The 54 Hour Journey - Part 3

Monday, January 11, 2010 Vishaal 0 Comments

At around 6:30 am the next morning I woke up with a start as the train had come to a halt. the exact name of the place i forget,but, I recollect Tunda in my mind. (there is a Tunda in Ghaziabad district, so i guess that is the place). I still remember the place like yesterday. Lots of office goers and the platform choc-a-bloc with the waiting masses washing their faces and frothing at the mouth from the tooth-paste they were using on the platform. there were a lot of unshaven and unkempt faces reminding me of the many Bollywood movies I have watched.

The train was stationary at this place for what seemed like ages (actually for about an hour !!) and even then we could not place our exact location on earth as we did not have a map. all we came to know was that we were somewhere in western U.P. The summer sun had already climbed up and was beating down mercilessly even at that early hour.

finally when we started moving we came to know the true meaning of the term ' at snail's pace'. We would travel at 10-15 mph for about 30 minutes and then come to a halt for 15-20 minutes. all around us there was dry land with only a few stray cattle to give us company. Usually we would have been halfway to Belgaum,but, on that day all thoughts of fun had melted away due to the hot summer sun. We were clueless as to where we were and how much more of traveling was to be completed.

Taking pity on us a fellow passenger informed us that we had still to reach Agra. we did not believe this person at all and thought that he was trying to be funny! After what seemed like ages we reached Agra at 3:00 pm. all of us let out a huge collective groan evoking a startled response from our co-Passengers. We were very much surprised and dismayed at this development and the fellow passenger gave us an I-told-You-So look.

We had thought that we were further south and should have had reached Agra at 6, the previous evening. We realized that having traveled for 18 hours we had covered only around 100 Kms. The rest of the journey was uneventful and we lost another hour before reaching Belgaum 54 hours after departing from New Delhi. we alighted at Belgaum at 9:30 pm on 12th May.

what irked us further was that some of our friends who had taken the next day's train reached 4 hours later after enjoying an extra day touring Delhi. They also informed us that at 8:00 pm on the day of our departure the tracks had been cleared and normal railway traffic restored.