As i write this, i am on a train to Jaipur from Gurgaon.
This trip is called ‘Chalo Patang Udaane’ which when translated from Hindi means, ‘Lets go and fly kites’. This is one of those randomly semi-planned trips where I’m on my way to Ahmedabad to see the kites festival. I will write more about Kites festival after visiting it.
Since it was a semi-planned trip, i had booked my tickets two weeks in advance. So here I am, on my way to my first ever travel to Gujarat. I took the Delhi-Jaisalmer (another to-do destination in my travel list) train to Jaipur which picked me from Gurgaon at 18:30 hr. I could have boarded the double-decker at 18:00 hr and save nearly 2 hours of travel time & that too in an AC compartment, but i decided to stick to my reserved sleeper seat.
I always liked traveling in Sleeper class for the dust laden winds through the open windows to the stories told by fellow travellers. It’s an unmatched, memorable experience which the AC compartments never facilitated. Maybe, AC compartments make people reserved; as if there is a hearsay mandate as to not speak or act freely.
An hour early, I loitered around the station drinking chai . Killing time has become harder since i quit smoking a month back. And Gurgaon railway station is more like a crossing with platforms on either side. I had nothing to do other than staring at the huge crowd in the station to board the double-decker train.
The train arrived a bit late, at last. One of my first mistake was to book a train on a Friday evening. The train was loaded with people, with limbs & heads protruding out of every possible exit – windows or doors. I almost decided to head back to IFFCO chowk & board a bus to Jaipur. But then, this journey is to woo new experiences & i didn’t have much luggage to carry except for my laptop bag.
So i climbed the train, fighting the crowd and managed few steps away from the door… and got stuck!
Pic (above): they are the ‘regulars’ who can play cards in a moving, crowded train
(below, right): the crowded train
I stood there for 1 hour, unable to move or position myself comfortably. Few fellow travellers started playing cards, they seemed like regulars & have mastered the skill of standing on one foot, comfortably!
Honestly, i was ‘not unhappy’ that people without reservation are sitting on my reserved seat while i was struggling to even stand. Instead i felt sympathetic towards my fellow travellers who brave this trip on a daily basis!
The local crowd got down as we reached Rewari & i managed to reach my berth. Thus, after an ‘active start’, I am on my way to Jaipur for another midnight halt in two months, to wait for my next train to Ahmedabad.
pic: my fellow unreserved travellers
Chalo Patang Udaane :)
read the second part of this travel here: Chalo Patang Udaane-touchdown@ Ahmedabad