Pink Twins

Pink Twins
Gangtok

Yellow Villa

Yellow Villa
Gangtok

Sparkling Rai Saag

Sparkling Rai Saag
Gangtok

Lovely Poppy Flowers

Lovely Poppy Flowers
Gangtok

A Different type of Seasonal Flower

A Different type of Seasonal Flower
Gangtok

Blue Flavour

Blue Flavour
Gangtok

Pink & White Combination

Pink & White Combination

Dark Pink Flavour

Dark Pink Flavour
Gangtok 6th March 16

Purple Charm

Purple Charm
CS Quarter Gangtok

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip
Conservatory Near Selep Tank

Charm of Red Tulips

Charm of Red Tulips
Conservatory near Selep Tank

Lord Buddha

Lord Buddha
1-D Terminal New Delhi

Attraction of Red Panda

Attraction of Red Panda
Saramsa Garden

Lord Ganesh made of oranges

Lord Ganesh made of oranges
Saramsa Garden

Charm of Seasonal Flower

Charm of Seasonal Flower
Gaurds Ground Gangtok

Unmatched beauty

Unmatched beauty
Sikkim Organic Festival

Green is always soothing

Green is always soothing
Sikkim Organic Festival 2016

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Somewhere in Gangtok

White Orchid

White Orchid
Manan Kendra

Purple Orchid

Purple Orchid
Manan Kendra, 31-10-2015

Gift of Nature

Gift of Nature
Near Cherry Building

Majestic View of Sea

Majestic View of Sea
Marina, Chennai, 19-10-15

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting
Hotel Nork Hill

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle
Nork Hill, 24-11-2015

Mirror Trick

Mirror Trick
Hotel Nork Hill, Gtok, 24-11-2015

Yes we have the power

Yes we have the power
Qtr at Devt Area, 25-11-2015

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA
Gangtok dt 20-11-2015

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK
NEW DELHI 22-10-15

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE
MRS MALI SMU 13-10-2015

SAROD RECITAL

SAROD RECITAL
SMU CONVOCATION 13-10-15

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE
ITM GANGTOK 14-10-15

RED BEAUTY

RED BEAUTY
GANGTOK

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL
MAYFAIR GANGTOK

OM NAMAH SHIVAY

OM NAMAH SHIVAY
MAYFAIR GANGTOK 02-11-15

Smile and Joy

Smile and Joy
24th September Delhi

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed
Gangtok

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok on 7-10-15

Morning Glow

Morning Glow
Denzong Regency- Gangtok on 7-10-15

Pink Orchid

Pink Orchid
Pakyong Area

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
Bojeytar Pakyong 26 Feb 15

Tabla or Log Piece

Tabla or Log Piece
HMI Darjeeling Nov 2014

Hand can do anything

Hand can do anything
Birla Science Museum Kolkata

Legacy and Heritage

Legacy and Heritage
Indian Museum Kolkata

Queen Nephretus of Egypt

Queen Nephretus of Egypt
India Museum Kolkata 4th Mar 15

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece
Tashi Delek June 2014

Foot Print of Bason

Foot Print of Bason
Satpura Forest

Foot Print of Tiger

Foot Print of Tiger
Satpura Forest (MP) March 14

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Lovely Twins

Lovely Twins

Pink,Pink,Pink

Pink,Pink,Pink
Orchid,not only Spl ,It lasts longer Also

Clean Water has a Different Impact

Clean Water has a Different Impact
Rangeet at Jorethang ,24-11-14

What a Ravishing Beauty ?

What a Ravishing Beauty ?
Teesta near Kalijhora, 19-12-14

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty
K.JUNGA, 6:20 AM 18 -12-14

Another Dawn View -Different Angle

Another Dawn View -Different Angle
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

View at Dawn in Biting Cold

View at Dawn in Biting Cold
K.JUNGA 18-12

Dawn Scene-2

Dawn Scene-2
V Awas 18 -12-14

Dawn Scenario

Dawn Scenario
K.JUNGA

Morning Means End of Night

Morning Means End of Night
K. JUNGA,

View at Dawn

View at Dawn
K.JUNGA 2 ,18-12-14

Early Morning Freshness

Early Morning Freshness
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

What an eye opener early in the day?

