hello world-4

Going through the archives I noticed that the pattern that I have followed is JAJ….June, August and January….so, I decided not to break it and have added another A to it…April! Ok, I agree that I am lazy….so, without further wasting your precious time let me jump into the action……..!!

So, as the train chugged along slowly, time seemed to take a break. Seconds turned to minutes and minutes to hours. Everything seemed so strange that I forgot why I was actually travelling! There were BSF posts along the way to guard the route. There were tunnels, the longest above 2km. At around six in the evening we reached the border of Assam and most of the passengers got down. The coach bore a deserted look. People did see me as an alien as I called home for the last time before entering Assam, yes; the SIM cards of Tripura don’t function in Assam, in fact cards of one state don’t function in another in the north east. So, I finally entered Assam with a defunct SIM, a mobile which didn’t support any feature other than making a call, an empty stomach and a journey which showed no signs of ending any time soon. So as the sun ended its day at the office, and the moon seemed too lazy to come out, darkness engulfed the panorama. It was pitch black outside and the coach was lit up by 100W bulbs!! And the problem of low voltage exists even in trains! The guy travelling with me was having his birthday and handed me the job of looking over the luggage and slept like a sloth. I started to chat with a fellow passenger to keep my spirits high. Couldn’t see any light outside for a long time. I remember one halt that the train took, for about one and a half hour, near a small village. The lights and fans (yes, a few of them were working) in the coaches went off. Exhausted, I was half asleep and half awake, hitting myself trying to kill mosquitoes which were making life all the more miserable. These must be the only creatures which are overjoyed when the census count is released! And the birthday boy seemed impervious to everything! At around 10p.m. we reached a station where I could see hawkers and they looked no less than God sent angels to me. Woke my friend up so that he too could fill up his belly and he did get up. No sooner than did the train start, I turned to tell him that it was my turn to take a nap, he was already snoring!! You must be wondering why we were so concerned about our luggage, well; we were carrying the most valuable things we had earned until then, our 10th and 12th class certificates!!

So after a long journey the train did reach Badarpur well past mid night. 300kms in eleven hours, an unforgettable train journey, and I was yet to reach Silchar. The station was chock-full.  I searched for a waiting room in vain. Enquired about means to reach Silchar, bus and train were the alternatives. We already had enough of train, so decided to go by bus. The first bus to Silchar would start at six in the morning. So, we decided to spend the remaining hours at the station. The platforms were full of people sleeping. There was hardly any place left. We spread a bed sheet on the floor and before I could arrange the luggage he slept off!! I tried to wake him up, but it of no use. Whatever dream he was having, must have been too good! Really, how did Gandhiji win by following non-violence?! Angry, drowsy, I hoped that the few hours would pass soon. But, it was like time had become too old even to walk. Mosquitoes arrived to receive and greet me when I had no intentions of being welcomed by them. I tried everything from shaking my head and legs to taking a walk, nothing seemed to work. It was the first time after the study hours in boarding college during intermediate that I was facing the problem of not being able to sleep when I badly wanted to, plus the mosquitoes. Started to talk to a guy who I think was facing similar problem; he was a native of the place and was into the business of selling Chinese mobiles. I asked him why he had chosen the rail route when it was so difficult and he told me that though they had to wait for long hours, travelling by train was the best choice because it would save time in journey and was very economical. He told me that he could reach the place within a day by rail where as it would take him more than 2 days by bus plus the extra bucks, and he simply couldn’t afford it. I got to know a lot of things from him, hats off to people who over come so many hardships to make a living and he seemed happy, that’s what life is all about, right?! Finding joy in whatever you do. Anyways, it started to rain at around four in the morning; it wouldn’t have mattered much but the shape of the platform was such that the rain water reaching the platform, instead of falling onto the tracks was flowing back. So the water woke up people from their deep sleep, everyone started to pick up their spreads from the floor.  But strangely water eluded my dear friend. I gave up, even God was with him!!

So, the rain stopped, the sun rose from the east, it always does so, and what seemed to be a never ending adventurous night finally did end. We started from the station at dawn; the bus station wasn’t far away. We boarded the first bus to Silchar, it took us one hour to reach our destination, and during the journey I slept like I had never before, mosquitoes and certificates didn’t bother me this time……….

So, let me put this episode to sleep. If it has brought a smile to your face, then I am doing well enough. 🙂 As always comments and suggestions are more than welcome. In fact I would be more than happy if you drop a few words. So-long until the next J, it’s only a month away………………