Dear, Railway has to be run on tracks…!!!

Dear, Railway has to be run on tracks…!!!

My journeys on the train known as Life Line of India - are countable on fingers as I have not travelled too much especially after the purchase of my car in the 90s.  But sometimes I have to travel a long distance, say more than one hours’ journey, I prefer to go by train as it is more comfortable, convenient particularly in the old age when you face the number of physical problems.

For short distance travelling on the train, one has to board in the general category compartment and even in mail trains, there is unreserved compartment to accommodate the general public to travel without any reservation.

A few months back, I had to visit Bathinda – a two hours journey from my hometown Ferozepur – for putting my thumb on the biometric device to link with the family pension from Provident Fund office as a proof that I am still alive.

It happened so that at the second station, there was a raid by Ticket Checkers in a group of around ten officials and I felt frightened when he demanded from the other two co-passengers a fine of Rs. Six hundred.  Despite making a number of excuses like that we have boarded hurriedly when the train has just started from the station, to which the checking team refuted that since you boarded from Ferozepur. One of them said you could have changed at the next station and ultimately, the couple had to pay the fine and there was no bargaining by the young inspecting officials of the railways, well dressed in their hard thirties.

But Thank God! I was not asked for the ticket, perhaps presuming that I might have the reservation as kept myself busy on my laptop finalizing for my write-up for the newspaper, magazines lying on my left-hand side and beautiful bag on my right side.

Frankly speaking, travelling without reservation is risky even for small journeys.  I was so petrified, worried and horrified of the last incident of raid by the TCs – Ticket Checkers that during my next visit for the same purpose to prove myself as alive in the Provident Fund office at Bhatinda, I boarded the general category compartment which was too dirty lying the waste material, empty bottles, buds and giving a foul smell. 

I had hardly sat there for ten minutes and the moment I thought of travelling by bus or shifting to the Sleeper coaches by paying the fine, the checker’s team entered the general category compartment and nabbed few passengers without the ticket. Meanwhile, they shouted loudly to other passengers to show the tickets. When   This time, I was confident by travelling in the general compartment with the valid ticket. I, however, asked the TC, if I could sit in the sleeper coach and get an instant reservation.  He agreed and issued me the reservation slip for hundred with a word, Uncle, it is a good decision, and otherwise, you would have been charged ten times of the ticket if caught unreserved in the reserved compartment.

However, after issuing the reserved ticket I shifted to the reserved compartment, where TCs came and one of them recognized me and other one said, Sir, he has purchased the reserved ticket. Then he said you could have given a reference but I said, “Dear, Railway has to be run on tracks”. To which he said, Uncle, thanks for helping the Line of India.

Next Post »