A Journey by train is an ordeal, particularly, when one has to travel without reservation. The other day I had a telephone call from the head office that I should reach the head office urgently. As I could not avoid the urgent call, I got ready to go. I tried to get the reservation but failed.
The last train for Calcutta was to leave at 10 P.M. and it was already nine. I hired a taxi and reached the station at 9.30. P.M. I rushed to the platform No. 1. There was a great rush. The platform had lots of passengers. I hired a coolie and promised to give him ten rupees if he got me a berth.
The train was already at the station. The coolie managed to get me in. Other passengers also tried to get in but when they ailed, they threw their luggage through the window and climbed in.
As soon as I had a seat, I looked around. The compartment was packed to the full. Men, women and children were pushing and jostling and uttering abuses. There was din and bustle Fortunately, I was sitting near a window and could see outside. I soon forgot all that I had to suffer in getting in. I began to enjoy the scene.
In the meantime I was attracted by the sing-song voice of & pedlar. He had entered the compartment and was selling his goods. The people were attracted towards him and some of them even purchased the things from him. The fellow disappeared as suddenly as he had come.
The train was moving at a fast speed. Soon it reached Moghal Sarai. After a short stop it started again and picked up speed. Just at about 10 A.M., the train reached Calcutta. I got down and went to the office. It was my first experience of traveling without reservation. It was a journey which I value because in this train I had come face to face with real India.