Evanescent Thoughts

Evanescent Thoughts

Archive for the ‘Bus Journey’ Category

Comedies on my first Trip to North India

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I recently visited IIT Kanpur of ACM-ICPC Aisa Regionals and it happened to be my first trip to north india. The farhest i had gone in south india was till Uduppi few years ago. So before i tell something about the comedies that i made , i ll tell u my part of the situation.I am a guy who knows only Tamil , Telugu and English .And i do speak Hindi but my friends would better close their ears on that 😛 . But i can understand and read hindi to some extent . On my onward journey i had booked for Rapti Sagar from my home station Katpadi to Kanpur in 3rd AC. I booked 3rd AC because my friends who had already traveled to knapur by trains had warned me of the “difficulties” in traveling in Second Class :P. But my team mates could’nt make it to 3rd AC. They had booked theor tickets in a funny fashion that it was impossible for them to cancel it and book it in 3rd AC. So we all set forth to kanpur with me in one compartment and they both in Second Class. The onward journey was not much of trouble since i didnt have to get down anywhere and communicate with others except for in the intermediate stations to buy some eatables . The train was running on time till Jhansi and after that from kanpur to jhansi which happened to be just 220 kms , the train was late by 3 hours. All because the track became a single track rather than the ususal double track.

Panic struck me because my return journey was in jeopardy because of this latest information that trains between Kanpur to Jhansi always run late in hours .Since i could’nt get a straight train from kanpur to katpadi on my return journey , i had decided to break my journey in Jhansi and catch a Rajdhani from there . So the time differnece between these two trains was just 3 hours and i knew i was not gonna make it if i rely on trians . So i gathered info from diff people and thought why not book a train that leaves in morning in kanpur so that i can catch the Rajdhani which is supposed to arrive at night 9 in Jhansi.I thought may be 12 hours is something trains cant dream to be late of.

I was rather wrong, the next day when i checked in the net , the recent train i had booked which had a 12hr hour gap to Rajdhani was already running 14 hours late. I cursed my self and finally decided to go on bus from Kanpur to Jhansi on 17th morning and catch the Rajdhani at night 9. To be safe i took n0 chances with the bus journey and i started as early as possible on 17th.

This is where the comedy started. Till now there would be either one of my two team mates with me when i was roaming around that any one speaks to me in hindi , i would ask these guys to do the translation and speaking for me . But now i am gonna travel all alone in a bus from Kanpur to jhansi (a 7 hours journey) without knowing the language. So on 17th morning Vaibhav helped me catch a bus to Jhansi . The bus was bad , rickety and in a sort of position that i wasnt even sure if it ll make to Jhansi. I got into the bus , got a ticket , shut my mouth and closed my eyes. The ticket was not like the tickets given in TN.It was like a small piece of hand written bill and i had kept it in my pocket with my mobile .

So after few hours of journey , i put my hand inside my pocket to get the ticket , so that i could collect the balance change the conductor had to give me . “It was not there ” . I checked all my pockets , saw all through my luggage bag if i had transferred it over there in my sleepy mood. But it was gone . And then i vaguely remembered a small piece of paper falling down when i tried to reach for my mobile at a place the bus had stopped earlier for refreshments . What am i gonna do. I tried communicating with the guy who sat next to me asking if there was any surprise squad int those areas to check for tickets ( thank god he knew english) . He assured me there wont be any . So i wasnt interested in wasting another 150 rupees on buying the ticket again. So i continued my sleep. An another half an hour the bus had traveled , and suddenly i found the bus to stop.Three people with some record books in their hand got into the bus . Damn i could make out that they were the ticket checkers . I was wondering what would they call 1000 and 500 in hindi( so that i can bargain over the fine or his commision).But something weird happened . They started counting the heads and did some calculations and got out of the bus. I caught a big Sigh of relief and continued my sleep. The bus started and then again stopped and suddenly these three people again got into the bus. This made no sense to me unless they are here for checking the tickets again. And this time they came near my seat and one of them started saying something in hindi . I pretended to be asleep so that they would not check from me , but i suddenly found a hand waking me up. I got up saw that it was the ticket checker . My throats were dry.

All imagined myself questioned in hindi for a ticket and couldnt think of a worser situtation. But suddenly he waved his hands asking me to move and sit . And when i did he sat right next to me . There i was , ticket-less and with the ticket collector sitting next to me. I prayed to god he wont ask for tickets . He continued telling something in hindi to the conductor , and after about an hour , got down at another place . I was not scared of him setting next to me , but i was really excited to know how it would all end. And it ended pretty much as i wished .

There are lots of bus journeys that we make. And not all are memorable ones . But this one with the ticket collector sitting next to me and me ticket-less and a hindi illiterate was more than enough to make it memorable .

Written by Sathya Narayanan

December 21, 2008 at 9:32 am