Reached at Aluva railway station at 10:00 PM, I guess it was Sunday night. I had no option to reschedule my journey as I had to attend an examination the next day.
So before I get into the subject let me tell you the situation in Kerala at that time. A political instability was under progress towards the ruling party and the Chief Minister was said to Involve in some scandals, so the other political leaders and the opposition parties were outrageous and wanted the CM of the state to resign from his position.
Congress was in power, the opposition parties like namely the LDF and others was against them. So rumors were all over that it would be called over the next day as hartal (bandh) and there would be a march towards the Secretariat by other parties for justice and to bring down the power of the current party in charge.
I am actually in my second semester of my studies. Since you know me being an ABCD (Arab Born Confused Desi) I literally have no clue about the Indian railway system. I don’t know how to take a ticket for train travel, the seating arrangements in train, etiquette’s that should be followed, actually nothing !!!!
The entire thing looked like a bizarre to me and believe me this is my first train journey in this land of world’s largest democracy. I had no other way than to catch the train or wouldn’t make it in the morning to college for the examination. Frankly speaking my parents were totally scared to leave me alone for the first time in train too.
The entire platform was crowded with people from different parts of the country you can hear Malayalam from one side English, Marathi, Bengali and so many other languages on the other side. I kept my ears to one by one has it all sounds interesting even though I could not understand a thing. The crowd was something more than I could explain cause since the buses are on strike those passengers also rely on train.
My ears started to hear the whistling sound of the Guruvayur-Chennai express. I started to get more excited that I am going to experience the Train travel for the first time and that too all alone. The train stopped at the platform. People started to rush into the train to occupy the vacant seats if anything is left out. I kept my mouth wide opened knowing nothing to do. I stepped inside the train through the rush and waved bye to my parents as I could barely see them. The whole idea about the interior of the train was different from my imagination. There was literary no space for even an ant to occupy. People were so crowded that I couldn’t breath properly. I felt totally terrible and only thing I knew was I need to sit somewhere that standing till Trivandrum is absolutely a terrible idea.
I could not even walk from one coach to other as the aisles was also occupied and people where sitting and some sleeping all over the floor. Finally I got a little space to stand near the toiletry. The smell was something unbearable, each time a person steps inside and get out I keep my nostrils covered cause the awful smell rushs into my nose. The time has passed 1AM in the morning and my patience as reached its peak level. My legs were tired as hell. I would fall out any moment.
The seating arrangement is as such, You have seats faced to each other with berths corresponding to one making it a total of four and two more along the sides. This particular day in a single berth around six to seven people sat. Can you Just imagine ???!!! All they want is a little space to rest their butt’s. I started looking for one too beyond my tolerance level and finally seeing my tired and exhausted face upon sympathy a man offered a little bit space on the upper side berth in which I could barely keep my half butt to rest. But that was equal to heaven. I really thank that person in my heart !!!
He asked me ” where are you travelling to ?”
I replied “Trivandrum”
I said to myself not to give much details as already my uncle has warned me about the mischiefs like pick-pocketing,befriending students for selling drugs etc on trains. So tried to keep a distance and pretended that I am not interested to talk much………..
Continuation…..on the blog