The war of lower berth vs upper berth in Indian Railways.
Lower berth reservation owners are the kings and queens of any land. Middle berth are dependent on lower berth and upper berth owners are not cared for at all.
For the unfamiliar (read international travellers), a typical train in India has a lower berth, middle berth, upper berth and side lower and side upper. No one really cares about the side berth except for when you get the dreaded RAC. Thats the only time when young men in India look forward to a chance encounter with a beautiful women. Unfortunately, those expectations never turn into reality.
Anyways. So, if you take one bogie in a train as an example, you'll find that 72 passengers can easily fit into that. Comfortable, almost.
Now who gets to sleep where is a bit of a complex thing which the Indian Railways have mastered. And, the TCS systems are a major player in simplifying the railway reservation complexity.
So, who gets which seat entirely depends on...not really sure if there is a logic. But, I'm sure there must be if a software is involved.
So, if you're travelling for the first time in Indian Railways and you get UB on your ticket...for starters..its called UPPER BERTH. And next, get ready to hear some classic lines by your co-passenger who holds the lottery ticket...aka lower berth reservation.
1) "Can you move to your place. Window seat is MINE."
2) "Please move your bags to YOUR berth."
3) (clock says 8:00pm.) "Excuse me, I want to sleep now. Go to your berth."
4) The preferential treatment by lower berth owners extends to their luggage as well. They want THEIR luggage to be placed in the sanctum Santorum. And, the upper berth owner....well.. they can place it anywhere they want.
Being polite and concern for other passengers goes a long way. But, things being the way they are...I don't see this system changing anyway. Despite IRCTC giving you the option to choose your preferred berth.. oh wait! Does that ever work?
An upper berth traveller.
PS: oh almost forgot.. lower berth people have their share of trouble. Especially if you're a guy, age 20-37. Old people, young aunties, parents with kids, girls (All Girls) eye for your lower berth reservation. So, you can always expect the line "Excuse me, (insert the most logical reason)...can you give me your berth Please?