After getting a nice see-off (not expected, though) from my JNUmates, i boarded on the bus to move to New Delhi railway station, and took Shekhar (used to be the roommate of almost all batchmates, now officially mine) in the midway. Trip to Bangalore in a train is a total suck, I knew it but I had got a chance to a visit to Chennai a few years ago, so I thought I can manage this too. We were waiting for the train at the platform as it was slated to depart at 09:15pm, but at this time train was there to depart but not for Bangalore, it was for Indore.
Indian railways..oomph!!, I heard a high-pitched voice from a little girl, who I guess, was also going to the same place with her mother, where we were designated to. Then I understood, how children have got sharp minds these days.
Anyways..after a few minutes, the train arrived at the platform when people rushed into like, they would never get a seat if they weren’t the first to enter. I must add, that Shekhar hadn’t any idea of travelling in trains earlier… asked me..
“would everything be okay for two days??”
Yes..don’t worry, at least for two days you will be getting an experience of some new things like…
<I am truncating my said sentence for obvious reasons.>
We boarded into the train, found our place and after settling the luggage, switched ourselves to eating mode as Shekhar took along with him some homemade or better say..mommade stuff for dinner. We enjoyed the eatables (because it was known that we were not getting anything like this for a few months ahead), and Shekhar, being extra cautious, put his luggage on his seat (we were having the upper berths in the compartment) itself, though it caused him to sleep not in a better way.
I saw people turning their seats into a sleep palace, though, being a hosteller for about 5 and a half year, I was not going to sleep that early. As train headed to the first stoppage Mathura, I took out my cellphone and talked to a few of my friends last time as it would get roamed afterwards. My roomy KV did a good job for us, he SMSed the office address where had to report, damnn..we forgot to take a printout of the company’s mail.
After having a talk, when I reached to the compartment, I saw Shekhar reading something and it was Chetan Bhagat’s brand new issue 2 states which he bought from a book stall in New Delhi station.
Bhai..will you..?? he offered me the novel.
“Keep me away of these brain-suckers!!” I quickly replied.
I never read a novel before, once I tried dan Brown’s Da Vinci code (when I saw my graduation first year roomy Sumit, took it from somewhere and reported a good mystery behind it), and after reading first few pages, I thought it’s okay to keep distance from this novel thing. But I saw another passenger who was going to Bhopal in that train took a good interest in that book and cited some of his old experiences to Shekhar about Chetan’s 5 point someone and blah blah. I kept my mouth shut and shifted myself to the upper berth.
Your sleep becomes a nap when you wake up by something. The same happened for me too, when Shekhar laughed sometimes and my nap broke up the friendship with my eyes. Anyways shekhar, you are not responsible for it as I hardly get a sleep while travelling in trains.
I passed first night somehow having many different things running in my mind and in the morning when I woke up…
Upto where we came??, I murmured, just running my nomore-sleepy eyes outside at the platform to check which station the train had arrived.
Khandwa hai…5 ghante late hai!! (it’s Khandwa, it’s running 5 hours late!!), an uncle at the lower berth unpromptly replied me and without my inquiry, told me that it should reach Bhopal by then. People find it very interesting to talk to unknowns in trains, particularly, when they are alone. He gave a few interesting notions to laloo, mamta banerjee and whosoever the railway ministers have come into existence. I wondered if I gave a little initiation in talk with him, he would certainly reveal all his mouth and brain sack.
The sun arose, and tried to peek through the windows in the compartment.
“Ser..luncha??” A south Indian voice came from an irctc pantry vendor who was asking for if we need a lunch to be made.
I had very bad experiences with the train meals, but thought let’s try one more time. I asked Shekhar, and he told me to order the same things which I ordered (Precaution was throughout the journey, I appreciate).
I guessed Bhopal has arrived at that time, I was pretty boared, thought of listening some music, I remembered that Shweta (one of my classmates from MP) once told me that she had won various movie tickets from participating in FM contests while she was in Indore. I plugged my earphone and surfed my cellphone radio for songs. For 10 minutes or so, it was fine but as the train passed Bhopal quite a distance, I had to unplug it again due to the non-availability of Vodafone-network. After sometime, reluctantly though, I myself asked Shekhar for that novel and tried to read it for a while and friends, I don’t know, I loved that awesome creation to the extent that my whole journey was enjoyable. For the time being I can only say that, it itself requires a separate post to write about it and I will recommend you to read it at least once.
As we were approaching South India, we felt warmth. Yes, the season changed in a day, when I took off my jacket and purchased a cold-drink for us. I talked to Narendra, when he reported that Delhi has dipped itself into cold and they are enjoying heaters in their room. Next day, the train stopped at a station(The name I don’t remember as it was tongue twister) for quite a long time, searching that uncle to play his mouth-radio this time, I heard a Kunal Ganzawala’s south Indian number (I had watched a couple of Telugu movies earlier in JNU and that’s why I remembered Kunal’s voice from the movie Pokiri) from a youth’s mobile sitting idle at the platform. Then I thought we had headed a little to south india. Though the train was destined to arrive at Bengaluru at 01:45pm the next day, but It crossed limits and reached at 09:30pm. A total 2 day journey was of course not good but not bad as well (thanks to Chetan and finally Shekhar), I was dying to step into Bangalore, the city I always loved to work at. Finally we packed the luggage and after passing from platform, a heart-touching breeze thrilled me like it was a welcome to me by Bangalore.
And then came the real drama of fare-negotiation with auto-rickshaw drivers. When you are new to some place, and you don’t have any idea of fare deals, moreover, where you can’t communicate in local language, better you ask someone who can suggest you the best. It was night and some drivers told us that it would go around Rs. 400 including night charges. We tried to call some known people in the city but in vain. Ultimately, we had to trust a Mithun Chakravorty looked auto-driver who was charging Rs. 350 and managing to talk to us in broken Hinglish. About 11:00pm, we stepped into the guest house. Took a deep breath and shower too, after checking mails, i slept while Shekhar watched tv. On the very next day we had to report to the company.
Altogether a great journey and some good and bad experiences for Shekhar, he will tell you in future or when he writes his own blog. Till then, stay tuned !!
Next is my Bangalore experiences, your appreciation will be heartly appreciated…lolzzz!!