“QUIRKY EXPERIENCES IN INDIAN TRAIN TRAVELS”
It was the last day of our holiday and we arrived at the station by dusk, with a tired look on our faces. The journey to the station was tiresome given the fact that we had to take a long winding road journey, to arrive at the station. We quickly settled the bills with our tour operator, and bid our final goodbyes to our group of friends who had accompanied us during the journey. As we enter the station we notice that it was crowded and it was an indication that not everything was going right. Yet we chose to ignore it, as it was but natural to have a crowded station in an over populated country.
While we were there at the platform, the initial feedback was the train was late by just one hour. That didn’t worry us much as we thought it was all too usual about trains in India and it not something we should be worried about too much. We went about our usual things chatting to our heart’s content. In the meantime we had our snacks that we had purchased at the place. Then came the announcement that the train would be further delayed by a couple of hours. Now this was a cause for concern, and we began making our initial enquiries on what has happened.
Having completed a good holiday trip, it was our time to get back home. A connecting train was the best possibility given the time constraints. However after waiting for a considerable time at the station we were told that the train would be 16 hours late, and there is no guarantee when it would actually come. The issue was that since it was a single line, the station master too didn’t have any clue to departures and arrivals of trains. As a result our train had been held in one of the siding platforms, for other trains to pass through. This wasn’t the best endings of a trip.
The coolies were nonchalant about the train coming in late. The TTE cared less. He would give us an almost patented evasive answers. We were boarding a train from a destination where we had language problem communicating with the local people. We had a flight to catch at our next destination, we were clearly in a soup. The station master too would only give information of what he already had with him, and that it will be long before the train arrives at the platform. Now this was a predicament, we didn’t want to face. We had to resolve this before long.
After a while, after making several visits to the station master’s room, I guess he started getting a feel that he must help us out, and stop being indifferent. It was then he came up with a suggestion that there is a connecting train coming from another direction that would take us to our destination, but that we would have to pay for our difference fare and also for the difference in the travel class. We gladly did as told and boarded the train to arrive at our destination just in time, to be able to catch the connecting flight out, back to home.