So it was 12-12-12, I was finally to leave for home, after 5 months, at the end of an eventful semester. I was justifiably excited and even my mom’s reminder of the ominous date didn't abase my enthusiasm. But as it is, mothers are always right; the day did have inauspicious beginning. I woke up with a knock at my door, I checked my cell and it was 2 am.
“Do you have 10 bucks; have to rush to station to get a Tatkal ticket and I have no change”, my wing-mate asked.
“You won’t get a cab at 2.” I suggested rather sluggishly.
And then he dropped the bomb, it was 7:30 (my watch was set on GMT) and Mary Jane! I had missed my first train to Delhi. So, I crammed everything which was at an arm’s stretch in my air bag, skipped my breakfast (I don’t know why I am mentioning this I would have skipped that crap anyway) and managed to reach the station in time to catch the second train to Delhi and thus began my journey to Ranchi via Delhi. Undermentioned are the thoughts that crossed my mind during those 24 hours on wheels or wait:
- If you ever swallow a nickel and you need to puke, seek the nearest railway track. I still wonder why Indian Railways doesn't claim the Guinness World Record for longest chain of shit.
- The best place for lessons on optimisation is the General compartment of Indian Railways. You can never come up with a better space utilisation model.
- Waiting for a train is all about wasting time efficiently. Stand for 20 minutes on platform X, stand for 20 minutes on platform Y, 20 minutes on the bridge, and 20 minutes in the canteen; congratulations your plight is over, it’s time to board your train.
- For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
- Mathew 13:12 is truly valid for us IITians. Since we have entered IIT, we have been deprived of every opportunity of sightseeing. Indian railway maintains the tradition, you know there are beautiful girls in your train, but none will land up in your compartment
- Conversation in trains is often about imposing your supremacy over the others.” 2nd AC sucks, this is my first time here, I couldn't get a ticket in 1st” a co-passenger announced. (Same here, my private jet crashed :P)
- As an IITian, all you seek is a remote reference of academics or institution so that you have an opportunity to blurt out that your institution’s name. And for a student of IIT Roorkee, the worst nightmare is the listener remain impassive and inquires,”Beta Roorkee me kyu admission liye, Dehradun me koi college nai mila kya?”