Thursday, March 17th, 2011.
I dont know what you call this ... a coincidence... a bad sequence ... whatever..
But this is what happened with me today ....
Thursday Morning ... I was all excited to go home today afternoon for celebrating Holi with my family. Went in early in the morning to office ... and planned to leave at 1:00 P.M. to catch 3:25 P.M. train from Nizamuddin station.
Somehow I thought leaving office at 1:00 P.M. would be a bit too early so I decided to leave at 1:30. I didnt realized that was the start of my troubles for the day.
I calculated this would still give me more than enough time to reach station as it hardly takes 20-25 minutes to reach station through a Bus and hardly 8-10 mins to reach my home from office.
Everything was planned - I'll leave office by 1:30 - reach home by 1:40 - pick up the bags and leave for bus stand - hopefully would catch bus maximum by 2:00 or 2:10 - would reach station by 2:35 - have some masstt lunch at Comesum - and then acquire my seat in the train by 3:10 - train would depart at 3:25 as per the schedule.
(Well .. nothing actually happened as per the plan except the last part - that the train departed dot on 3:25 as per the schedule)
So all excited and all happy, I left office at 1:30 and reached home ... only to realize that I do not have my house keys !! Damn !! We have only 2 keys - 1 usually remains with me and the other one with my roomie. I carry it every single day - its just that I didnt carried it today - I thought never mind - my roomie's parents have just arrived 2 days back to spend some time with him .. so I thought they would be home. But NO, they were not!!
I thought okay .. no worries... I called up my roomie:
Me: Hey dude ... Shantanu here. Accha listen ... I forgot my keys today man .. and I have to catch a train in another 1.5 hours ... house is locked. Are your parents away somewhere?
Roomie: Ya, they've gone to Akshardham today !!
Me: (:-O Kat gaya .. !! shitt .. ) ohh .. okay .. when will they return?
Roomie: Evening 6 'O' clock
Me: (Damn !! ) oh no ... okay .. never mind .. I can go to Akshardham and collect the keys from them. I have my bike and its not that far. Can you please call them and check if they can come to the gate and hand me the key?
Roomie: Sure... give me 2 mins .. i'll call them and check .
... ... ... .........roomie rings back after 3 mins........ ... ...
Roomie: Dude ... I tried ... but their phone is coming switched off !!
Me: (:-O dumbstruck... now what do i do?? )
Roomie: I'll keep calling them and would let you know as soon as I contact them.
Me: Sure .. plz do .. Thanx !
Now as I stand there thinking what to be done, I started picturizing that for the first time ever I'll have to go home completely empty handed - not even my clothes (apart from those that I was wearing), laptop, no bags nothing at all.
Okay .... so a second thought with a cool mind gave me something. Right .. I'll call a key-maker home to get the keys done. I asked my society guard if I can find such a key-maker who'll come home with me and make the key and he said yes and he is nearby. I sighed a breath of relief.
Good, so I got this key-maker home with me who made the key within no time and I was happy. Finally, problem resolved I thought.... but wait.. really? Lets see.
I reached bus stand and waited there for almost 45 minutes before I made up my mind to accept the fact that not even a single bus for my destination turned up in the last 45 minutes and they aren't going to. I mean come-on .. this is not done .. this bus has a running frequency of every 10 minutes... how the hell can they not turn up for 45 minutes at one stretch ?? !! To make things worse, it was already 2:45. So I decided to take an auto.
Obviously, finding and settling an auto from Noida to Nizamuddin is not that easy. After few arguments, 1 auto wallah agreed to take me for Rs. 120. I was like ... 'Thank God! Now I'll reach there at the max by 3:05 - 3:10 (which was still okay since my train was supposed to depart at 3:25). I was finally relaxed.
"O Really ?? think again.. " life said to me and auto wala stopped at Delhi - Noida border. With each incident happening my irritation levels were reaching newer heights.
It turned out that there is some sort of cold war between Delhi & Noida auto wallahs werein they both cannot enter each other's territories. So what happened? Nothing much .. I was simply asked to shift to another auto which was okay... just the Bad Part was that the entire process of shifting and argument and rate setting between both auto - wallahs and getting another shared occupant in my auto took just another 12-15 mins. !! Damn man !! Ye sab aaj hi hona tha ??
This was the point when I accepted the fact that my day was actually going bad today and there is no hope for it getting any better. With this acceptance, I got prepared for worse things to come.
I finally reached station at 3:14 sharp and I rushed to the platform .. being a little relieved that I have another 11 minutes before the train leaves. Reaching platform hardly took a minute and there I was at at the platform at 3:15 !