What an eye opener early in the day?
View of 17-12-2014 from Terrace of V. Awas

Another view of full snow around Mt Kanchendzonga

Another view of full snow around  Mt Kanchendzonga
17-12-2014

Magnificent view after bone chilling night

Magnificent view after bone chilling night
17-12-2014

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night
Vidhayak Awas Gangtok

Amazing charm of Green Orchid

Amazing charm of Green Orchid
HMI Darjeeling

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
HMI DARJEELING (13-11-14)

Bell Flower in full bloom

Bell Flower in full bloom

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Dec 14 Circuit House

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires
Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom
November 14 Ganesh Tok Gangtok

What a view after getting up ?

What a view after getting up ?
B-1 Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga
11-11-2014 VIP COLONY

Red Rose

Red Rose
Gangtok

Cranes having Gala Time

Cranes having Gala Time
Tigaon, Faridabad (2nd Oct 14)

Yes I am from Faridabad

Yes I am from Faridabad
Tiny, Beautiful Bird at NTPC, Ballabgarh (29.9.14)

Water Vital for Life

Water Vital for Life
Awesome view of Teesta near Kalijhora

Yes I had a Bath

Yes I had a Bath
Gladiola at 6200 ft.

Soothing Morning View

Soothing Morning View
Mt. Khangchendzonga from C.House (April, 14)

Natural Yellow Fascinates

Natural Yellow Fascinates
Gangtok (April, 2014)

Flowery Bell ?

Flowery Bell ?
Circuit House (May 14)

Riot of Colour in Monsoon

Riot of Colour in Monsoon
Circuit House, Gangtok(May 14)

Blushing orange

Blushing orange
Circuit House Gangtok (May 14)

Magnificent Taj

Magnificent Taj
Sept 2013

I can lift Taj Mahal

I can lift Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal,Sept end 2013

Natural fan to beat the heat

Natural fan to beat the heat
India Gate (24.08.14)

Engineering Marvel

Engineering Marvel
Coronation Bridge (22.08.2014)

Cascading water, soothing to eyes

Cascading water, soothing to eyes
Scene near Teesta Baazar (22.8.14)

Teesta attracts at every bend

Teesta attracts at every bend
16.7.2014

Monkey jump

Monkey jump
Teesta River, Birik(22.8.14)

Onset of Night

Onset of Night
Qutub,Sept.13

Qutub,Dusk Scene

Qutub,Dusk Scene
Sept.13

Together we take a Plunge

Together we take a Plunge
Clean Calicut Beach, Feb-2013

Setting Sun, always soothing

Setting Sun, always soothing
Dusk at a Gaya village(15.5.13)

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle
Lake surrounding Purana Quila(20.10.13)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

