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In winters of 07 , month of Jan, I was waiting for Gomti Express at Kanpur Station, which was scheduled to come there at 6:50 am.

“Gomti Express is running late by 1.5 hours, we are very sorry for inconvenience” – announcement  was made. In a chilling morning, where there was all fog, and we didn’t have the visibility of even more than 50 m , hearing such announcements killed everyone of us standing there. They should not only be sorry but also should have paid us half of our ticket money back. But then Gomti had this fame of running late, I cursed myself  for reserving ticket in this train.

“Due to some heavy fog in between ,Gomti Express is running late by 7 hrs, we are  very sorry your  inconvenience”

“what the hell, we should this be done to me only” I thought, as if I was the only one there. So I decided to go back home, and then come there after 7hrs, around 1pm.

Any ways , the almighty Gomti express finally arrived at station at 1:30 pm.  “That’s not too bad” I thought , consoling myself  “I will be arriving my home by 7 or 8 pm, not too bad, its already a bit of  sunshine in the sky at this part of time ”.

After 3 hours of run, the so called Gomti Express, reached near to Phaphoond, a small place near Itawa. And all I could think was why this was called Express, it is even worse than passenger trains.

Suddenly, we heard sound of metal churning against each other, with a sudden jerk ahead. What it meant? It meant, that someone had pulled the chain, applying emergency breaks. I looked outside the window, dozens of men were leaving the train , going into the nearby paddy fields.

“Polytechnic guyz, they always do this, it their village across these paddy fields” said, the old men sitting in front of me. My first response was-“were they  some students?..they were complete men, what kind of polytechnic college do they go, elderly?”. However my second response was the one which I believe is necessary for transformation of this country –“How could someone do this, these people should be put behind the bars and thousand bamboo sticks should kiss their ass”.

“This is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s election constituency” said Mr. AllKnowing sitting in front of me.

“Mulayam Singh Yadav,the man, who hired one lack Yadavs in UP police, like building his own army” I thought and immediately  took my second suggestion back.

Even after 6:00 pm , we  travelled  hardly 50-60 kms  ahead of Itawa.  Thanks to half a dozen chain pulling and the mess up created by all the trains running late. They said that Gomti was giving passes to other trains running late. Now I knew that this train deserved to be enlisted along with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, what a big heart, was giving passes to all other trains. And I saw a few passenger trains also passing by it, I  swear to god, I felt like jumping on the track and killing myself. How could people paying not even half of the money that I paid, got the privilege to travel  faster than me, how in a priority list, they come ahead of me?. Anyways, its Indian Rail.

9:00 pm in the night , and we were just half  the distance form Ghaziabad. And I m not trying to scare you , but It was a real hell there, in the train and outside too. I can’t tell you  exactly where the train was , because outside there was absolutely no visibility, not even 5-10 m, and the train had been standing there for last 1.5 hrs or so. I walked outside to see the situation, out of frustration, and all I saw was whiteness, as if we were drowned in some pond of milk. I couldn’t blame it on driver, because if I  could not walk out there for more than 2-3 steps, how could he run a train. And adding to pain, was hunger. There was no pantry nothing in the train. I was  too hungry, and same was the situation of many small children inside the train. Only difference was that I was not crying. The entire Train was echoing with the sound of numerous children crying, I can’t tell you how I felt, like in hell. I reached out for my mobile phone….no signals. “Thank you god” I screamed inside my frustrated mind, and thought God would have replied “ur welcome son!”. And then there started a sudden cold breeze. I thought this would wipe out the fog, and we could move ahead. But, hey, I was in hell that day, u remember?. Instead of wiping out fog, that breeze started to chill my bones. “Well, Mr.Superman, u did not carry a blanket, now get your ass kicked by breeze ”I scolded myself, when all my scientific logics failed to tell me why the hell did the wind not wipe out this shitty fog.  Suddenly the train started moving. Ahh…what I felt at that moment was like I got Nirvana. I wanted to tell the driver that moment a thanks for saving my life.  I wanted him to be awarded as “Life saving Hero” from President of India. With a few small stoppages, this time the train moved with a consistent and marvelous speed of around 20 miles per hr. And I was happy, in between a lot screaming children, who I thought had saved their energies and screaming for this day only and  with an empty stomach, who was consolidated by my brain, after my eyes sent my brain the signal of train moving ahead towards home. All I had to do, was to keep breathing, as was well said In the movie ‘Cast Away’, so that I could reach my home alive.

It was 4:00 am in the morning, we were in Khurja, means near to Gzb. I my functionally dead mobile gave me surprise by ringing the message tone, means it had got network signals. I called my home, and asked them to  come to station to receive me, and to bring a blanket if they could not carry a fire burner in the car, to give my frozen bones some heat. And finally at 6:00 am we arrived Gzb, home sweet home, alive after fighting almost around 24 hours with cold and fog. At the station the Chaiwaala smiled at me, and I could not avoid taking my legs to his stall. A cup of hot tea, at 6 am , in a foggy morning, after a journey which crippled me mentally, was the real taste of life. And then I knew, why it is better to cancel the trains, then running them in such situation. So I support the decision of Indian rail, every time they cancel a train, as now  know they save thousands of lives by doing this.

 

 

 

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