Journey to Hyderabad 27/06/2011

Traveling by train to Hyderabad  is an experience by itself. Thankfully one need not climb flights of steep stairs  in Central station in Chennai, when you board trains from here. What is the use of an Escalator which doesn’t  work, it’s as good as not having one. I am referring  to the one in Egmore station from where I had to board the train to Hyderabad. I f you are not fortunate to get reservation in the Bay area, you end up accommodating yourself on the side berth, which is in itself not a comfortable thought and worse still is if the berth  happens to be the one  nearest to the door. Gearing myself  for the disturbances in store I decided to bury my nose into   the week end’s Times Crest which had a very interesting cover story. Reading the paper from beginning to end, a rare indulgence on my part, after an early dinner I wished to  retire for the  night. When I wanted to draw the curtain, I found it all knotted and hanging  from the curtain rod above. When I tried to untie it, to my surprise I found  its two halves  landing on my lap! The curtain rings were missing too (so much for the maintenance by the Railways). When I complained  to the TC he promised to do the needful and  a couple of hours later he did keep up his word—by ordering for a fresh bedsheet  to serve the purpose of a curtain,

Some privacy indeed I thought!

I  was blissfully asleep until I was  suddenly woken up by raised voices and noticed  one of the passengers  was having  a  heated argument with the TC, complaining that  he was allotted an upper berth  in the ladies coupe (which was  facing my berth) which he thought  was atrocious.The argument continued well into the night and it was resolved when the lady occupying the lower berth was requested to shift with the result  the three of us had to keep awake the better part of the night!

When I was  about to resume my sleep, I suddenly noticed  through the interconnecting   door that three men were standing  with their backs  to it.  When I  swung the door open I noticed  one of them, the bulkiest of  the  three was  standing near the entrance ,with the door open.. I requested  him to shut the door  but he never appeared to pay heed. I wanted to complain to the TC but he was not in sight.  I couldn’t sleep peacefully for fear  that anyone of  these three could  choose to rob me of my luggage and disappear into the night by jumping out  quietly  un noticed.

I  almost vowed never to travel  by this train in future but when morning dawned I had second thoughts because we reached Hyderabad as per the scheduled time which never happens with other trains bound to this destination.

 n.meera raghavendra rao    


7 thoughts on “Journey to Hyderabad 27/06/2011

  1. Sundera Gopalan

    Meera I also had the same experience once I travelled alone from Delhi to Chennai.Iwas offered the side lower birth and had a hell of a time.I can very well immagine your position Meera.

  2. Prof. V.N.K.Kumar

    “A berth that runs alongside the aisle” or “A berth parallel to the aisle” might be a better title. I totally agree with what you said. Many a time I have had the misfortune of being allotted the side berth at the entrance of a AC 2 Tier coach and throughout the night the swishing of the door when opened by passengers visiting the loo disturbs your sleep. Then again in the side berths, the cushioned back rests of the opposite seats are brought down to form a bed but they are never in perfect alignment and level, which troubles your back. Moreover if you are a tall person the length is not enough to stretch oneself fully. I used to imagine in my fantasy that if I were to be a Railway minister I would get rid of all side berths.

  3. V Raghavan

    This is a universal problem. Once we made a reservation more than a month in advance, when most seats were vacant. N and I were allotted the upper and lower aisle seats. I wrote a stinker to the railways asking how they could allot such seats for senior citizens. I got a reply saying that seats were allotted by the computer and they have no control over it. After that, we stopped traveling by this class and went by either first class (if such a coach was available on the train), or First Class AC or fly. I agree that aisle seats should be abolished.

    1. It is true that Computers can’t have any discretion in alloting seats . Flying also is not hassle free because of the time involved in commuting to distant airports.Added to it are the flight delays/cancellations for whatever reason which is really bugging!

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