Guwahati Express – The Wait

I was supposed to take the train for BNC – Banglore Cantonment Railway Station. I was instead travelling to the Majestic. The grand central railway station at Bangalore. Somehow I noticed the discrepancy, mostly thanks to a SMS notification that I got from IRCTC and was able to alter my course to the right destination. 

The Bangalore Cantonment Station stank. It has a pathetic few shanties. It seemed that all the people were here for the Guwahati Express. The train was scheduled to depart at 11:40 Pm and everybody was here by 8.

I explored the platform, and the outside of the station. I noticed a big black rat with a silver neck. Reminded me of silverbacked gorillas. I noticed a very pretty girl sitting on the platform along with her baggage. I did a couple of rounds just to steal glances at her. She didn’t see me. 

On the outside, I found an age old cafe. There was a set menu, maybe 10 items at maximum, written in English and Kannada. The prices were upgraded by pasting a paper with the New rate over the earlier one. It was cheap. I got a coffee and a ‘masala dosa’. Nondescript. In Bangaluru, nondescript means great tasting when it comes to food. The dosa was nondescript ingly great, I was denied onions in it. The coffee… Well I burned my hand trying to manage it, and spilled some of it in counter. The staff were kind, and they cleaned it up and gave me an extra cup to handle it. God it tasted divine! But my opinion might be partly guilt ridden.  Bill – 30 Rupees. 

I enquired around where the enquiry were to be. I couldn’t find it. Then I spied two middle aged gentlemen with red ID straps. I guessed they were railway employees. I politely approached them and enquired about my train. To my surprise, they let me know that the train was already here. 

I made my way to the train. It was a long walk. And the train was long. It’s a long, long train. I got to, in due course, to my compartment, almost at the very end. And stood there in front of the gates, waiting for admission. 

There was a man with his teen daughter, who let me know upon inquiry that the train opens at 10 Pm. It was 9:30 PM. Probably a student with his backpack, a trolley and a packed cardboard case. A Buddhist monk, who I am quite sure was a woman. I didnt know there were female Buddhist monks. 

We were joined after some time by a throng of rather not so well to do men, women and an indeterminate number of children. All presumably a family. They had this habit of sitting rather than standing, anywhere. The children were loud and very coarse with their language.  To be very honest I couldn’t have imagined sharing my compartment with them for two days. 

It was quite past 10. Maybe 10:30 or More. When the train  showed signs if admitting. I espied a rather pretty girl boarding into my compartment. I was hoping that she and I share the same division. We were soon allowed to board in. 

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