Thursday, February 16, 2006

train catching

few things to do when you miss your train:

never thought you'd need this huh? well you never know which bond flick script you might be writing next, so go on, take a look.

1. look for a auto driver who does NOT have a f****** cellphone. and even if he does have one, pray to god he does not use it when your rushing to catch the bloody train. ps: why does every soul down south have a frigging phone on them?!!!! were'nt we supposed to be a 3rd world country or something like that? news-flash: it's a totally different world that the south indian (read: bangalorean) auto drivers live in.

2. when you near the station and see a train at the platform from the auto, do not shout (with any form of conviction) "that's a local train". reasons? a) local trains don't have ac sleeper class coaches. b) they don't leave at the exact moment when your train is supposed to leave.

3. if you have any friends already on the train, they must NOT pull the chain. yes i know it looks tempting, but the 1000 rs. fine, especially when you're returning from a financially taxing trip, along with a month's imprisonment is not the ideal solution. go ahead and scream at them, but that red chain is a massive "no no".

4. oh by the way, if you're talking to those very friends on your phone dont ever say "no no, oh shit no!". the line might just get cut and even though you dont want the chain pulled, this could lead to a lot of very heated souls. a better choice? "pull, pull, yes, yes!" (and no, im not running a porno blog.)

5. this one's a beauty. look around for some nutcase who tells you "you're too early for tomorrow's train". boy, all that temper really gets the adrenalin rushing, and trust me, you need that for the rest of the pre-train journey.

6. suddenly see an apparition of a cabbie who's willing to drive you to the next junction for 600 bucks. (you cant be too sure if it's the same bugger who made that guiness record-winning joke). make a dash for it. dump you luggage and yourselves into some squishy omni and pray very hard. your back, butt, knees and leg might ache away to glory. but on the bright side, you won't realize that your whole body is aching. i dunno, but it's one of those crazy tricks tough situations pull on you.

7. looking for a variation? here's one. have one friend call his/her parents 5 mins before train's supposed to leave and say they've not reached station yet, and then have the line cut abruptly. then mistake their no. for your own parent's and actually take that damn call. after that i leave it to your imagination. i'd ideally tell them that we're safely on the train and then hope to high heavens they dont really figure out that no self respecting train ever has a blaring car horn.

8. now comes the interesting bit. look out for all the red lights. sigh. get furious, coz nothing's below 72 secs. then voila! you're past it! zooming ahead of those dumbjock drivers. try counting the number of lights you jump. but take my advice, dont try it. it's way more fun just looking outside open mouthed and thinking "boy, bond must've had one heck of a time!" but this one's seriously not for the faint-hearted. count on having lost at least a few years of your life on that ride. oh and, i know you'll not have the time, try and get the cabbie's address, just in case you want to post him a x-mas card. it's worth it. or better still, keep in touch coz you never know when you'll be late again.

9. once at the other station, run like crazy, bag and all. now you'll know why everyone tells you tyo travel light. but never mind, too late for regrets, just run. ok, when you're throwing your bag on to the tracks to run across the blessed train, never jump before bag. those things are bizarrely designed. even the devil could'nt pull them off the platform without yanking off his arms.

10. anyways, now next to the train. safe, right? wrong. indian railways is one of those things which just might not want your happiness, let alone have you go back home in one piece. they have these dastardly things called general sections. (once described very aptly as "general sex" compartments where the only criteria is that you have to keep up with the sex. think there are no takers for this theory? try contacting JU 3rd year english and ask for chicko.) so you haul yourself and your blessed bags onto this crazy contraption and look around. lo behold! there arent any passages between coaches! why? coz these damn things are'nt connected at all! so off you go again, this time looking for a familiar looking coach. by the time you locate one and are up, bags and all, the trains off again, chugging like a little ol' lady. but thankfully this time you're on it.

11. the last part's easy. just lug everything behind you and go on a cross-train sprint, looking for your compartment. now you know what the members of the fellowship felt like. you also know that once on the train there's no need to run any more, but somehow your body doesn't seem to respond to that logic. and that running with luggage between people who, lets' just say, love their inertia of rest, is a task that would challenge even hercules.

so now that you know what to do, try it sometimes. you could always reach on time, but hey this one's fun too. almost like a movie. especially so when im not in it.

ps: variation: after all this you're still adventurous? go into the next coach for a smoke late at night. finish, come out, and what do you see? you just saw a passage, now you don't. why? coz some jackass just wanted to shut the bloody connecting door. now, dont panic. if you're lucky, the train will have stopped at a station, you'll find some one willing to open the train door for you. a short jump, a quick jog, another jump up and you're home safe! see, it was'nt so difficult now, was it? now if you go into all the possibilities...the train not stopping at a station till say the wee hours of the morning...spending a night with perfect strangers...the train leaving without you on it...again...ah well life's a miracle, aint it!

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