MY ROMANCE WITH RAILWAYS

It came out of blue. My trusted friend, Col. Narendra Kumar, got me an Invite for the Girimitra Sammelan, organised by the Maharastra Sewa Sangh (MSS) at Mulund, Mumbai. As time was extraordinarily short, with the divine assistance of Vagish, I visited the website of the Indian Railways and a few budget airlines. There was no ray of hope as regards the railways. The smiling and reliable Sanjay, a senior officer of the Northern Railway offered to help, nevertheless.In between I tried to speak to the office bearers of MSS,but of no avail.Ultimately,a contact was established with Malini,the dashing horserider friend of yesteryears,who promised to speak to someone for board & lodging as she herself was temporarily moving out of the commercial hub of the country. I made optimum use of limited time at my disposal by fondly remembering the lessons drawn from ‘Packing’, the immensely hilarious prose piece prescribed during my Intermediate days.
2. Per kind courtesy of the HQ Quota of the Railways, I finally landed at 21.25 hours at the Platform No. 9 of the renovated New Delhi Railway Station.The new found dazzle, however,could not prevent a few villagers as also the foreigners from being harrased unnecessarily by the touts of all sizes,clout and dimensions. To my utter relief, on an otherwise sultry evening, the reck of 2472 Swaraj Express arrived late by just ten minutes from Jammu Tawi. Before I venture to enter the partially occupied AC compartment, I telephonically request my family to pass on my berth and bogie numbers ( 17, B3/AS3) to Arjun Wadkar, the Protocol Officer of Pandoo, my ever helpful batchmate. Passing of the telephonic message at this late hour was to enable me to avail of the gracious offer of transport and accomodation at Mumbai.
3..As it always happens, my portion of the bogie seemed fully occupied. When AC was actually effective and the train began moving, I was relieved to see the noticeable reduction in the number of my temporary ‘secondary group’ members. Unlike any other non-AC bogie, we would only stare at each other. rather than ‘open our heart’ at the first available opportunity. Finally when my watch showed 23.00 hours, well past Faridabad in Haryana, the hunger within led to breaking of ice. While chewing and gulping home made dinner, the conversation between six of us, occupying berth numbers 17- 22, was merely confined to knowing the places of respective destinations, apart from a passing reference to the spicey topics of nuclear deal and sky rocketting prices.
4.Most of the blankets and sheets provided looked attractive and new.But the pillows were not worth their name. Soon, after we opened and adjusted our berths to stretch our body, a sort of curiosity developed over the fact that the oldest among us, by the name of Gabbar Singh (GB),aged 58 and already a grandfather, was venturing not to sleep. A dusky beauty(DB), sporting a sleeveless brown coloured printed Kurta and a matching Churidar, on the contrary, was sleeping to glory over the side lower berth. G.B.,true to his style, preferred waiting in a standing posture to meet a friend at Mathura Station, the next halt. We wished him all the best and bid him good night around 11.30 hours. Later, the next day, before he got down at Borivali Station, he divulged to our utter surprise that he had managed to neatly gulp half a bottle of whisky before the train reached Mathura and that his ‘elusive friend’ was merely a shrewd figment of his furtile imagination.He also added that one of the passengers gave him much needed company at the dead of the night when we were supposedly wandering romantically into the fairy lands,an event made immortal by one and only Raj Kapoor in his path breaking magnum opus-Awara.
5. I suddenly woke up around 01.00 hours upon experiencing severe cold conditions in the midst of an otherwise hot and humid summer. Noticing no movement in my ‘neighbourhood’(fast asleep DB included),I gathered that the train was having an unscheduled halt for want of a signal clearance. This gave me an opportunity to go outside the AC area to get some warmth. On my request, the Caretaker agreed to raise the temperature to ensure us an undisturbed sleep prior to dawn. I also decided to use the so-called hi-tech toilet, introduced recently. It no doubt looked cleaner and more presentable than before with an additional latch, mirror and improved lights. It did not,however, have any flush system, the most essential item.My effort to press a wrong knob boomeranged,as I was bestowed with the rare privilege of having an unwanted midnight bath.Having failed to dry up my clothes,I,was, left with no alternative but to get an audience with the smartly dressed TTE at the earliest opportunity.I was optimistic even in this dark hour in view of my pleasant encounter with him within an hour of leaving New Delhi.
