Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Travel Travails!

Its been seven..no wait..eight years since I left home. No, I wasn't chucked out due to some misdeed (as most of my friends would like to presume). Higher studies beckoned. So, ever since then, I have been travelling on my own. Patna to Pune, Bombay, Mysore, Bangalore, Goa etc. etc. The list is long. I should've championed the cause of 'travelling safely' by now! But no, everytime I end up in a bigger mess than before. 

Let bygones be bygones (or whatever that phrase is). I wouldn't bore you with my earlier escapades, although the one time that I missed my train and took a taxi at one in the morning to follow the train is definitely worth a mention. :P So, this one is about my train journey from Delhi to Patna - 30th March 2009.

So, the plan was to reach Delhi at 6 in the morning, get done with my scheduled meeting by 1 pm, leave hostel by 3:15pm and catch my train Garib Rath at 4:50 pm. Seemed easy enough to execute, till things started going horribly wrong. 

7:00 - 10:00 am - I slept. Three precious hours that should've been used for packing. But God knows how much I've missed out on sleeping this entire sem, so found no good reason to stay awake and thus, slept like a child. 

10:30 am  - Called the grand old man, only to be informed that meeting begins at two. Thanked my stars, and started packing. 

1:00 pm - Done with packing. Finished some last minute errands.

1:45 pm - I call up a friend and ask him to find out which station my train leaves from. The diligent reply is New Delhi station at 4:50pm.

2:00 pm -  Meeting begins. Some mind boggling discussion ensues. I keep pointing out that I have a train at 4:50 pm. But the issue at hand seemed to be more important than such mundane things like catching a train. I start checking my watch frantically by 3:30 pm. I could see KT outside making weird gestures which all meant 'Hurry up'!

3:40 pm - I run out, KT offers a lift to the station. So we dumped a truckload of luggage  in the car, and rush to NDLS. Now this is the best (or the worst) bit. We almost reached station and I take out my ticket to check my seat number. To my utter horror, the train leaves from Nizamuddin. So, there goes Garib Rath! Right on time, but without me in it!

So, I got my ticket done for Magadh Express which leaves NDLS at 8 pm. I would still reach Patna at 11:30 am next day. Not bad, I thought. So, we went to CP via the Metro. I got to ride the Delhi Metro for the very first time (yes, you can sense the elation :) ). Met up with Daddu and Sweetu there, relaxed and went back to station at 7:30 pm. 

Thought that was the end of it. I will board the train and rest in peace. But as luck would have it, the train was rescheduled for 00:50 hours. With a ton of luggage and jobless for the next 5 hours, even the optimist in me was stumped. KT and Daddu had to go home. And being stranded all by myself on a Delhi platform wasn't my idea of joy. 

So, Sweetu came to the rescue. Her place was 15 minutes away, and uncle said he would drop me later in the night. KT and I took elaborate directions, just to go round in circles and got lost thrice in the process! Finally, did manage to reach her place after an hour, had ghar ka khana, followed by a good two hours of priceless gossip and future planning. 

I boarded the train at 00:45 hours. I was finally on my way home!

Lessons learnt - 

1. Always check your ticket yourself!

2. My friends are the bestest in this whole wide world (I did know this one already)

3. When things have to go wrong, they will go wrong. But, even the worst days pass eventually.

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