A picture with bhaaji when he visited us for a day at Trivandrum last year
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Unchahaar Express (4217) is a convinient and direct train for travelling from Kanpur to Chandigarh. Scheduled to leave Kanpur at 8:30* PM, it reaches Chandigarh at 10:15* in the morning; so a night of travelling and the entire distance is covered (*conditions apply).
On 25 November 2005, I was visiting my parents at Chandigarh with my family (wife and two children aged 4 yrs and 1 yr). Reassured by the information dished by the computerised railway inquiry, we headed for the railway station. Bhaaji and Major NT were dropping us at the railway station. I have already introduced Bhaaji in my earlier post. Major NT is my colleague at the Bank, elder to me by ten years (by army seniority).
By the time we reached the railway station, the train was declared to be late by one hour. Having full faith in the system, we went to the waiting room; as there was no point in going back home and coming again.My friends who had come to 'see us off ' preferred to spend some more time with us. Exactly after one hour, it was announced that the train is late by another one hour.We cursed the railways for a minute and straight headed for the nearest tea stall.
(Years later, I think it was naive to have faith in the system. It would have been worthwhile checking the train status from the originating station to avoid spending the entire night on the railway station)
Coming back to where I left at the railway station on a cold night in 2005; we were discussing one thing or the other, there were so many things which kept our attention alive. I thanked my friends for coming with us to the station and requested that they should return and that I would catch the train when it comes to the station but my friends refused to go stating that I may have problem getting on the train with small kids.
To cut the long story short, the railways lived upto its image by faithfully announcing the delay hour after hour and we kept waiting at the station till 5 in the morning when the train actually reached Kanpur. Bhaaji and Maj NT helped us to board the train and we were onboard the hospitality of the Indian railways.It was some time later when we were comfortable in the train, we realised that we had missed an important thing.
We immediately called up Bhaaji and wished him a very happy birthday (26 November). At the same time, I also felt guilty of causing discomfort to him by keeping him awake the entire night. In circumstances like these; friends, colleagues or even relatives may take a different recourse, one has to be extremely lucky to have such steadfast friends. This incident may be of little consequence to any other person but it has a very special place in our heart. Kind deeds of dear one's always leave a lasting impression in our lives.