6.Around 07.50 hours,the train came to a screeching halt.DB was still giving an impression as if she had’nt slept for years.Her younger male escort ,however,would occasionally open his chinky eyes to do a ‘reckie’.Upon looking outside,I discovered that we had made an entry into M.P., the third State since leaving New Delhi.The two stations of Rajasthan,namely,Kota and Sawai Madhopur one had missed, as they were crossed during the unearthly hours.A hefty turbaned hawker doing brisk business while selling the famous Namkeens of Ratlam informs that the train was behind schedule by twenty minutes.He did add that the superfast was to make-up,nevertheless, in view of its good track record.While performing the daily ritual of brisk walk on the neat and clean platform,I was privileged to see the impact of Maratha culture in Ratlam,especially when I decided to break the fast with tasty Pohey and mouth-watering Dhokla,both purchased for just Rs Fifteen from an upmarket stall of the IRCTC.Though I was full in no time, I could not possibly divert my attention from staring at the appetising Pakoras being sold with Pudina ki Chutney in the far flung corner of platform.
7.The behaviour of those selling Namkeens and sweatmeats was in sharp contrast to their counterparts in the North or the East.In the same way, a certain degree of discipline and cleanliness was visible among the new passengers getting into the bogies and the ‘outsourced’ young boys who were doing a quick and fine job of wiping the window panes of compartments together with much needed cleaning of the toilets. Latter led me to bump into the new less smart TTE. He not only gave me a patient hearing,but duly sympathised with my cause.Nevertheless, to twist the discussion, he spoke of other justifiable additions , viz, improved thickness of berths,provision of mirrors in every cubicle,charging facility for cell phones,cloth hangers,bigger nets for every berth for keeping the small ,yet, essential items, water bottle holders, bright signages and last but not the least, the commitment shown by the Indian Railways through various boards espousing the cause of women and promising to work for their empowerment. Having noted these myself, I could not beg to disagree, while duly taking note of much more discernible snoring skills of DB and her companion. By now, it was established that they happened to be siblings.They appeared fully contented beings, probably inching towards the much aspired for stage of self actualisation.Or was it triggered by what they say in Hindi ‘sleeping without any worry,whatsoever, subsequent to selling the horses’?.
8. While the train leaves Ratlam at 8.10 hours, I am in a position to witness other portions of station, disciplined children suitably guided by Nuns, Muslim women in attractive burquas and a neat and clean cafetaria run by IRCTC. The whole scenario looks pleasant. DB in the meanwhile, looks for her companion all over the compartment. A sigh of relief is noted on her face, when he is found entering from the adjucent bogie. He was held up while fetching water at the last moment, a phenomenon not unusual in the Indian train journeys.
9. At Bomania station the train picks up speed. It is a pleasing sight to see clean and quiet countryside in the background of grazing goats and women and children working in fields. Soon we pass through a plateau area, having ample grass land and forest cover. While I do not mind hearing the voice of a hawker selling break fast for Rs. 20/-, my attention definitely gets diverted on hearing a loud conversation between two youngsters proceeding to Mumbai for an interview at ‘Vimal’. They also talk about relief coming to innocent citizens after the enactment of RTI and possible variations of mood of the members of interview board,they were destined to face. While all this is in progress, the train enters a tunnel of half a k.m. length. After experiencing a bout of darkness, it is nice to see a small hydel project. The surrounding terrain reminds one of the sand dunes of Jaisalmer area of Rajasthan. I notice a few huts, goats, a pair of bullock and hardy,turbaned menfolk working in cotton fields. Between the Bajranggarh and Meghnagar stations, the train picks up further momentum. Meghnagar, reported to be on the border of M.P. & Gujarat appears to be a newly built station. A mixture of M.P., Gujarat and Maharastra culture is noticeable when one looks at the dressing pattern of people seated on the platform.
10. When the train is on move again, D.B. decides to give up her sleep and grab a packet of break fast after a wash. Her face brigtens up upon receiving a call on cell. She reminds her brother in a feeble voice to refrain from reading a novel to concentrate on break fast. Withn no time, she helps herself with a cup of ‘Dip’ tea. On noticing praise for the quality of tea, some of us too decide to try our luck. The conversation of the neighbouring young men is heard again. Now they are heard talking about the state of affairs in Mayawati ruled U.P. and the corresponding situation in Maharastra. A man wearing tight jeans passes by.He is talking loudly to his wife on mobile phone, without showing any consideration to the fellow passengers.
