A long weekend was ahead. Double thanks to Pooja holidays: D
My holidays were planned in advance (as usual to my hometown) and my bags were packed. Excitement was at its peak when I left my PG to railway station. As expected, the roads were jammed and buses were packed. But, I was not disheartened. I squeezed into a bus and started the journey home. My heart was dancing – FIVE DAYS AT HOME!!!
I started planning my five days mentally. I thought I should call a friend as soon as I reach station and Tada! The realization dawned. I HAD FORGOTTEN MY MOBILE IN PG!!!! L
I was a mere three kilometers away from my PG, but after a 20 minutes’ drive! I also noticed that it was drizzling and I was getting late for the train. So I shunned the idea of going back to PG and decided that the phone can wait till I return. The only worry was that my parents would be wondering why their only child didn’t send any message!
Ouch! I almost ran across the platform. I was really late. All thanks to the sudden rain, flooded roads and unbelievable traffic jam! The bus actually moved like a tiered elephant.
And, the platform was overwhelming packed. There were wailing babies, wheeling baggage and so many elderly people. Most of them were drenched and shivering and muttering that their train would come soon.
Three trains came back to back. Many of them were confused about which one they should take. Everybody were running here and there like mad men to reach to their designated compartment. By then, it was raining heavily. There was also lightning and thunder to add effect to the drama that was enfolding in front me. I wasn’t wearing even a watch (in spite of the huge collection I have!) and I was clueless about how long I would have waited there.
I befriended a lady who was also travelling to my hometown. She was completely drenched and was scared that her train was already left. I assured that it has not. (Come on that was my train too!) We were still talking when an elderly man sitting beside me said that the crowd would reduce to half when the much awaited Howrah express comes. His words came true.
But, what startled most of us was the sheer crowd. Forget about the Sleeper, even the AC coaches were overcrowded like a General Compartment! The TTR was scratching his head and looked paranoid. People were falling over one another and I swear, ALL the compartments were so full that there would have been no space even for a single safety pin! There were many who went back furiously because they weren’t smart enough to squeeze themselves in.
As soon as this pandemonium came to an end, my train came (You heard me right. I said MY train. I travel every weekend in the same train. It’s like my second home :P)
Yet another hubbub followed. I sailed through the crowd and felt triumphant when I found my berth. Alas! Instead of a good six persons it had almost ten! A co-passenger asked a few others if their berths are reserved. A young mother who was feeding her child looked irritated. But, her husband looked calm when he took out his ticket. Then, he almost jumped, “This train goes to Thirupathi, right?” “NO” we cried in unison. He dragged his wife and carried all their luggage and jumped from the train. I heard the wife mumble, “You are so careless. You are….”
We were six of us now and they looked scared suddenly. One man asked, “Are you sure that this is the right train?”. I nodded. The train was already moving. TTR ticked against our names in the reservation charts which assured that we have indeed boarded in the right train.
It was after almost an hour when I got to stretch in the Middle Berth. I again realized that I have forgotten my smarty-phone. NO ALARM, my mind alarmed. So, I requested my co-passengers to wake me up in the morning. (Thank God that they were travelling to my home town too).
I took a deep breath and decided to spend some time in the dream world.
I was really sleepy when they woke me up as promised. I thanked them and pushed myself to wake up. We put down my berth and waited for our station to arrive. But, there were no signs of a single light. I sneak peaked into a co-passenger’s mobile and found that it was only four in the morning!!!!
F***!!! It would take at least half an hour to reach my destination!!!
The disaster didn’t end there. Dear train was late by half an hour and by then, I was awake for more than an hour. I did a quick calculation and realized that I have slept for less than six hours.
But, when I saw the neighborhood lights and when the train entered my hometown, I was overjoyed. AS USUAL!
I almost jumped from the train and rushed towards my home.
“Welcome home!” I mumbled delightedly.
PS: Respects to the Father of our Nation. It is Gandhi Jayanthi today!!!
In spite of all these hustle-bustle, mera Bharath is indeed mahaan!