I saw 2 trains standing on each side of the platform - both holding the boards "Nizamuddin - Jabalpur" ... I asked TTE standing near one of the trains .. "sir... ye Jhansi jaaney waali Gondwana hai? " he said " yes yes yehi hai " ... hearing this i was relaxed ... finally .. its 10 mins. before train leaves and I have arrived !! Nice & Sweet !
I started walking ahead to find where my B1 coach was. When I reached there I was a little surprised to see that it was locked... actually the entire train was locked from inside. It wasn't open till now. Moreover there were no reservation charts stuck on each bogie till now.
This was a little strange as the trains are usually open and ready with reservation charts on them around 25-30 mins. before departure. Anywayz .. I stood there waiting for the doors to open. I waited .. waited .. and waited as the clock ticked by... and started getting a bit worried now ... thinking "what might go wrong NOW ?? "
I noticed there were no announcements for my train getting delayed or something like that. "what the hell " I thought. "How can my train depart on exactly right time when even the doors are not yet opened till now ... and on top of it these guyz are not even announcing that it'll get delayed?? Idiots"
Just then a man appeared out of nowhere sticking reservation charts on each bogie of the train one-at-a-time. I looked into my watch and it was exactly 3:25 when the reservation chart was stuck on the bogie in front of me. I looked at it to find my name but couldn't find. SO I thought maybe I should look for another B1 bogie as Gondwana has 2 sets of trains combined in one. Before leaving for another B1 I looked at the top of the chart to confirm the train name and it said ... 'Mahakaushal Express' !!! :-O DAMN !!!!!! "Mahakaushal ??? Wherez Gondwana then ?? " with this running in mind I turned back and saw another train just leaving from the other side of the same platform ... its sign board read "Nizamuddin - Jabalpur = Gondwana Exp" !!!!!! "WHAT THE F*** " I said to myself .. and rushed towards it.
With laptop on shoulder and a big bag in hand while running alongwith that train I asked a person standing at the door of the moving train... "Jhansi .. Jhansi jaaney wali Gondwana yehi hai .. ?? Jhansi jaayegi na ?? " ... and the Uncle Jie at the door replied .. " haan haan yehi hai .. "
As I struggled to get onto the moving train which has obviously gathered quite a good amount of speed by now, Uncle Jie at the door stretched his hand towards me and helped me getting onto that speeding train .. " aa jaao beta aa jaao .. araam se .. ".
Finally .. I got onto the train ... and the very first thing I asked people after getting onto it was "Gondwana .. Jhansi jaayegi na ... pakka? " People looked at me with a slight surprise as they assured me that this was the one which goes to Jhansi ... but I couldn't help asking this again and again as I was so shocked with the series of incidents that happened to me since the start of the day today. :(
"Thank you Uncle Jie ... Thank you very much for helping me getting onto the train .. " I thanked that kind Uncle Ji who helped me get onto that running train.
I took a while to recollect myself and then started analysing the things.
I realized I had boarded A2 coach which was located towards the end of the train. I enquired the TTE present there about my coach and he said its located at the start of the train ... and there were almost 20 coaches in between. "Oh no ... not again .." I said... "anywayz .. I'll start walking slowly slowly ... thodi der mein pahunch jaaounga ... atleast train mein to chadd gaya".
With this statement I started walking when the TTE told me from behind ... "haan chaley jaao ... atleast aagey ke 6-8 coches to connected hain ... but uskey aagey band hai. Station pe gaadi rukegi to baaki utar ke cross kar lena." ... "What ?? " I said ... "the train is not connected uptill my coach?? "
TTE said "no .,.. there are 2 general coaches in between as a result of which there is this disconnection"
"All right .. and which is the immediate next station where I can change? " I asked.... and TTE replied " immediate next stoppage is Mathura... almost 2 - 2.5 hrs from now ... train won't stop anywhere before that !! " :( :(( :(((
What would have happened next is pretty much predictable. Yes .. I had to spend some 1 - 2 hrs. sitting in sleeper coach untill the train stopped somewhere on the outer where I got off and ran to my coach.
Later on when I thought of it, I realized, that incidentally the TTE (from whom I asked if that was the right train at the station) didn't heard me completely. He heard only the first part of my question - "Jhansi jaaney wali... " and ignored the second part of my question - ".. Gondwana yehi hai? " Thats why he guided me towards the wrong train... and both the trains had the destination station as 'Jabalpur' via 'Jhansi'... .which made things worse while adding to my belief that I was standing in front of the right train. :)
Now can anyone tell me ... what do you call all this? Just a series of bad co-incidences .. or someone did some bad spell on me for this day ... or is it something else ??
I dont know.... I was just happy to finally reach home to be with my parents ... and thankful for being fully alive and unharmed .. and in 1 piece with all my luggage.