Thoughts in Rajdhani Express

Sitting in Rajdhani express, tapping my fingers on this I-pad of Mr. Bindra (not the sharp shooter) , all I can think of is… Well, lot of things!

Till now this ride has been a good experience for me, especially when compared to my recent travel to Allahabad when I had to pass 40 hours sitting (or just fitting) in the space that was left near the door.

The time is not passing by that fast but it’s not a pain either. We had booked our tickets one month advance and that is why we are able to enjoy this air-conditioned coach.

A lot of class mates, or I shall say colleagues now are travelling along and are a constant source of killing time.
The fun was real as after getting down at a station at 1 am, I made a bet for running along the train the longest.  I took it to such a level that my friends started shouting at me as they got worried whether I’ll be able to catch the train or not.

The night was not making me feel sleepy so I decided to finish a novel that was also borrowed from a friend whose name I can’t recall now. (yes, I am that bad with remembering names) Though I do remember the name of the book i.e. “love was not meant for me”. It was written by an engineer from Bihar. I wonder why engineers (like me) are more interested in writing and not doing the work for which they were supposed to get trained for 4 years.
Most people believe that we B.Tech. graduates are engineers just on paper as our mind has not been polished enough during college.

No matter what I say now, I don’t regret a single day, a single party or a single night out that I had with my friends. These experiences are gonna stay with me forever and gonna make me smile during the saddest moments that might (will) come.

Other than reading novel and playing cards, the time is being passed by the gadgets that we have. Playing games, browsing Facebook or just chatting with anonymous people takes preference when all the fellow travelers are asleep or busy with their own stuff.

Well, soup along with bread sticks has just been delivered to me even though I am sitting on someone else’s birth. So, I am going to continue this later. (probably)

Shan e punjab express-2497

(Punjabi University, Patiala, 20th August, 2010)

I got free from college well before the time that I expected, so I had enough time to pack my stuff. I had to take care of some task before leaving for Delhi, so I hurried up and got it done as soon as possible.

I saw my senior standing at the bus stop and decided to come back to him after parking my bike. We hailed an auto to “Rajpura” railway station where we met two more Delhites from my year. There was a long queue for buying tickets and none of us was willing to wait, so we talked to an aunt to buy the tickets for us by using the ladies queue. She was quite friendly and asked us about our college. I kept standing in the queue until it was made sure that the tickets have been bought correctly.

As there was still time for the train to come, we went outside the station and had some snacks. The other two guys had reserved their seats, so we had to take care of ourselves. Fortunately, we got the seats easily even though we were expecting a huge crowd as it was the Friday and festive season as well. We talked about college stuff and listened to songs on our respective music players. The time passed by very fast, and I didn’t realize that our train was running early. We reached the “Sabji Mandi” station in Delhi, 10 minutes before the scheduled time.

It’s really strange for Indian trains to reach before time, and I was lucky to have my father waiting for me there already.

Running away from TC!

After giving my viva for which I dressed formally as I was suppose to give a presentation(which never happened), I left for Delhi with my senior.

We took a bus to rajpura bypass, and from there we got into another bus going to delhi.

I recently came to know about the train called “malwa express” and wanted to try it, so I convinced my senior to get off the bus at ambala station.

Entering the station area, we soon realized that we have to wait in a long queue for the tickets. Any how, we finally got the tickets just on time after standing there for about 40 min as one of the guys in our queue allowed us to come in front as our train already arrived at the platform.
We were running like anything, climbing the stairs as fast as we could.
We asked the TC if he could allot us 2 seats, but got no response.
As there was no space in the general coach, we had to get in to a reserved coach. (even those were stuffed badly)
I was hanging outside the coach, with my foot, slightly balanced at the corner.
We got inside after a while and were being pushed and hustled continuously. I was worried about the digicam in my bag. I had to keep it aside, and a guy was almost sitting on the bag. So many people stepped on my foot a number of times, while crossing me.

Then, a lady got in to the train, shouting at everyone.
As soon as the train started moving she took out a booklet from her purse n started asking for our tickets, surprisingly she was the TC(ticket checker) in civil dress. When we showed her our tickets, she started yelling at us and asked for rs 330 each. I said, “I don’t have this much money with me. I was hoping to convince her by telling her that we were students going back home.
But she wasn’t listening to us at all, soon it became clear that she is not gonna leave us without taking those Rs. 330.

So, as soon as she started yelling at another man who was also without reservation, I grabbed my bag and we ran out of there.
After leaving that coach (all the coaches were connected), we waited for a while to analyze the situation.
Every time, when we saw her coming, we started running again.

Now the thing is that, the TCs always get in from both sides. Soon we saw another TC in front of us, this one had a police man with him. But we passed him easily as we walked with lowered heads. We had to cross 2 more coaches and the train was suppose to stop at delhi after 40 min, but due to non availability of signal it stopped at a small village called Ganaur. As the senior couldn’t grab his bag, we had to run along the train asking the passengers to through out his bag.
Any how, we got his bag.

Our tickets were taken by the TC, so we couldn’t take the risk of going out via main entrance therefore we jumped the fence and started walking. After walking for about 20 min, we realized that that highway is not near, I asked a man about the highway. (who was staring at us already due to our different clothes n style, my i-pod wire going from one pocket to another as there was no time for listening songs then) He told me that it was 3 km away, so we hired an autorikshaw and reached the highway.

Now all the buses kept going the other way. After a while, a DTC (delhi bus) came and we almost jumped in front of it to make it stop (DTC usually doesn’t stop at places other than its regular stops)

We got in to the bus and threw our bags on the seats taking a long breath of relief.

And guess what, the TC of bus started asking us “what are the rates from here to Delhi?”

He was giving away a ticket for Delhi from that village for the first time.
The senior said, “I am never gonna travel with you again” and we laughed about it.

P.S.=This was an unforgettable journey, which involved my encounter with a lady TC for the first time.