Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One Night at the Railway Station! (And the events that followed)

23rd October:

I was supposed to leave for the railway station at 5.00 in the morning. i woke up at 4.30 to get ready, only to find out that my train was running 4 hrs late. So instead of going to the station, I planned to go to the college first. Before leaving my house, I gave Sana a call. "Our train had been cancelled. We don't know how we are going." She informed. I was asked to reach the college asap.

On my way to college I was trying to come up with other options to reach Kanpur. The only two that seemed feasible were taking another train, or booking a bus.

I reached college around 10:15. Save a few, everyone else was already there- some with parents, some without. The one's who were absent were busy arranging for trains or buses, whatever they could lay their hands on. The people from Gargi were also taking a bus. They were already at the station, and with the fate same as ours, even their train had been cancelled. So it was finally decided that we all will take one bus, and reach Kanpur by midnight. Some parents obviously had issues but that was sorted out .

We left in 4 cars. While we were on our way to the station, we were informed that the train booked by the students of Gargi College left at the scheduled time. Students who were supposed to come with us had therefore, already left. We anyway continued to go to the railway station. It was there that the bus that was taking us to Kanpur was scheduled to come. All nineteen of us met again at the New Delhi Railway Station. The bus took another hour and a half to arrive. We were then informed that each of us would be required to pay Rs.450 extra over the Rs.500 that we had already paid. Again there were arguments and discussions. Everyone eventually agreed to pay those extra 500 bucks. We finally boarded the train around 1.00 pm.

Calls were made to parents informing them that we had finally left and were safely on our way to Kanpur. Hardly 20 minutes had passed and our bus stopped somewhere near the station only. The driver demanded Rs.20,000 cash then and there. We obviously refused. In return, he refused to take us. We pleaded, we fought, we threatened to call the police, we abused the driver, we shouted at the owner, but nothing worked. Within half an hour, we were on the platform again. Seniors were busy finding about other trains that could take us to Kanpur, although considering the previous days events, these trains were also bound to be cancelled. It was decided that we were taking the 9.40 train to Kanpur. Again there were people backing out, but most of them were okay with it.

The tickets had to be collected from the ticket counter at 6.00 pm, and it was only 2.00 when all this happened. Five of us volunteered to stay at the station till then. The others left for their homes.

We went to Comesome to have something as we were all starving. One of us was carrying biryani for the train journey. We all binged on it and within minutes, biryani meant for 19 people, was finished. The place where we sat was a total mess. Anyone who entered the restaurant had there eyes rested on the area we had occupied. The guy who was booking the train tickets for us was supposed to call us at 3.00. We waited till 3.10 and called, only to be informed that the scene was sort of dicey. We should be getting the tickets but he wasn't too sure. At around 4.15 we were informed that we could get tickets for a Rajdhani at 5.10. Everyone was informed so that they could make it to the station in time. Unlucky as we had been all day, one of the girls refused as her house was too far to reach the station so quickly. This plan was also cancelled. It was finally decided (for the nth time now!!) that we would be taking the 8.30 train. The tickets were almost confirmed. Again everyone was called and informed to reach the station at sharp 7.30. We called our agent around 7.15 for the tickets. He called us to his booking office to collect the tickets. On reaching there, seniors found out that the tickets couldn't be arranged. All efforts went down the drain. We were informed around 8.30 that our trip to Kanpur had been cancelled.

It then struck most of us that we hadn't informed our parents. Some called and confessed, some just planned to spend 4 days outside home at other friend's places. I belonged to the latter category. Shattered and disheartened I loaded our luggage into an auto and left for Lajpat Nagar, where I was supposed to spend the next few days. We reached at 8.53 exact. We'd just gotten off the auto when we got another call. It was Kaustabhi.She wanted us to reach the station in three minutes. Our train was scheduled to leave at 9.00!!!!!! This was what precipitated it all. I immediately broke down, knowing I would never be able to make it. Others were already there. People who'd informed their parents very late were obviously not allowed.

It was 9.20 when we reached the station. The train had been delayed till 11.40. But because of this whole mess, only 8 of us were now going. The others were screwed up at home. Somehow we managed to board the train at 12.00. We had general compartment tickets with people leching at us, we slept on the floor, and miraculously reached Kanpur at 6.30 in the morning.

I've tried my best not to miss any detail, but you will have live this day to actually know what all we went through.


dipali said...

Phew! How was the actual stay in Kanpur?

Mishika said...

The stay was much better than expected. We got this big cottage for just the thirteen of us. The fest was pretty good too. We were out every night. :)

Just that out performance (the main reason why we had gone) was really screwed! :(

aakanksha said...

v can actually tell plaksha's dad to reserve the train seats for us to save us from this mess....

Mishika said...

Im getting them done, dont worry.

Kirra Serra said...

... ... ...

Mishika said...

I'm hoping for a more adventurous trip for this year. It's my last :)

So, best of luck!