11. By this time it becomes clear that it is going to be a cloudy day. The sand dune type of landscape emerges once again, before the train passes through Bordoi station. It is nice to see Bougainvillea flowers blooming in this dry region. A few Eucalyptus trees and abandoned huts are also visible. At this juncture(9.50 hrs), we reach Dahod, the first station of Gujarat.A five minute halt enables us some glimpses of Gujarati culture, aptly reflected through the dressing pattern and eating habits. Most of the sign boards are in Gujrati.The tiled roof of houses appear distinct and different. From the platform, I get a chance to buy a copy of ‘Free Press Journal’, a daily published from Bhopal and Indore. The news items concerning Bhopal and surrounding towns remind me vividly of the six months spent by me as a Lecturer of Sociology at Bina in early eighties.
12. Between Jhamelda and Piplod stations, one notices a drizzle followed by a good rainfall for half an hour. The beauty of near by villages gets enhanced. Pools of water appear here and there. From nowhere, a swanky white car emerges, splashing water on the passers-by. Unmindful of rains, a few school children are seen enjoying the game of hide and seek. These developments have absolutely no impact on D.B. She is once again in a sleeping mode. She occasionally gets up to respond to calls, presumably from her life-partner. Soon one notices huge hoardings of Sanghi cement on both sides of railway line. On seeing them, one is reminded of the writings on walls concerning one quack of Rengarpura, Karol Bagh, who claimed to have solutions to all sex-related complications.
13. The prosperity of Gujarat is reflected through nice houses and modern highways that one sees through the train window. It prompts discussion on the well being of Gujaratis despite facing a series of communal riots following the burning of a train bogie at closeby Godhra. When we reach this famous place just before 11.00 hrs., all are eager to see the site of the unfortunate incident. The platform situated at an altitude of 119 feet above sea level, looks organized and clean. Before reaching the now historical site, one comes across a number of Pakora vendors. I am told that this place as also Vadodra are famous for the fried delights in the same way as Ratlam is known for Namkeens. Despite being prohibited by the doctor, I try a combination of tasty Pakoras. Thereafter, I venture to see the famous black spot of the contempory history, which promted constitution of two Inquiry Commissions.
14. Before the train leaves Godhra, I rush back to my compartment. Near my seat as also in the next cabin, a few boys & girls are found busy charging their mobile phones. This sort of facility was unheard of, a couple of years ago. A mobile rings up in the process. A young lady having short curly hairs and wearing a tight pair of cream cardroys, makes no mistake in expresssing her emotions loudly to her mother at the other end. One wishes and prays that the Government of the day soon does something to check the noise pollution emanated by the flourishing cell culture.
15. I pretend to read a book and try a nap before getting a chance to see Vadodra. Soon, I am drawn to an interesting conversation between a young man and a person of 60 years of age. The former, coming from New Delhi, was looking for a reasonably priced acomodation at Vadodra to enable him to take an interview for job enhancement. The old man guided him to Hotel Suraj located near the exit gate. Before the train comes closer to his destination, the old man recounts the incident of a massive fire in B-3 coach of this very train, a couple of days ago. He adds that the train was ultimately delayed by four hours.We all thank our stars, therefore, on safely making it to Vadodra. Afterall, our coach too had the same number.
16.The view at the platform was an eye opener. It looked well maintained.Comparing its look and upkeep with the stations of North India was pointless. There were bright and readable signages all over.But the sight which stole the show was an acquarium kept at a vantage point.Among the eatables,it was the Pakora which was all pervading.A wide variety of it attracted even the likes of DB for the first time to a platform. She consumed 250 grams of one variety in addition to carrying another one in packed form, possibly for her hubby waiting anxiously at the Bandra station.Apart from the Pakoras, Dhoklas, Bondas, sweets, Puri and Subji are also available in plenty.
