Our train to Mumbai was scheduled to leave Margao at 13:45. By the time each lazy bum was on his feet, hands of the clock showed 11:00. With exactly 165 minutes to go, we had an exciting race against time in our hands. If 50 kms in 165 minutes from Calangute to Margao wasn’t thrilling enough, we also had the local bus travelling of travelling at 20 km/hr. add to the delay.
Somehow, we managed to reach Panaji in 45 minutes. This time, without taking any more risks we took the Super Fast- Non Stop bus to Margao bus stand. Non-stop buses make life so easy for people like us. I hope the BEST also comes up with such buses in the near future.
A traffic jam in
With the last purchase of a box of Perk chocolates for the journey, we started off towards the Margao railway station. According to the locals the railway station was just some minutes walk away. But the scorching sun, over loaded bags and the crowded markets made our walk horrendous. At last, we saw the glimpse of the railways tracks. I, Ali, Anna and Atul were walking at a brisk pace while Kandu, Rehan and Gala were happy taking baby steps.
It took us a little while to realize that the train standing on the platform was the Jan Shatabdi – the train which was supposed to take us back to Mumbai. Our brisk pace soon turned into a jog. Soon, there was a loud whistle and our jog turned into a run. We turned back to see where had the slow coaches reached. But to our surprise, they were nowhere to be seen.
There was no time for us to wait and search for them now. Come what may, we had to reach the platform and get into the train. Running as fast as we could with those bags on our shoulders and in our hands we somehow made it to the platform. We asked the motor man the time for left for departure. “Almost ready to leave”, he replied. Our hearts skipped a beat. “Where were these guys?”, we thought. We found our coach and threw our bags in the upper racks.
Except for cursing, there was nothing we could do. “All the passengers are requested to board the train as it will depart shortly”, the announcement was being broadcast. At that very moment, my mobile phone stated ringing. “Anna’s dad calling” was being displayed on my mobile screen. Now, we are done for. What was he gonna answer? I handed over my phone to him. “So, you are confirmed to reach Mumbai tonight?”, his dad asked. “Err.. Yes.. I am supposed to catch the train this afternoon”, Anna replied with the train standing inches in front of him.
“Now what??”, we all thought. “How would we reach Mumbai, if we missed this train?” No doubt we all loved
Many ideas were discussed and finally, we thought of taking down our baggage and letting the train go. Dekha… Isse Kehte Hai Dosti !!! But, then all of a sudden Ali spotted the three tortoises strolling on the road opposite to the railway track. They were walking at their own leisurely pace. We called out with a deafening roar. They looked at us and understood our frantic hand movements and curses.
The baby steps turned into an Olympic run. Rehan was giving it his best shot. Huffing and puffing under the heavily loaded baggage, he was a sight to watch. We wanted to laugh at his plight but at that moment, we just wanted him to catch the train. Suddenly, he lost all his steam and gave up. At that very moment, Ali… yes Ali… broke into a run to his aid. He ran all the way on the platform and clambered the over bridge and snatched the bags from his hands. A perfect example of how relay should be played.
Eventually, in true Filmy Style we managed to catch the train at the last moment. After giving them and earful, we managed to find out that all the credit for providing the last minute thrills and adrenaline rush was thanks to Kandu. He wanted to guzzle down a bottle of Breezer on his way. So, they had stopped at a local shop to purchase some bottles of Breezer. And that was not all. He also had the guts to ask the shopkeeper to search for his favorite flavor with the train scheduled to leave any moment. And you know what??? If we had missed this train, he would have been the worst hit. Because his parents were due to fly down from US the day after and he was supposed to be home. Now time to reveal Kandu’s worst kept secret – To this date his parents (esp. his Appa … doesn’t know that Kandu was with us in
Very soon, we were ready to play the game which we taken so much liking to in
The train came to a halt at Ratnagiri. To click some more pics, we got down and managed to capture the beautiful Jan Shatabdi.
Jan Shatabdi Stars
Passing through many tunnels, bridges and winding tracks, we finally reached Thane station at around 10:00 in the night. After bidding farewell to everyone, all got down except Rehan. He was supposed to get down at the next station. I can still vividly remember the look on Rehan's face. For the first time in our lives, we saw the emotional side of Rehan. He was wearing that Sabko-Jaana-Kya-Zaroori-Hai look on his face.At the back of the mind, everyone knew that maybe this is our last trip together. God knows whats gonna happen after one year. Everyone is gonna get busy with their own lives. Some may fly abroad for higher education, some may get occupied with work and some may get admissions in MBA colleges. But, one thing is for sure. Come what may... we will still be together. And this is the promise of the Animal Kingdom.