Travelling in comfort is fun, nonetheless, it deprives you from the lesson of life. In the second year of my graduation, I and Ashwin decided to travel from New Delhi to Bangalore to attend National Instrument’s educators day. What looks to be a professional or academic sort of trip turns into the trip of the life.
We get registered very late, talked to the organizer and get the tickets somehow, thank you Aditi. Bangalore is a city far away, we can’t take up flight to match the budget constraint, so we booked train tickets. Unfortunately, our tickets didn’t confirm, that means we can travel but without seats.
42 hours of the journey that too on the floor or doors of a moving train, it’s hard really hard. None of that matters when you have packed bags and stepped out of your home. We decided that we will go. We on-board the train from New Delhi Railway Station. We were lucky, we found some empty berths(seats), not so long though. Some people boarded at Jhansi, asked us to vacate the seats, it was 1'o clock at night. What now, I said Ashwin lets sleep on the floor, we took out our bed sheets and slept on that point. No one disturbed we had a pleasant nap, till morning.
Where is the breakfast?
Oh God! Ashwin got cold. No seats, long journey, and a ill friend. The passengers from Jhansi were generous, they let us sit during the daylight. We had tea for breakfast and ate some fruits and over night food for lunch. We talked to the fellow passengers, one of them was an engineer. “Cool! Nice to meet you young fellows”, — he said to us. Then we talked about everything engineering, science, religious belief, politics, yeah we had some opinions too.
This evening, Jhansi passengers de-board at Ahmad Nagar, Maharashtra. Ashwin was more sick and ran out of his emergency medicines, I got down to the station to fetch some medicine. None found, guess Indian trains are not a dependable place to fall sick.
The Marathi Family
Ahmad Nagar had another reservation, this time a Marathi family. Did I say a family, oh no it was many families, they were with a groom to have a wedding in Bangalore. I won’t exaggerate, it’s true, the family with us were the nicest people I met out of my family. They offered us seat, food and some medicine to help Ashwin. They introduce us with the groom and his father. He was the driver of groom’s father and great man. They asked us to join the wedding in case we fail to obtain accommodation. I still recall this line from him — “You North Indians have rivers, we southerners have Hills”, I agree.
We reached Bangalore next afternoon, oh Ashwin is still sick, so first we get to medical store. One guy helped us get the place for accommodation. Wow, bed after two nights, we were in heaven.
Educator’s day and the Gujju
Next morning we went to the meet, long queues, registration. We entered the hall, wow, it was filled. Voila! Next to us was a Gujarati, studying engineering in Bangalore. Thank you for the Khakras, dude. NI offered us some rubbish lunch, doesn’t matter, we didn’t eat good food in last 3 days.
Day 2 at the meet, so many workshops and projects. Really, everything looked alien to us. Later evening, we decided to go to Shravanabelagola. I can not miss out the temple after travelling so far. We went by bus till CR Patan, it dropped us and we got a taxi from there.
Getting a taxi at late night a small town could make an interesting story, I made around 5 calls to have that taxi back in Delhi to my Uncle and he called me some 10 times. My uncle who sleeps early, around 9'o clock, stayed awake till we get the taxi at 11'o clock. First time I felt that my family is with me no matter how far I am.
Reached at Shravanabelagola, room was booked, you can guess who did that. Next morning, we climbed up the hill. I was extremely happy, as if God made this journey possible for me.
We finished the prayers quickly and head to Bangalore.
The day journey was interesting, there were coconut trees everywhere till the horizon. We bought some bananas, one banana each was enough for our lunch, they were as big as our elbow.
We reached Bangalore roamed in the city, had dinner and got on the train to Delhi, again without seats. Hey, we were experienced this time, so we managed better. We met the Marathi family again, this time they were with the bride.
4 hours delayed from the schedule we reached home. I didn’t write this in past 5 years, so I missed some points as the memories are fading.
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"I learned that while travelling, collects memories not things"