What’s your plan? - Travelogue (Nagpur to Bangalore) dt. 28th Sept 2013
This is my first try at writing a travelogue while traveling, just to give you a note of caution. I am reminding of the very same day last year, when I boarded my first international flight to Paris for my conference trip. It was a moment of sheer uncertainty I did not have the visa awarded and I was not sure about going for the conference trip. The same feeling was repeated today when I was all set to get on a train to Bangalore. My ticket status was held up at #1 waiting list and I went to the station with all hopes to return back, same as I did the very same day last year. That’s pure uncertainty!
Now waiting for the train to arrive at the station, I stood motionless with my dad, who came to see me off at the station. We have absolutely no thought of how we were going to get the ticket. Soon the train arrived and we headed to the ticket collector with hopes of getting an unclaimed seat. After a few talks, he agreed to give me a seat in the AC tier 2 coach if I paid the ticket difference, good isn’t it? But it wasn’t meant to be that easy! I had booked my ticket online and as per the regulations of the website, if the ticket doesn’t get confirmed, its stands cancelled and you get the refund amount. The worst part of the story was my friggin’ ticket couldn’t cross the W/L #1 status! Now the TT told me to get a general ticket from the booking window so he can give me an upgrade over that in the train. These words resulted me in sprinting to the booking office like a military trainee with a few kgs of weight on my back.
-The Booking Counter-
I forced myself between the crowds standing at the window and demanded for a ticket. The lady asked me for Rs. 1210 and I juggled between my bag, wallet and pocket to get out all the cash I had, simultaneously talking to dad about the train’s status. Again, this wasn’t supposed to be a simple task! The lady bluntly refused the cash I gave her as I didn’t have the Rs. 10 in change, and told me to head to another counter. By the time I reached the next counter, my father called telling the train had left, giving up, I walked back to the platform to carry the luggage out and look for more options. Painting a picture? Good. Don’t pity me yet.
There are three ways for man to travel from one point to another – Air, Land, Sea. The third stands cancelled in my case. The first, highly expensive, but I did consider it for a while. On land, I had more two options – Bus and Train. Now I spent some time at the station looking for trains which I could take for Bangalore. One option I’ve preferred is going via Hyderabad, and halting there for a day, which is a highly exhausting option. After deciding that train wasn’t an option, we left to get a bus ticket booked. At the travel agent’s office, he helped explore us various options as I had to reach on Monday (today is Saturday and Bangalore is 1400kms away) Even considering to travel by State Transport Bus was not a viable option since the timing was a big issue. By the time I inquired about the same, the guy pulled up a few leads and told me that one of the trains to Hyderabad, was 50 mins late and I could catch it.
-Back to the Rly St-
We headed to the booking counter again and I got a general ticket costing Rs. 165 for Hyderabad. Dad and me, headed to the platform where the next train, Patna-Secundrabad Express was about to arrive. We quenched our thirst with a chilled bottle of water and satisfied the tummy with a complementary (paid) biscuit packet. That was the moment we felt a bit relaxed! After about 20 mins the train arrived and we again got into search for the TTE. Since the train is a day train, it has few people traveling in it. The guy told that there are a few seats available and asked to me to sit in B4-18. Happy and heaving a sigh of relief both of us headed in the air conditioned coach and let out blood settle down.
A cool and newly furnished coach was abode for the next few hours and unexpectedly clean. I waved dad good bye and got myself a plate of food. I was so bloody hungry! Soon the train picked up speed and I did the same with my food. Satisfying the wanting stomach, I am spending time chatting with fellow passengers, a family, and enjoying the view though the glass.
*Part Two coming soon!*