I and Kalka Shatabdi Express don’t share a good bond. Yes, it’s been five years of traveling on this train and I swear there is not even a single travel when I was able to catch this train without the fear of missing it. I am almost a pro at bucking up the driver to drive as fast as he can or there are 99.9% chances that I will miss the train and most importantly the meal, yes, I am a die hard fan of each and every meal which is served in this train. The best part is I imagine in my head that I am standing on the platform with my luggage and seeing the train leave with its cross sign on the last coach. Yes, I imagine it every time when I am getting late to catch a train.
This time when I had to catch the train from Delhi things were no different though I booked my cab on time, but the traffic in Delhi always has a habit of saying ‘checkmate’ right in the middle of every schedule that you tend to plan. It was 4:10, and my train was at 5:15, the GPS was flashing 58 mins and the lady guide of the GPS was consoling me by repeating that this is the fastest route that we have taken. I tried to divert my attention by listening to my favourite music but I could see that by the speed that the cabbie was driving, I wouldn’t be able to catch the train. The only thing which I could do was taking the car from him and driving it myself. Yes, because he was too lazy to deal with and the bucking up procedure to make him drive fast was of no use. I took over the steering and just started playing Need for Speed, thanks to my Play station, I am so used to it. I was able to reach the other side of the railway station at 4:57. I had 18 minutes in which I had to pay the cabbie for I drove his taxi and for all the wrong roads that I took because of the intelligent cab driver, the worst was I had to pay 333 rupees and because he knew that I was short of time, he refused that he had no change, I was also sure that I never wanted to pay the stupid man a penny extra and I didn’t, I searched every bit of my purse to pay the exact amount.
When I stood before the railway station, it was already 5:00, I rushed towards the stairs and to my amazement the stairs had been blocked, wired and a board of no entry was hanging on the top of it. I seemed to be a helpless, useless women standing at the other side of a long bridge which I had to run all through to catch my train. The coolies were so sure that I will miss my train and I was so sure that I wouldn’t, firstly, I shouted on the coolie and made sure that he buzzed off. I took my backpack on my back, threw my trolley bag from in between the wires and climbed the wires to and fro. Yes, it was like all the trekking experience at Ladakh was in handy with me. Then I took my trolley bag around my neck and ran, I ran like the love of my life is leaving India and I need to stop him for I need to confess my love to him or he may find a new girl or I will lose him forever , that’s the only reason why people run in Bollywood movies. But for me, it was like a) my yummy meal would go, I will miss it. b) I will waste another thousand rupees on my ticket and would have to wait for the next train, bad idea. I bumped into a lot of people, even a policeman, but, since I was well dressed and seemed to be a Chandigarhian everyone made out that I was running for Shatabadi. Running was pretty cool, I reached the platform no 1 at 5:10, it was like mission accomplished. I was sweating like crazy and I was too hungry, though my sister had stuffed me with two fried parathas, around 2 bowls of mixed veggies and yogurt. But then also the run led to this unending hunger in me.
Basically, the only quote which I can think of or I learned from this whole running and catching the train scenario is that
“When the world says you cannot run towards the goal, do it, achieve it and sit down like a king or a queen and let the world see in awe because in the end when you decide things in your head, you will probably achieve them for sure.”