Saturday, March 17, 2007

Vacation experiences

3.45 am
Alarm on the mobile rings. Time to get up and get ready, though sleep was light and short.

5.15 am Shami , Supriya and me left home and were prepared to walk it up to the station about 1.5 kms--20 minutes walk-- as we were not sure of availability of rickshaw so early.For this we had planned to take a bag each and wear sport shoes. Fortunately got a rick about 200 meters down the road.

5.55 am The Superfast Janashatabdi thunders into the station ,the mighty diesel engine displaying a look of dominance over the other trains.We boarded and found the seats easily as they were more towards the door from where we entered. Before we could put the bags on the rack, it started to move--stops for just over a minute.

7.00am Just had left Panvel , we had opened the newspapers ,had a look around the other passengers and waiting for the bearer to come to take breakfast orders. He comes shortly , taking orders of the various yummy items . In the meantime we sip coffee bought from one of the many bearers moving up and down the train from the pantry car.

8.30 am At last our breakfast arrives to stop the rumblings in the stomach . Were wondering how one could feel so hungry so early than the usual breakfast time . I think it must be due to getting up early and the relaxed mind . We finished , very fast , the upama , sheera , omellete bread , medu wada ordered separately and shared amongst us three to give a variety. After another round of coffee we looked around to comment and entertain ourselves at the expense of fellow travellers.
Got one immediately. A person sitting in the next row in front. He had his bag on the laps and with the upper zip opened slightly. Left hand holding the flap and looked as though hiding something in the bag . We noticed food particles , white in color smeared all over his right hand and all around the lips and chin .We presumed that correctly to be idlis . He had a look on his face as though he had opened someone else's bag and was stuffing his mouth before getting caught. As he chewed he looked around showing off the grinding process going on in the oral cavity.

10.00 am After a small snooze ,I happened to spot some activity going on near the end of the coach just near the bridge joining two bogies . Two bearers were cleaning something that looked like an immersion heater. I decided to observe keenly . They took water from a small tank in the kettle and topped it up by using empty tetrapacks of Amul milk. They then added a measured pack sugar , emptied a few Amul milk tetrapacks and immersed the heater in the kettle.As the water was heated the bearers had their fill of tobacco , chatted and joked with each other.They seemed to enjoy these moments in their dull and drab routine. After the water had heated they took a pack of thermocol glasses , tea bags ,coffee pwder container in their pockets and started their walk from boggie to boggie chanting in their nasal voice '' Chai garam chai coffee ' saab chahiye kya chai coffee ''

10.30 am Noticed people excitedly geting up and retreiving their bags from the racks above .Presumed that Ratnagiri was nearing and took down our bags . Told Shami ' don't get up now , there is the longest tunnel just before Ratnagiri to come after which get up .' A tunnel came ,thought this is the one, as it seemed never ending , but after coming out of it immediately went in another one and this took a really long time . At a fairly good speed it took almost more than 5 to 7 mins to traverse. After that the train slowed down and I realized that we were about 20 mins late .Got out of the station and to the rickshaw stand The Rick ................that is another post ...

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