I have not been inside a railway station since May 2005 (when I first landed in Mumbai)… and finally I get to take a train from Chennai to Katpadi tomorrow afternoon.
I am going to be spending the weekend at Sonia’s place and while I am sure we are going to be chattering away to the dozen, I have also picked up a few DVDs that I have been wanting to watch for sometime now.
When I think about the travelling I have done for the past two years, just airports come to mind, those clinical places each of which look the same, somehow they are not as alive as railway stations are (esp early mornings, I sort of missed the Chai Chai part).
Now my parents are convinced that I have no idea how to travel by trains, so my dad decided to try and get me prepared:
Dad: ” You booked a second class ticket?”
Me: “Yes, nothing else was available”.
Mum: “But how will you manage?”
Me: “Its second class, not unreserved..”
Dad: “There will be all kinds of people”
Me: “I know, I used to travel by trains before, remember?”
Dad: “Do you know you have to find the platform before boarding your train, its not like the airport, where you find your boarding gate so easily..”
Mum: “The kingfisher people will not be there to take your luggage and help you through even if you are late. You cannot be late for the train..”
And so on and on…
Now I am slightly flustered, I have started writing down notes that I can refer to once I enter the station –
a) Check my tickets are safe
b) Check which platform the train starts from
c) Check where my coach is
d) Double check with the passenger list stuck on the coach
e) Call Sonia, mum at her office, dad at home, call my colleagues who are laughing their heads off betting that I would lose my way…
f) Remember not to drink the water they serve on the train
g) Remember not to take anything offered by other passengers (courtesy lecture provided by my colleagues)
h) If after all this, I can settle down and enjoy my journey, then try and do that
Really, sometimes people seem to think that just because a person seems to be er.. a “spoilt brat” (which I am not!!), she would not be able to find her way through a railway station
And I have two glorious nights that I get to spend at Vellore, poor Sumit, he must be planning to stay at the hospital instead (that is if Sonia has really really warned him about our tendencies to yak away non-stop!!!)
And its still the train journey that excites me the most….