A Train Journey Redolent of Beethoven

A few days ago, I undertook a train journey. The holiday was to serve a number of purposes – one has been done and evoked enough memories of a time of life – the happy heedless days of school life, or as I term it, the days of white and grey (based on the uniform I proudly wore in different forms for twelve years)….  but which have unfortunately passed off and only survive in the memory. (I shall definitely write more on them soon….. it is a story that needs to be told).

Of the other purposes, a few are underway and should be done in the next few days, before it is sadly time to pack my bags and return to the unmitigated drudge of the routine life….  I must confess even writing these few words evokes a strange feeling of angst. However, in an attempt to mitigate this feeling, I shall rewind back in time to Saturday (Oct 30, 2010) – the day I commenced my journey.

I will not go in the furious calculations that preceded my journey…. my intention was to take a long break, over a fortnight but then I had to cut it short to roughly a week after my dear sister announced her own plans and I had to fix up another week-long period in the days she will be visiting. My trip had also to be brought forward as there was an event to attend on the 30th itself – one I referred to above. I didn’t want to mention it again but had to in order to make the point that to attend it, I would have to reach Lucknow well in the day….. and that meant taking the morning train.

The Shatabadi is a good train…. the only problem with it is the time of its departure – 0615 hours. For someone like me, it means keep awake the whole night and leaving the house by 0445 hours. As I reached home after work, there stretched four hours of waiting in these cold nights, and keeping away from the bed to forestall falling asleep. As I passed the hour, keeping myself busy packing, my thoughts went to another night – almost an year ago, save a week or three – when I waited to undertake a significant journey, at that beset with uncertainty – I had no idea of how to undertake the key, later part of the journey and whether I would reach in time for my objective (As it happened, all seamlessly fell into place but that is another story by itself).

However, let me return to my point…. 400+ plus words later and I am still quite away from coming to explaining what the title says.

Anyway, the hours of waiting passed and I left, a trip through the cold, deserted streets of a sleeping metropolis which took less than half an hour and I was at the station a full half an hour before the train was brought to the platform and we could take our seats. Well, after four hours, half an hour was no big deal…. Eventually, the train rolled in and we rushed in. Thankfully, my seat was one facing the direction of the journey (I have a dislike of travelling with my back to the engine), there was enough space on the overhead shelves for my luggage and that is when my luck ran out…..

However, I spent the few minutes left before departure, trying to pick up some papers, but couldn’t find any and had to settle for a magazine, and a bottle of a fizzy drink which I needed for my plans….. and then walking up and down outside the carriage till the signal turned green and the whistle blew.

To be continued….

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