During the Dushehra vacations this year some of my friends and I decided to visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Our parents gladly permitted to go. We have heard many praises of the Taj and all of us were keen to see it. We were ten friends and we were sure of having a happy time together. On the fixed day, we packed up all our luggage and started for the station at 11 PM., half-an-hour before the scheduled time of the train.
Now, on reaching the station the problem of purchasing the tickets seemed to be a difficult one. In order to have an idea of the difficulties of a second class journey, we intended to travel by second class. We found line , two of us stood in the line and it was with great difficulty that ten tickets were purchased.
Then we went to the platform and found that the train was above half-an-hour late. We had to wait for the train on the platform. This long wait was very tiresome. I passed the time in looking at the scene around me, I observed the scene on the platform with great interest. There was great noise and bustle. People were present there in large number, all waiting anxiously, like us, for the arrival of the train. Many people were going hither and thither in a hurry. Others were standing and talking, while still others were sitting on their luggage. Hawkers were shouting to see their goods, coolies were moving about with luggage on their heads. engines were emitting smoke and whistling from time to time.
At last the train arrived. There was a mad rush for it. The noised increased. Many passengers were trying to get out, while many others were trying o get in. All were in a great hurry. Some were hurt. Children were crying loudly. The train was already overcrowded and it was only with difficulty that few could enter it. We moved from one end of the train to the other but could not find any accommodation. All the second class compartment were fully packed. Many, who could not get any seats, were standing. It was only with the help of a kind-hearted passenger that we could enter a compartment. The kind passenger helped us in, through the window. We could get only a standing place.
Though outside it was comparatively cool, it was suffocating within the over-crowed compartment. When at last the train whistled and steamed off, we all breathed a sigh of relief. We looked around the compartment, but could not find any vacant seats. Many others were also standing like us. At every stations, more people tried to get in, and those who were already in tried to stop them from entering. This sometimes caused quarrels and hot words were frequently exchanged. We were thoroughly tired and it was with great difficulty that we somehow managed to remain standing. At last we reached Aligarh. It is a big station and many passengers got down there from our compartment. Now we could get comfortable seats. We thanked God for this.
As the train moved we looked out. It was really a beautiful scene. It was a moonlit night and nature silvery white. A cool breeze was blowing and we soon felt comforted and refreshed. As the night was well advanced, many of us began to doze. In this way time passed. At about 7 A.M, our train reached Agra. We had a difficult journey and were thoroughly tired, but the hope of seeing the various scenes and sights of Agra filled our hearts with joy.