I reached Chennai Central at 07.00am though my train was only at 07.50am. I wanted to meet another friend of mine, who was going to leave by 07.20am train to Bangalore. But he arrived at the station at the time of leaving, so we couldn't meet. He just called my mobile phone and apologized.
I wanted to buy a bottle of water. Went to the ZeroB water purifying outlet and bought a 2 litre bottle of water.Turned around and saw the Higgin Bothams. The journey is going to be a 6hour one. So decided to buy a book to read. Looked at the Jeffrey Archer's and Paulo Coelho's, two of my favorite authors. Chose Jeffrey's "Kane and Abel", paid and came back to the front of the digital notice board. The platform number of my train hasn't announced yet. Wandered around Saravana Bhavan and Fruit juice shops. Didn't like any of the food items. Made up my mind to buy something in the train. Came back to the notice board.
A middle aged couple walked fast and came to a halt just in front of me. She was carrying a little kid on her hip. The man was looking at the notice board. She said,"Can you please hold him?"
He said,"Why? Where are you going?"
She said,"I will go and buy a platform ticket for myself."
He asked,"Why do you want a platform ticket?"
I thought - Isn't it quite obvious that she want to see her husband off in the train? What an idiot is he!
She said,"Ok. Let me go and buy the platform ticket."
He repeated again,"Why do you need a platform ticket? I can't carry this bag all the way to the counter and then again here to take the train"
I thought - 'come on man, you are just going to roll the luggage and your wife wants to see you off, obviously.' It was quite clear that the man didn't want his wife to come to the platform to bid him bye.
She felt sad and turned to look at me. I pretended to not to hear their conversation and fixed my eye on the notice board.
The platform number was announced at 7.45. I had to pass three platforms to reach mine. When I went there, there was no train. But the crowd was milling about in the platform. The designated compartments were not clearly marked for the reserved travelers. It was 7.50am, when the train slowly moved into the slot. Since that was the time that train is supposed to leave, the crowd panicked. The compartment's door were closed. I found my compartment marked "D". The crowd was banging the door to open. After 2 minutes, the door was opened from inside. All hell broke loose.
Some one shouted,"Get in fast. It's time for the train to leave the station."
If only they had entered the compartment one by one, we all of us would have boarded within ten minutes. When my turn came to get in, I saw a man standing right in the entrance. I looked at him puzzled. He moved and made way for me. Some one who got in after me, shouted,"If you don't have any reservation made, then you should get down immediately." The man jumped out. Luckily my seat was near the entrance. I sat down and found myself surrounded by five elders and two little girls who were talking in Tamil, my mother tongue. I thanked almighty for it. I didn't want to be surrounded by people who speak Kannada. Because I don't know the language, though I am going to the place where people talk in Kannada.
After settling in, the train started to move at 08.05am. I was excited. I was going to Bangalore on a vacation. A vacation that I was planning since 2000.