Took an especially crowded train to Malad the other morning. Something had happened which I didn't quite catch in the indistinct announcement, what I did catch was that trains were running 30-35 minutes late, and that always means a greater crowd.
So I'm crammed somewhere inside the compartment, and as often happens when there's a crowd, an argument breaks out. Squat young man who had got on, with two friends, just behind me, shouting at a slightly shorter older man, who's replying more mildly. All in Hindi, something about a bag on one or the other's foot.
Without warning, the young man switches to Marathi, lets fly a string of filthy abuse, and says: "Don't talk to me in that !@#!$ language! In this state, you better speak in Marathi, you !@#!$!"
Kind of futile, because clearly the older man doesn't know Marathi. He replies in Hindi. The argument subsides into angry glares.
Barely able to move where I stand, I think: people ask me why I'm fundamentally pessimistic about India. This repulsive young man's attitude is one reason. It stands for others.