Have you ever felt like getting down from an auto and start running or even telling the local train driver to be fast enough so that you could catch your connecting train or flight.
Just in time travel tales – Just on time dimsoms !
- The first of such instances was while I was doing my MBA and my family used to stay in Bhopal. I was to catch a train from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kurla at 10.45 pm for Bhopal. My luck, that very day and time someone decided to commit suicide under my local train which was to take me to Tilak Nagar, only 5 min away from the terminus. I was with my friends Prashant, Venu &Preetam who had come to drop me. Even though we had started pretty well in advance, my weak actuarial capabilities didn’t account for such delays. I wish I could just fly, 10.30 pm and I was still stuck. I probably reached local station Tilak nagar only at 10.45pm and from there we could see my train on the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, just about to leave. Heard the siren and we started to run… run to the best of our management abilities. My bag being passed on from one superman to another, while we ran holding hands and breaths across the length and breadth of the crowd at the station.
Yep, I finally did board the train… .. what do you think, why do movies like DDLJ work even after decades, they are all inspired by realism. Thankfully as soon as I stepped on to the last compartment, then only the train picked up the speed.
- Another time, also in Mumbai and the destination – Bangalore. It was 2002 and I had been for a two months OJT(on the job training) at Andheri branch for ING Bank. Was staying in Bank flats at Bhandup along with my friend Deaa. My chit chat quota never ends with Deaa so even the night before my travel, I slept late. The alarm didn’t work and I woke up only an hour before the train time. The train was to start from CST(Chatrapati shivaji terminal) at 8.05 am. In utter confusion and madness I chose to take a taxi from Bhandup to CST. I was the back seat driver, driving faster than the driver all the way and repeating every sec ‘Bhaiya aur fast please’. Would have been impossible but that morning of 2002 was not that crowded and I did reach the CST station on time. As soon as my anxiety settled down, I realized that the same train also stopped at Kalyan. First CST, then Dadar and then Kalyan at 9am. Kalyan, just 30 minutes from Bhandup. And I had come all the way riding in the opposite direction upto CST taking a few breaths and skipping a few. Anyways.….guess all is fair in the humdrum of life.
- My Marriage too was no short of adventure. The day I was supposed to reach Udaipur for the function to commence, I was in tears calling Sudeep and telling him that I was still at B’lore airport and it was impossible for me to make it to my own wedding. Due to air-conditioning problem my flight was cancelled, and I had already missed my connecting flight for Udaipur. And in addition, due to some seminar inBangalore, the airport was flooded with humanity, all flights were full and people were buzzing around the ticket counters for Mumbai ticket. I don’t remember what did Sudeep say or who had more faith but I decided to run from pillar to post. Finally an Indian Airlines senior officer screamed at others who were showing their ID cards to prove their urgency,’ Please understand, this girl has to attend her own wedding, I’ve to give a seat to her.’
Grrrrrrr … am married courtesy Indian Airlines’ policies 🙂 The travel adventure anxiety not just doubled but multiplied by leaps and bounds post marriage.
- Last December during my trip to Gujrat, the day I was to return back home in Bangalore along with my kid, Mum and friend, I chose to shop in Ahmedabad before my flight. We kept our bags in the cloak room of train station and ventured into the shopping bylanes of Ahmedabad. Plan was to shop, then eat at Bikanerwalla, come to the station, collect luggage and then go to the airport which was 30 min from the station. Had 4 hrs in hand, flight was at 5 pm. Till 2.45 we kept shopping, finished lunch at 3.30 and then started back. Unlike the onward journey on Ahmedabad roads, the return reminded me of Bangalore office hours on roads. Tension started building up, all of us looking at the traffic and praying desperately. Had already spent so much unnecessarily that I couldn’t afford to miss my flight. Reached train station somehow, collected the luggage and since time was so little at hand, instead of praying that I should be on time at the airport, I thought God may find it easier to delay the Ahmedabad – Bangalore flight. 2 Autos, lots of luggage and my son who has to sleep in every moving vehicle irrespective of the situation. Wanted to get out of the auto and start running, the auto driver just wasn’t able to drive at the speed of my ‘if and then‘ thoughts. Reached airport… ran with my son, mum and luggage for the check in. Wow!! To my surprise, check in was still on. The flight too got delayed.
- Recently, this Jan in Hyderabad also I had another time of my life. Courtsey my husband who has best learnt ‘don’t stop till you get the work done’ of all the management lessons, I felt like jumping out of the train rather than answering his calls every minute to know how far I was from Kacheguda where he was waiting. Had been to Hyderabad for a wedding, my return was by train from Kacheguda for Bangalore at 9.30 pm. I had the whole day at hand so I made an additional plan to meet a Clairvoyant lady in Malkhaid road (4hrs by train from Hyderabad) along with my Mum and comeback by evening & meet my husband & kid directly at the station to catch our train for Bangalore. Was running a tight schedule already and the train which hardly gets delayed had to get delayed by 2 hours that same day. My phone started ringing from 6pm itself. In the train a gentleman informed me that there was no way I could reach Kacheguda on time by the ‘Malkahid Road’ passenger I was in and taking local train from Lingampally would be wiser to reach Kacheguda on time. I did the same but after counting 4 stations in 2 minutes in the local, my confidence began to shake, and like crazy I started asking everyone, ’tell me exactly how much time this local train takes to reach Kacheguda’? On top of that ringing phone with every passing second to ask all sorts of questions about the station the train had crossed and time remaining made my human properties change into glass. Finally, I switched off the mobile. The local train reached by 9.15 and thankfully at the same platform on opposite side from where I had my B’lore train. I could see my husband, kid and sister at the platform, sigh of relief!