Trains have always been a source of fascination! How do they move from one track to the other without jumping out? How do so many trains travel on the same track but different directions and still manage to stay clear of going kaboom? The whole Indian railways is a world wonder, just for the sheer size and volume of the rail system! My love for trains began with the famous cutlet, there was something special in the cutlet you get in trains! I don’t know if it was because the potatoes were mashed on the floor by bare footed cooks by feet in the oily dirty pantry car or because it was fried potato and the only deep fried item other than the vada on these long journey!
I regularly go to sabarimala, but the travel has generally been normal with no crazy ass bloggable adventures, but the one I am still on (yes I’m blogging from the kerala express enroute coimbatore) although not bat shit crazy, it’s got a few first times for me. I finished the whole pilgrimage from kottayam to Pamba by cab and then by foot to sabarimala and back to kottayam. I’m waiting at the railway station, half sleepy in this very noisy station. All I remember is that my train the one that goes from trivandrum to new Delhi.
I buy myself a copy of digit, start reading it to stay awake, it works pretty well except I’m not listening to the announcements. A train chugs into the station, u suddenly look towards to train and see the board reading Trivandrum to New Delhi and back. My train was scheduled to arrive at 2:05, the time right now was 2:05! I was surprised the train was on time in a state where well it never comes on time! I take my bags along, my uncle follows and we realise the train is moving in the wrong direction as it came to a screeching halt. We thought the travel made us get mixed up with directions and proceeded to enter the train. In kerala I believe it is normal for reserved coaches between trivandrum and cochin to be used as passenger trains, in other words like a local train where any number of people can jump in and squeeze the life out of everyone. We got in, S9 coach check, seat numbers 65 and 66 check! Phew, but wait there was someone on our seats already! To be honest, there were 6 people sitting on a seat that was meant for 3. Yeah, this is cool, I now have to drive out 6 people to reclaim my seats. I ask the ladies in a cool and calm manner, to get up and give us our seats as this is a reserved compartment. They go on and act like they can’t hear us, one of the guys there starts talking in Hindi asking what I want! I said in my Butler Hindi,
Yeh hamara seat hain, anghhhhhh (captain style)
My uncle by then asks someone if this is the kerala express, that guy said yes. Is it going to coimbatore? Umm, no this is going towards trivandrum! Holy shit, we were in the wrong train, actually wait right train but wrong direction! The train was already moving out of the station, and we decided to jump out. My uncle seems to have done this before and he jumps out all pro like. I go to the door and my legs freeze, I’ve never done this before! What am I supposed to do now? Like just jump and sit on my butt? Or fly away as far as I can from the train? The platform was going to end and the train was pretty fast now, I had to think quick but act faster! So I acted, yes like a fool, and jumped and landed on two legs, surprisingly I did not fall. There is a cop left next to me! I was like Erm
He gave me a disgusted look and asked me if I was deaf and couldn’t hear the announcements about the train! He said the following in malayalam
This is the trivandrum bound train, it is 3 hours late! Your train is at 2:05, (I was like gotcha, now what will you scold me for, but here goes) have you ever seen trains come on time? Fool, go and sit there, your train is 30 minutes late!
I was like, whaaaattt? (the way Phil Dunphy from modern family says it), and then meekly ran to the nearest bench and sat down to a bunch of guys laughing at me. It’s cool, I now know that even if the train start and end locations are the same and it is at your platform at the scheduled time it Is not your train! This reminds me of the following
All that you hear and all that you see are false.
My uncle and I shared a good laugh, then we had some coffee and sat down for the right train to come. The train finally came, we checked it was indeed the train to get into and finally got in.
Empty Seat? No sir, there is a freaking family tree here! My seat? Lol they said,
Are you an idiot to get into a train with a confirmed ticket and expect a seat?
They gave me and my uncle our seats but people crammed in on the remaining space and eventually squishing us too. My uncle and I could do nothing more than laugh at our situation. The guys around have been good though, no fuss, and they are not making noise either, giving me space to think clearly and blog in a moving train. The first time I’ve done that! On a positive note, I shall not be thankful for every train journey I have with a berth that is mine and only mine!
So what did I learn today?
1) my uncle has jumped from a moving train before this
2) I am lucky i did not break my teeth when I jumped onto the platform like I was catching the golden snitch.
3) how to blog from a train