Last Wednesday I had to head down to Chennai along with the parents all of a sudden due to a minor family emergency. Thankfully everything got sorted out soon after we reached sister’s place. As S couldn’t join us on this impromptu trip, it was totally different for me – being on my own after more than two years. I loved loved loved all the time I got to spend with the sister – after what seems like ages. We did all the fun stuff – cooked our favorite food, went for shopping and some more shopping, had nonstop chatter and everything.
I was so guilty not being able to meet the in-laws. With everything planned very urgently, there was literally no time at all. More than going for anything else, I had to accompany the parents as they would be clueless on Bangalore roads. Checking for tickets, packing everything in a rush, with less than 30 mins left for the last morning bus, S booked the tickets for a sleeper bus – yes yes during the day 😀 The travel that started at 9.30 in the morning continued until 7 in the evening. I almost forgot about my train and bus journeys in these couple of years, what with the luxury of travelling in the car. We don’t have to as such pack anything. There have been times, we have thrown everything into the back seats of our car, travelled as and when we liked. Since I was travelling back alone, the parents were concerned and as everything conspires against me during my journeys, it was raining heavily that day. Only saving grace was that I had a train ticket – truly lucky to have booked it in the tatkal quota especially during the long weekend amidst a number of network issues on top of irctc issues. Also with all our car journeys, I almost forgot how stupid your co-passengers could be at times.
During our onward journey to Chennai, we all had upper berths in the bus and soon after we boarded the bus – amma climbed on to our berths. It was a big feat getting amma settled safely what with the bus running crazily. There came a couple, who claimed that they had the same berths as ours. I showed them my ticket confirmation and yet, they were not ready to take the issue with the bus service people. Amma was tensed, having to get down soon after she boarded the berth. This couple came back and told me that the driver had allocated them these berths as their numbers were not found. That’s when I totally lost it. How could they do it? I walked angrily to the driver who was still sorting out other passengers and showed my ticket. He confirmed my ticket as if nothing happened. So much for my anger. I came back to these people to tell that our seats are confirmed. Now they were panicking and after multiple enquiries, they got to know that their seats were the lower berths. Ha! How educated to have booked lower berths and bug the upper berth people to vacate?!
During my return trip in the train, I was probably the first passenger to board my compartment. It was already 10.30 in the night and I had cross checked my name against the chart. There comes a man with a whole lot of luggage and demands that I am sleeping in his lower berth. I told him that my berth number is 44 and that I am in the right berth. With a very cool attitude, he replies back – “let 44 be your berth, but this is mine where you are sleeping”. You wouldn’t believe the number of times we had the same discussion. Frustrated, I asked him his berth number. Again, with a cool attitude, he says 49. Ha! My coupe had berths numbered only until 48. I explain the same to him very patiently. But this guy asks me to get up and shows me 46, says that it’s 49. *crie* How do I explain him that it’s 46 and not 49? Somehow I send him to the next coupe saying that 49 is the lower berth over there. He even tells me a sorry and asks me to go back to sleep. In the next couple of minutes, he comes back again and claims that I am sleeping in his berth and that there is no 49 on the other side. As per him, he could only see a 50 and that’s why, 49 has to be the berth I was sleeping in. How logical! I was super irritated, got up and rushed him to his berth and showed him 49, but not before there was an argument. Funny how I end up in such situations. He could have asked me to help him or checked with me politely, NO. More than anything, it’s that tone he used bugged me to no end. The rest of the train journey was as amusing as this one.
When I got down finally, S was waiting for me – so early in the morning. Hardly expecting him to be awake so early, I was so excited and surprised finding him there. Definitely feels good to see one known face amidst the strangers.