2164/chennai express - class 3A/B1/0031
Train was scheduled at six thirty a.m. in the morning yesterday and I have to go two days back in time to express how difficult it was to catch the train. Thursday night was a celebration for no reason. Although it was World International Beer Day I chose to have rum. Three quarters of Old Monk and four guys sipping it accompanied by excessive talking, ranting, bitching and laughing through the night. Friday at work was heavy for the head and still spent the day pretending to have no hangover. Reached home, began packing and could not wait to take a nap. And I realized it was already two a.m. Put all my trust into my phone’s alarm and booked a cab before dozing off. All went as planned and with the cab driver raping my peace with his tamil songs all along I reached Egmore Central Station at six a.m.
Train was on time and it has been a while since I traveled alone for such a long distance. Upper side berth seemed just perfect to settle and in no time I dozed off. I had to make up for two nights. Couple of hours later I was woken up by a loud conversation by a huge crowd and to my horror the bald gang was back. So I suppose there are people traveling back and forth from Mumbai to Tirupati almost everyday of the year. Lunch was chicken biryani sans the spices.
don't try this at home
Post-lunch I started fooling around doing things like what you see in the snap on the left. Day passed smoothly and I had Devin Townsend, Anathema, Falkenbach and John Frusciante for company. Got down for a stroll to check out the bogie at night and I spotted many of these baldies drinking alcohol and hurling abuses at each other as if they were at home. Well they are in a little more decent section of a train. Ticket collector passed by, a policeman passed by and he was carrying a gun heavier than probably himself as I could the sense his discomfort while carrying it. Their presence was equivalent to their absence. Anyways this is nothing new.
Had a tasteless dinner and put off the lights as usual at around twelve. Train was on time and I reached Dadar station at six a.m. Caught a cab and rushed home. This is the longest I have been away from home and I actually feel that.
I have just two weeks in hand before I am back in Madras. My time starts now!
Also read :
Rahul Mahajan is an asshole – Part 2
Absurd Bulletin : Story of the World
album review : 1349 – Demonoir (2010)
Returning to Bombay from anywhere has never been as painful as this particular journey. It all began with me and my friend picking up our lazy asses on 25th evening to catch a train from Chengalpattu station, Chennai. Travelling by train was a mistake, we went one step ahead and boarded the train with our tickets still not confirmed. And we all have seen how waiting passengers are treated.
Train departed from Chennai at 6 pm and we were told by the lousy ticket examiner that we cannot rest our butts until Tirupati which was four hours away. Disappointed and already tired we started looking around only to realise almost the entire train was to get empty at Tirupati. Relief.
We stopped at one bogie and sat besides a certain Mr. Ramesh Chandra. Was a sweet man aged around 55 and was from Jammu. Told us they are a huge group who had to pay 6K to some guide for a south-tour. I was interested more about the place he hailed from as J&K has always intrigued me. I diverted the conversation
me n Mr. Chandra. extreme hair colors.
to the constant unrest in J&K and wanted his views on the same. Born and brought up in Jammu, Mr. Ramesh – a shopkeeper – told me how badly certain Pakistani muslims in Kashmir want to separate Kashmir from India. Its these particular group of anti-social irrational muslims are responsible for every unrest, and even though Jammu has more of hindu population as opposed to less muslim population in Kashmir, these muslims manage to grab maximum seats in the constituency. They get to call the shots each time. It was nice to hear all this first-hand.
Four hours flew and we did not have a hint of what was to follow. Train halted at Tirupati and all the passengers unboarded except for maybe just two of us. And in no time close to seven hundred bald people took over the entire train. They were supposed all travelling back to Bombay after their annual trip to the bald town. They sure did remind the rich god of Bombay‘s existence in India. Imagine my horror of watching seven hundred bald heads, all travelling to the same place.
- start counting !
At close to 2 pm, one of them offered the two of us a seat so we could sleep. And we immediately surrendered ourselves to our puny eyes. I spent the entire next day (that is 26th) watching them making fun of anyone who was not one of them.
Nevertheless I have managed to complete this seemingly impossible journey back home and I am all set to chill now. Lessons learnt – Get confirmed tickets and make sure nothing religious falls in between my departure and destination points.