“Thank You babaji. Aaj meri train phir nahi chooti,” Kareena heaves a sigh of relief saying this in Jab We Met.
A perfect ‘filmy’ shot but this happened in my life also. I faced such a situation two days ago.
16th June, 2008, 2:30 PM:
Dad: What Archana, if we start by 3:00 it’ll be okay, right?
I: Yes, appa.3’o clock will be very fine for the train at 4.
No sooner had I said this than there was thunder and lightening and it started pouring heavily. Monsoons had set in finally. Fortunately, this year summer was not that troublesome.
Dad: Suddenly woke up and asked me. Shall we start? It’s raining and we must start early. Get ready soon.
I: Ok. I’ll. I was so lazy that I didn’t move from the bed.
Mom: Go Archu, otherwise he’ll shout at you.
Finally, I had to get up and get ready in 10 minutes. My suitcase was ready.
I: Yes, pa. I am ready. Let’s go.
The rain didn’t seem to stop. Somehow, I managed to put my suitcase in the car as soon as possible. My dress was already half wet. I bid my mom good bye. Her eyes spoke, as if they said, “I don’t feel good that you’re going and for the first time I say tears in her eyes. Never had she cried before when I left home for college. I was going to come back in 10 days.
I said, “Tum kyun ro rahi ho? Main wapas aa rahi hoon ma. Chalo, bye ab.”
We started off. The station is just about 6-7 km from my house and on normal days it takes just about 20-25 min to reach there if one drives at a normal pace as traffic jams are rare in Jamshedpur and this was one of those ‘rare occasions’.
We were 2-3 km near the vicinity of the station when the care came to a halt. There was a traffic jam. Buses, cars, vans, two wheelers and heavy vehicles, all were in one file. It was actually long line. The rain had slowed down by then. Dad peeped out and asked an auto driver, “O. bhaiyya. Kya hua? Gadi aage nahi jayegi kya?”
Nahi bhaiyya aage paani full ho gaya. Pul jam ho gaya. Bus truck aur bus ja sakte hain. Aapki gaadi to phans jayegi. Jugsalai ho kar jaiye,” he replied.
Hmmm…. Dad turned the steering, put the car in 4th gear and then turned the other way. When we reached the other way, there also the same situation was there. In fact it was worse. It was a two way road and all the more narrow with pits and also bumpers. Why was there such a long queue I wondered? Ah!! The train just passed. There was a railway crossing ahead. All vehicles were gain in motion. We kept moving slowly. After 10 min there was halt again. It was 3:35 already. Dad was getting tensed though we were not very far from the station. Till 5min the vehicle refused to budge. I got down and went ahead to see the problem. A Maruti 800 had come in the wrong way and it was stuck in the middle blocking the way. Neither could it move in front nor back. The road was also narrow. I said silent prayers continuously as nothing but some force could help us move out. 6 min gone and there was no change in the condition. A policeman came there and cleared the road. It was like, “Better late than never condition.”
We went smoothly and then near a school there was a halt again. It was 3:42. A lorry had blocked the way this time. Dad said,” Gone. We will not be able to make it to the station on time. It doesn’t seem to clear soon.” Meanwhile mom called up. She was all the more surprised to know that. I didn’t know how to react; whether to calm down dad or get tensed. He kept saying something or the other asking me what to do and I didn’t know what to say. I just said, “We should try some other way. Do you know another way out from here?” He said, “I don’t even know the way out from here.”
It has been 55 years of his stay in Jamshedpur even then this place seemed strange to him. We followed an auto rickshaw and took the risk. After going for a while we found that we were in a jungle. There was a road and hardly people inhabited there. “I don’t even know where we are going? “dad said.
It was 3:55. We had just 5 more minutes. “Is it possible to reach in 5 min?” I asked dad.
“I don’t think so,” he replied loosing hope. “Ask mama to book another ticket for tomorrow in tatkal,” he said.
Who would have thought that such a thing could happen in Jamshedpur also? I had an exam on the 19th and one day’s delay meant a lot. I could miss the exam as well.
We kept moving, passing through narrow lanes, crossing such tiny ditches, few man holes. Thank god the road was clear. We kept asking someone or the other for direction, who could be spotted.
We came to the main road then. Dad asked in a panicked tone, “Kahan aa gaye Archana?”
“Papa, station saamne hai. Chalo chalo aage se mudte hain. Pahunch gaye,” I shouted.
I was ready with my hand bag. He hadn’t even stopped the car when I jumped out of the car. I shouted at one porter, “ O, bhaiyya, 1 number platform mein le chaliye saaman. jaldi”. It was 3: 58 and I ran. The porter also ran along with me. The ac compartment wasn’t far but the train was not in front. I had to run as if it was marathon race. Poor man, the porter also ran with the same speed as I could. The station was slippery because of the rain. I almost lost balance and was about to fall. I struggled to balance myself beating my hands in the air and then I dashed against a man. I held him and got back to normal. I moved along saying, “Sorry, sorry.”
Ah!! I saw the ac coach. I asked an uncle, “Ye B1 hai na?”
“Haan, haan B1 hai,”he replied. The porter gave me my luggage. Dad was there by then. I waved him good bye and I train started. He was drenched in the rain. “Take care beta,” he said waving good bye.
I had a smile on my face; a triumphant smile. I drank water and with a sigh of relief said, “Thank God.”