Indian Railway charges 50 percent of base fare for children traveling by train who fall in age between 6-12 years. There is no charge for kids below 5 years of age. But strangely, Shakti Kapoor - a Bollywood (Hindi Film industry) actor, who was born on September 3, 1958, and hence is comfortably over 50 years of age now, still pays for half ticket, and not for full ticket charges applicable to all adult passengers.
Then why Shakti Kapoor is getting so much travel concession? All other actors are paying full amount.
Is it because he won the Filmfare award for the best performance in a comic role? Or, Is railway in India afraid of him? We thought there might be some fear among railway employees since he has been one of the leading villains in Bollywood movies for more than three decades?
We met some officials of Ministry of Railways and ask if they fear Shakti Kapoor. One such official with first name "Suresh" and surname "Prabhu" - told us that there was no reason to fear Shaki Kapoor. "He is so funny that whenever he appears on screen the funny bone of entire family is tickled," he said.
We were left scratching our hair's. Why the hell everyone is traveling paying full train fare, except for Shakti - the Bollywood Villain.
The a strange sound of "Aaoo" rang in the head of our research team. Suddenly both left and right brain parts started working. Something was happening. We knew we are about to solve the mystery. Suddenly one of the guys in our team saw an old poster fluttering in wind featuring Sri Devi - famous female superstar of Hindi Cinema. Our brain started processing Sri Devi. Then a word popped up in our head -"Chalbaaz".
Word Chalbaaz triggered more words, in fact a full sentence made of Hindi words (written in English here in quotes) - "Mein ek nanha sa, pyara sa, chota sa bachcha hoon." In English it means "I am a tiny, lovable, small baby".
Oh, that's why!
Shakti Kapoor is still a Child. Hence railway charges Shakti Kapoor half ticket. Another thing is that, as per railway reservation rules - Boys under 12 years of age may travel in a ladies compartment. You can bet that Shakti Kapoor won't miss out on this opportunity.