Window seat. Blazing weather. Senior citizens as co-passengers. Non-billing hours.
These things can generally make anyone randomly stare through the train windows and go down their memory lane before realising what a waste of time that it is.
Today – July 13, 2013. Mumbai – Nanded. Tapovan Express.
While spending most of my time counting number of buffaloes the train had crossed, for a short span of time – when no buffaloes were found – I went through my memory lane too. I plead guilty.
I always believed that, I have a deep & meaningful relationship with trains. I don’t, though. But for sure, I have train load of memories about trains.
Some of them are too good to be blogged. Some of them are not. Here is one of those memories.
KOLLAM – MADURAI PASSENGER
Almost for two months (if I remember correctly, between May and June, 2003), I was attending coaching classes in Madurai for Tamilnadu law entrance exam. Cruelly, classes started at 8 in the morning.
For a 45-minutes journey from my hometown (Virudhunagar) to Madurai, I was taking Kollam-Madurai passenger which leaves at 4 am. YES, FOUR FUDGING A.M.
Three main reasons why I was taking such an early train:
(i) I wanted to study like anything, score rank one in the entrance exam, become a sincere lawyer, then an IAS officer and serve the country till I die.
(ii) The next train for Madurai was only at 8 am.
(iii) I HATE BUSES.
Actually, its only the third.
Though the schedule time was 4, it never reached at 4. If early, anytime between 5 and 5.30.
Impressed with my kollam experience and hard working nature, two of my friends studying in the same coaching centre wanted to join me that particular day.
That particular day.
They reached the station at 4.10. I reached at 4.20. No trace of a train, yet. Also no any trace of passengers in the platform. I cursed myself for reaching so early.
We thought of taking out our books and reading. But, sensibly settled down to discuss recently released Tamil movies.
5.30 – No trace of a train. Strangely, no announcement also.
5.40 – I started feeling hungry.
5.41 – We all opened our tiffin boxes and started eating.
6.00 – Still no train.
6.15 – Doubt in my mind. I didn’t tell them.
6.30 – I went to enquiry room – just to find out that train reached at 3.50 and departed at 4.
Well done, Southern Railways.
[P.S. No.1 – Luckily, those two friends didn’t clear the entrance exam and they went on to do something other than law. And, I happened to clear it with 4th ranking in the state.
P.S. No.2 – Their tiffin tasted better than mine.]