“QUIRKY EXPERIENCES IN INDIAN TRAIN TRAVELS”
I woke up with a start from sleep on the inside upper berth of 3rd AC. Profusely sweating, I felt the heat growing on me. Itching as it was, I felt that my back had got stuck to the berth. I had to pinch myself to check if I was indeed travelling in AC compartment. The train running full, I was destined to travel the entire day journey on the upper deck, since the lower and middle berths were occupied by elderly people, who in the fitness of things, felt it best to have an afternoon nap, for the longest possible time.
While not lying down, my head hit the ceiling hard, everytime I shifted around on the berth. Drinking water or removing purse from back pocket, was possible only by a yogasan. I became wise to realize that sitting hunch-back was the only option. Uncomfortable to stay put there, to have my lunch, especially when sweating, I decide to climb down to stretch myself a bit. It takes some tactical balancing skills to get down. Wary of disturbing those sleeping, I climbed down carefully, but missed a ladder step and clumsily landed with a thud and staggered. Made a mess of my whole intent by almost falling on the lower berth passenger.
Also read: A Scary Journey #BlogchatterA2Z
Not wanting to take any chances in summer, my first choice was to take the AC class, as the travel time stretches to nearly 24 hours. The bulk of the journey was to be done during day time. Congested and overcrowded with RAC passengers, the situation brought home the atmosphere of sleeper class to 3rd AC. But where’s the AC working? The preset temperature levels were not in tune to present and immediate needs. I walk up to the attendant to remind him that AC wasn’t functioning, but the attendant was not to be seen. Lunch time it is and the attendant disappearance act, made things far more worse to bear.
Things were getting to a point of suffocation and switching on the fan was a saviour to some. I have no option but to be on the hunt for the attendant before the situation gets out of hand. I move from one AC compartment to another, trying to spot the attendant. Are we going to see him only around night time when people would need him for blankets and pillows? In the absence of a solution a question popped up in my mind. Would it be better to stay outside near the door than be inside?
Also read: Keeping Decorum #BlogchatterA2Z
It was commonly felt by that time that an open door would bring in fresh air. This was a temporary solution we all could make do with, till the attendant showed up. The attendant bore the brunt of passenger fury, but he got the message quickly and set the temperature at optimum levels, so that for the rest of the journey we could travel comfortably.
I shall cover overcrowding in sleeper coaches, in one of my upcoming posts.
Until then here’s signing off for the day. Please come back for more tomorrow.