“QUIRKY EXPERIENCES IN INDIAN TRAIN TRAVELS”
Booking at the reservation counters have always been an experience, that fits the description of a suspense thriller. You must prepare for an ordeal of atleast 2 hours if not 4 hours for the issue of ticket. If you have any plans of completing this work in a hurry and then get on to do something else, then it’s better to forget such options. If you are right ahead in the queue by sheer luck, then you may get your job done in a jiffy. Whereas if you are one among the hundreds, then you will have to bide your time on that given day.
The moment I enter the reservation center, the first thought that enters my mind is this: where does the queue start from? At this point I see a sea of people lined up along several counters. From a top level glance it looks like the chances are slim that I will get anywhere near the counter. So the next question that pops up in my mind is: which queue do I join? I begin my hunt for the shortest line. Likewise I took chance to see if a longer queue is moving faster. Finally I decide to stand in one that looked to suit my purpose best.
Yet I stand in every line, that holds the potential of getting me to the counter faster, and in the process I discover excuses to tell the person behind me in that line, that I will be back soon. That way it gave me a better perspective of the happenings around and whether I can get my ticket within reasonable time. Moving between waiting lines, my legs start aching, and the sweat adds to my tired state of mind. The jostle around me that I bear, gets on my nerves, while I stay determined to book.
Pushing myself to stay in the hunt, I could visualize an insurmountable situation, unfolding before me. Not only did some people start to form a double queue, but also tried to push through their bulk bookings ahead. But this met stiff resistance from those behind, and loud noise and arguments followed. Furthermore, a few counters started closing, for reasons best known to them. This sets off panic amongst the rest. In the meantime, the queue, that I stood for the longest time, began moving at snail’s pace.
The staff were often consulting themselves for reservation and cash related issues. Many began questioning the head incharge for closing down other counters. My heart skipped several beats, when as I came within striking distance from the counter, the computer system hanged. Will the counter close before I get there? Nobody knew, as the staff got away to attend to some personal work of urgent nature. A feeling of dejection started sinking in. The tripping of power supply made things look worse, when within sometime, the computer systems worked. Shutting down on time, I became the last person to get the ticket, at the counter. This caused much dismay to those behind me.
I will cover inadequacies at railway station in my next post.
Until then here’s signing off for the day. Please come back for more tomorrow.
The quirky experiences on an Indian train travel continues….