situation and get what she wants. Armaan returns with the additional pillow, but instead of thanking him, the woman ridicules Tee Tee for not understanding her demand and claims to know how to handle people like him.

Later, Armaan confronts the woman about her behavior, expressing disappointment in her attitude towards Tee Tee. The woman dismisses him, declaring that she doesn't associate with people like him and instructs him to leave. Armaan is left pondering the persistent social and economic disparities that lead to such discrimination and questions the presence of humanity in a world that still clings to class distinctions.

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