'Jumping a road divider, squirming through speeding vehicle, cursing railways for putting the very train in last platform and making me run that entire length like a 100m dash of life, screaming at the porter for not catching up with speed at which I am running and finally making into a running train' - this is neither a script of any movie nor a heroic story of a passerby. Above all, I always thought that such things can happen only in films (filmy eshtyle: father and son chatting all the issue on the globe, and only as the train starts moving, father runs the entire platform to handover the ticket that was kept inside his pocket) or in dream or after marriage (if so fortunate!). Surprisingly, this came a package to me on 13th August 2008, seeking all experience, energy and mind, and finally to keep my track record still straight and clean; I have never missed a train.
My supervisor is known for packing, not the luggage but persons. He seemed to be well experienced in putting frogs into weighing pan!! Five of us, Amit Yadav, Rao, Ray and Vishnu were forced to fit into an Ambassador, with all our luggage (at least 2 for each). Poor car, it looked as though it was directly taken from ICCU and ready give its last breath on the way. Interestingly, the driver too looked the same to me. A 60+ man in his all white uniform, putting all his energy to show that he too can survive in Bangalore. The way in which he was struggling to putting our luggage in the dickey, we joined our hands to help him out. Finally, we started off, towards railway station.
The car was so emotional, I think it had sixth sense and very well knew that this will be the last trip, that it did not want to go out of the campus. To me, this journey appeared as a battle between two senile elephants, not for selecting a mate, but to know who will die first. As the elderly man wanted to change the gear, the car never accepted it at the first instance, it protested violently (as though some has pinched the bottom), shook the body, almost ready to stop and say 'I am dead'. Evenly poised and reluctant was the driver, he also wanted to prove a point or two. So he used to bring down the gear and push the gear up twice, amidst these protests, the car finally accepted gear number two, as though she has to chose good among the drunkards. I was feeling that we were having an evening walk in the car along the busy streets of Bangalore.
With all these scenes, we managed to come up to the main entrance of the railway station, but were supposed to take a roundabout to reach the railway station. There was a huge traffic and driver was telling us it would take another 30 minutes to clear. At this point of time, it was 8:14pm according to Station time board and Rajdhani was supposed to leave at 8:20pm. In another, 4 minutes, the car moved only 4 feet. So we took a decision, to jump out of the car, jump the road divider and ram into the railway station. Ray, Rao, Amit and Vishnu picked up their luggage, and I was about to do the same, the driver came hurriedly and said, "sir please put your signature, otherwise I will not get the money". I was about to shout at that fellow, instead put my signature and did all other things in a filmy style. Only thing was a heroine missing to accompany me!
Strange feelings started pouring in my mind, as I started running through the platform, I felt as though I am running for my life, if I miss this train, I may not live? or how to get it canceled and book another train? above all how, to face the Supervisor? Can he make out this situation? or for at least today, can the train start a bit late (as it happens with other trains!)? These few minutes were really tough, not because it drains physical energy, but drains my mind too, which is far more strenuous to me than running a mile.
With all push, pull, struggle, jiggle and a bit of scolding too, I managed to reach the guard's cabin, which has already started moving. I asked him, Can I put my luggage here and will pick it up in the next station? His experience is more than my qualification is, in a calm but strong voice, he said, some one has pulled the chain, so get into the cabin to which you belong, train will take another 5minutes to start!!!
Finally, five of us put our luggage into a bogie and stood for a minute or two to take our breathe and Rajdhani started moving. Did our hi fives, shook hands, congratulated each other, saying we made it. It was a sigh of relief, more for not giving reasons, how we missed train! I took out tickets and inquired with a pantry car fellow, with his answer I was about to faint! We landed in B1 and were supposed to go to B9! that means we have another mile to walk within train with all our luggage on! Incredible India and Incredible Indians.