Jun 29, 2017

A trip to Hyderabad - Part I

11'o clock. Prakash desperately opened the PNR checker website and typed the 10 digit number eagerly to witness a miracle of getting confirmed berth in Konark express that will take his wife and himself to Secunderabad for a vacation. He had missed the chance an hour ago to get himself a confirmed ticket through tatkal mode in Air Conditioned compartment. His only alternative is to book tickets in the Sleeper compartment, which he knows is like "paid" general compartment. Only he knows how he dreads traveling by 2nd Sleeper every time he finds himself in a situation like this!

"Did you finish packing?" he asked Sathya, his darling wife.

"Yet to start", came the reply in a jiffy. "Were the tickets confirmed? Are we really going to Hyderabad?" she countered him.

Not yet. The PNR status still shows that our ticket is in waiting list 11 and 12, but final charting is yet to be done.

"But the train would arrive two hours from now!" she exclaimed.

Yes. But what if the tickets are confirmed by then? Let's better pack and get ready.

Time ticked at its own pace, moving the minute hand slowly past 30 notches. Prakash and Sathya grabbed their essentials and stuffed them inside a couple of bags, unsorted. "We will have enough time in train to sort them out", Prakash commented. 

"But only if we get in that train", Sathya replied skeptically.

"Let me check the PNR status again. I wonder why they are yet to finalize the chart", he lamented.

Charting done. Final status: Ticket 1: Confirmed, Ticket 2: WL

He jumped in joy. "We are traveling for sure", he hasted their packing. 

"But what about the waitlisted ticket?" she asked while packing her sundries.

"Don't worry. We have partially confirmed ticket. I can talk to TT and get a berth for myself. Let's go".

They rushed towards the main gate to catch an auto to the railway station. Fate intervened again. There was not even a single auto! "Damn", he banged his fist on the other hand. "We do not have much time. Let me get our bike. We shall park it in the station itself", shouting thus, he took long strides towards the parking lot.

"Your kind attention, please. Train number 11020, Bhubaneswar to Pune, Konark express via Visakhapatnam, Secunderabad has just arrived on Platform No. 1", they both heard the announcement as the bike entered the railway parking lot. He quickly parked the bike and both of them ran towards the train that was about to depart.

"We made it!" he said while she was still gasping for air. They made their way through the narrow passageway to find the allotted berth. "Side Lower", he said after finding the seat. "We can share the seat till a berth is allotted for me. Let us wait for the TT", Prakash said keeping their bags below the seat while Sathya was getting ready to settle down.

To be continued in Part II...