Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Missed the train by a minute

I have heard of the saying "If you want to know the value of a minute ask a person who has missed a train by a minute".

And that came true to me yesterday..

I was retruning from Bombay back to Hyderabad. Had a confirmed ticket on 1019 Konark Express boarding from Kalyan at 4.05 pm. My parents stay at Hiranandani Gardens and the nearest local train station is Kanjur Marg. So as usual I reached Kanjur station at 2.46 (yes, in Bombay train-life this to-the-minute precision is needed when you say the time).

As soon I got into the platform, there was already a train for kalyan(2.46 train). I could see the driver whistle and decided to leave this train as there was not enough time for me to get inside with my bag. I could have managed to get into, but I thought anyway there will be train in next 5 minutes, and it takes only 35 minutes to reach kalyan, So why take risk?

That local train to kalyan left at 2.46. Was glancing at the digital display which immediately shows the next train time, which I expected to be some time within the next 10 minutes. Thats how it works in Bombay.

But it did not show any time for the next 2-3 minutes. Then came an announcement "Due to some technical reasons 2.56 local for Ambarnath, 3.03 local for Asalgoan are cancelled." Both these trains go to Kalyan. Gone Me.. I thought.

Then I could see the next train in the sign board. It said 3.12 local for Kalyan. Then I started calculating. 3.12 + max 40 minutes, which means I would reach Kalyan by 3.52. Still have another 13 minutes for my train...

Time passed and it was 3.08pm. And I could hear the next announcement "The 3.12 local for Kalyan is running late by 15-20 minutes and is extended till Asalgoan"!!!

GONE.... I THOUGHT... And if there are no trains in Bombay for 30 minutes you cant even imagine of getting into the next train.. If you are not a experienced-regular goer. I cant even imagine of going in an auto as that would defenitely take more than an hour and have to change 2-3 autos. I was in Bombay district and have to cross Thane district to reach Kalyan district.

Finally the train came at 3.30. The crowd was a must-see. It was awesome. For a second, the only thing I could think was "Where the hell are so many people going on a Sunday afternoon, and that too when an India-Pakistan match is going on?"

I somehow managed to insert one of my legs into the train and get a place to hold my one hand to. I also managed to lend my foot (the foot which was inside the train) to another guy so that he could keep his one foot onto mine and thereby find a place into the train.

I dont know what happened the next 40 minutes. Probably there were too many things going through my little mind. Apart from the thoughts of missing my train, there were much serious issues to think off, during that 40 minute journey. Issues like the possibilities of a stampede in that too-over crowded local.

Finally I reached Kalyan at 4.15 and I could see my Hyderabad train's last bogie leaving the station. And Iam not Shahrukh Khan or Salman Khan to run, jump, fly and catch that train. So had to see my train go without me..
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Anonymous said...

good one. likes the closing lines. had good laugh.

moral :
should either be a sharukh, or start from your place atleast 120 min (precise) before your train departure (in bombay).

Thanu said...

so agree with surya...

I guess u'll never be alte again