Tuesday, 18 January 2011

My Journey to Kolkata.

source: google
There was a hustle and bustle of travelers in and around the station. The time was 8:30pm and there was still more than an hour for the train to go. I was just loitering around looking by the book stalls, the tea shops and other small vendors. This time I didn’t have any luggage to carry. Only thing I had was my small bag so I need not have to worry about the misplacement of my luggage which I usually do when I go for vacations. There were street kids begging, there were crippled humans struggling to live a life, there were others who sit and chat. Such things are not uncommon so I didn’t focus on such phenomenons. I was just hoping to reach my destination the next morning without any troubles on the way.

I checked my balance on my phone. There was only eight rupees. I walked around to recharge my phone but couldn't locate a single shop selling recharged coupons nearby.
“Oh! How shall I text New Year greetings to my friends near and far,” I was startled. “No I will wish them latter.”

Just a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine, indeed my village acquaintance called me to visit him down there in Kolkata where he studies. The first and last time I stepped in the city of Kolkata was three years ago when I first came to India. Since then I have never been there. I took the short route to reach my home during vacations, instead of going via Kolkata. This time I was having a break of around five days. Since the Christmas Eve most of the students living in our hostel has left for their home for celebrating the Christmas and then the New Year and as such we were just a handful of students in the hostel. So I made my mind to visit my friend down there.

"Hatia Howrah Express, train no 18616 will leave on platform number1 at 21 hours 40 minutes," came the announcement. There was hardly ten minutes so I made myself ready for the journey. I have reserved an AC Class and that cost me around Rupees 700, as I reserved the ticket just one day before my journey on tatkal reservation. Ok, money is not a matter. What we need is safety during journey and I find AC class safe without much influx of strangers and beggars. In the train, my seat was just near the exit point. People go and people came, thus opening the door time and again, inviting gust of wind, in the chilly winter night. There were other passengers seated by my side. I didn’t talk with a single of them though two of us (me and my only Bhutanese friend in my college) talked a little but we also didn’t chat much.

Outside, it was dark and nothing was visible. Through the windows, I couldn’t see the child playing by the meadow; man’s fishing by the ponds, trucks plying with heavy loads, paddy in full ripe, and vehicles in queue waiting for the passing train, which we normally see while traveling during the daytime. The people by our side, they talked, they dinned, and finally they were planning to sleep so I gave them way to sleep by climbing myself to the upper berth. It was already 12:00am, 1st January 2011, and thus my first day of the year was a journey.
"Is it an indication that my year will be full of Journey?" I thought. "Forget it, life itself is a journey," I condemned myself.

 I then wrapped myself tightly in the soft blanket provided, and then comfortably put myself in dreamland.
"2011, what will it bring for me??? No, it will bring a lot but I have to achieve them, else it will pass-by as did by the bygone 2010. Last year at this time, our college was on strike so we didn’t have a remarkable begin. The semester exams got postponed, the syllabi were not completed and I have tough time coping up with those adverse situations."
While I was gazing back to the bygone year, the person sleeping on the lower berth distracted me. He snored and snored. I tried to awaken him but I couldn’t. Nor could I sleep well. However the night has slowly given its way to the new dawn of 2011.

So in the morning at around seven I was in the large, noisy and crowded Howrah station. We were dropped on platform no 16. Two years ago, we boarded the train from platform no 24. It was almost midnight that time so I could not locate anything which seems familiar to my previous journey. I then called my unacquainted friend of Kolkata and told him about our arrival in the station. He then wholeheartedly told me that he will come to the station to catch us. Actually we could have boarded a taxi and made our own way to his place which is around 30 minute drive but somehow I felt apprehensive.
“What if the taxi driver drove us to another place and empties our purse (though I don’t have much)?"

My friend then called me. That time I had only three rupees on my balance. Each incoming minute deduced one rupee and before we could meet amid the crowd, my balance finished. My friend who was accompanying me on the other hand has finished his balance texting and calling his friends the night before so he was left with only with a fraction of rupee on his balance. Two phones couldn’t meet the requirement of a common interest. What an absurdity. I then rushed to the PCO but there wasn’t recharging facility. I then dialed his number from the telephone booth and asked his whereabouts but we couldn’t meet at the common place. We were standing by the terminal 1 and he was on the other side. I myself was confronted with myself and my friend at the other end might be infuriated by me. He then recharged my phone, and then we walked amid the crowd searching for one another. Finally we met at platform number one.

For the first time after a gap of more than three years two of us meet at a point where the journey begins. Then I introduced my friend to him, he did to us his friends, and for the first time in my college life, I was accompanying a folk Bhutanese in India.


  1. bro it seems every tym u travel u face with obstacles... yet am glad u ve overcumed it....
    i lyk ur writings.. keep updated......

  2. First of all thanks for visiting my blog. Yeah, you are right bro, and each journey gives new experiece, which would help us to prepare ourselves better for the future.
    And the journey to BodhGaya, has more pain and frustration, haha..
    keep visiting la.

  3. wow u have put ur experience in riting so beautifully dat wen i wen through dis i cud imagine u n da things n cud c u infront of my eyes la. keep riting it really nice dea

  4. Thanks Choney... keep visiting la.