Mannaar was the friendly diesel engine driver from Mayavaram. He drove the Mayavaram Mysore Express every other day.
One day, as usual, he finished his evening snacks, took his nap, and then boarded his familiar blue diesel engine locomotive. It was late as usual, but he knew he could make up time on the way.
By the time he got to Kumbakonam, he was very tired and sleepy. He had not slept well the previous night. He found Singaaram, another engine driver friend lounging at the Kumbakonam station.
“Will you help me drive the loco until Trichy? By that time, I can have a small nap. You can catch the Trichy Kumbakonam passenger back.”
Singaaram was a helpful friend. He agreed and took on driving the blue diesel loco. The track between Kumbakonam to Trichy through Tanjore has lots and lots of level crossings. So Singaaram was honking all the way to Trichy.
When they reached Trichy, our friend Mannaar had just fallen asleep. He pleaded with Singaaram – “Please, my friend. Can you please drive on until Salem? I could not sleep a bit with all the honking.”
Singaaram did not have any other plans. So he agreed. After all, Salem was not too far away. The blue diesel loco chugged through Karur and Erode and eventually reached Salem.
By that time, our dear friend Mannaar was deep in slumber. So deep in sleep he was, that Singaaram could not even wake him up. Singaaram did not have any other choice than to drive on.
It was day break by the time they reached Hosur. Mannaar rose from his deep sleep, fresh as a daisy. “Singaaram, my friend, let me buy you a coffee”. He jovially said, “Since you have driven all the way to Hosur, and there is no return train right now, come, let us ride to Bangalore, which is only one more hour away.”
Singaaram realized that Mannaar had been fooling with him all along. But then they were friends, and Singaaram did not mind helping friends. The Mayavaram Mysore Express chugged in to the Bangalore Central station.
Singaaram got off the train. Mannaar bade him good bye and went on his way to Mysore.
PS: I told this improv story to my kid last week, and he totally enjoyed it. Hence I thought I would share it here.