Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's one of those days.

There are certain days that are ordained to become a painful experience for a variety of reasons. For me, today was such a day - yet another Sunday that was wasted on a railway platform!

The day had begun at 4, I'd gone through the chores while systematically shutting down 'The Quarterdeck'. Anto was at the gate, on the dot, at 6. It was raining, almost continuously, till 4 earlier and my opening lines of the day were addressed to God as to whether my journey was going to get a wet burial thanks to the deluge. As if on cue and giving me the impression that He's begun to listen to me, the rains came to an abrupt halt and the sun had also become visible, subsequently!

The passenger train to Ernakulam at 0640 hrs had left the station on time and within 20 mts, I was at Thrissur, well in time for my onward train that was scheduled to arrive at 0837 hrs. It was when I'd gone to check about the position of the coach from the engine, that the youngster, at the counter, rather seriously told me that the train was three hours late. Well, I didn't know what to do initially but had put to good use the abundant time that was suddenly available to me at my disposal! Had replied all my pending mail and must admit that my laptop came in handy to tide over the situation.

The train, finally, fetched up at 1325 hrs when I'd almost come to the feeling that I might not leave Thrissur at all, meaning, I'd started thinking in the negative! Looking back in hindsight at the long wait, I wonder as to why I wasn't proactive......was it the thought that there was no tearing hurry to reach Thiruvananthapuram that prevented me from cancelling the ticket, collecting the full refund and buying an alternate ticket on any other south bound train - and there were four of them. (But I must concede that I'd come to know of this alternative from Maman, after reaching Kochuveli). I need to buck up on this score. 

It was 1930 hrs when the train had finally fetched up at its destination. Maman, ammayi and Manu were there to receive me. They'd come by after looking up Suresh who's in a bad shape! After a light dinner outside, we're at Maman's place before 10 and after a bit of conversation, it was a comparatively early pipe down.


My experience of the Chandigarh - Kochuveli Sampark Kranti Express has not been good. Its late coming was attributed to the delay that's caused by the requirement of slowing down of all trains on the Konkan stretch, during the monsoons. The coaches were filthy and unclean, the staff attending the passengers uncouth and the pantry car wasn't catering to the passengers' needs - for example, there was no call for evening tea which was a surprising omission. Despite the minister, Suresh Prabhu's earnest efforts, the attitude of the staff on board needs change.



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