17. The overall behaviour of the passengers in this part of the country is worth appreciating. There are no cases of attempted theft or forced entries or occupations of reserved seats. The moving train provides an opportunity to witness the vast portions of the developed and prosperous Vadodara. I again dig up my past to refreshen myself about similar views of Allahabad, Kanpur, Etawah, Hathras, Aligarh, Ghaziabad etc.from the ever slow Tata-Amritsar Express during my innumerable journeys as a post-graduate student between Ranchi and Delhi in the late seventees and early eightees. While the sight of a mosque and dome of a historic building attracts,the slums in the foreground act as a distracting force.When the train picks up rapid speed to make up little bit of the lost time,I am attracted towards the never say die attitude of one Parshuram Acharya.He is not interested in looking outside or engaging in any useless conversation.He is,rather,working tirelessly on his laptop,checking E-mails and attempting to reply to some of them in this state of mobility.The polite businessman in him occasionally finds time to convey to his near and dear ones,the possible arrival time of the train at Mumbai.On being offered this kind of opportunity by him,I too converse with Dawney and Anks.While I do so,I gather the news that a driver and a protocol assistant will be waiting for me when the train reaches Mumbai in another six hours or so.
18.It is lunch time when the train has another sheduled halt at Bharoach.I attempt a leisurly walk but soon return on not finding anything worthwhile to see and take note of.When I am in the process of relishing the Railway supplied lunch,I am attracted to the mighty Narmada,one of the two famous rivers of Gujarat.One is informed that it is extremely crucial for the overall sustenance of the State.Soon to be seen, the Tapi river flowing between Ankleshwar,the vast Chemical hub and Surat,however,is reported to be a bane for the state.
19. On reaching Surat around 14.00 hours in the afternoon,the calamity of Plague of 1984 immediately comes to mind.Also I am reminded of the relentless efforts of a dynamic IAS officer,then heading its Municipal Corporation.His sincereity and hard work had not only ensured freedom from plague sooner than expected but he could also devise an unique formula for profit making by the much maligned municipal bodies. Needless to say,he went on to inspire the admistrators of such bodies in other states.
20. From the conversation of others, I further pick up the information that Surat is a prominent textile centre,apart from being a highly developed diamond, steel, dress material and sari centre. Goods produced at a low cost find a ready market all over the country. The latest Chinese consumer products too are imitated in no time.Reliance and many bigwigs of textile and chemical industry have their mammoth units in the vicinity. The busy Hazira port and Vapi industrial town too are reported close by.A five minute halt at the station gives an exposure of traditionally dressed Muslim community.One is also reminded about the busy and bustling Surat port of the pre-British era.
21. Around 16.50 hours, subsequent to crossing Vaitarna river,low hills situated along the Arabian Sea are visible.As the train enters Thane area of Maharastra,a number of serene creeks leading to the Arabian sea are visible.The train actually becomes slow and brings in some monotony while passing through a long bridge over the Thane Creek.Next,one notices rather unorganised yet flourishing real estate.In the process,we also pass through a number of slums.Mumbai culture is there to see once the fast moving and vibrant local trains are sighted.A line of quick comparison between the lifestyles of the Mumbaikars viz a viz Delhiites is heard.Saloni,the little charming girl comes out of her own impressions of congested but lively Mumbai.She,in addition,finds Mumbai women using trains more frequently and with added confidence as compared to their counterparts of Delhi or elsewhere.
22.In this backdrop,one tries to pick up more insight into India’s commercial capital as the train halts for a while at Borivali,followed by brief and inconsequential halts at Kandivali, Malad, Jogeshwari, Andheri and Santa Cruz.I feel excited and elated on visiting Mumbai by train after a gap of twenty three years.
23. As we move closer to Bandra, the terminal point, expression on DB’s face changes. As such , she had a wash, combed her hairs and applied a bit of make up.She was, perhaps, dying to get a glimpse of her life partner after weeks if not months.Her faithful brother lends his hand in repacking her bag.As soon as she gets up to finally leave her berth,her cell rings.Who else it could be except her prince? Oh no,it turns out to be a missed call.Acharya,Saloni’s family and the young job aspirants,in the meanwhile, succeed in establishing a contact or two with their near and dear ones.Practically everyone utters ‘the train is late by ten to fifteen minutes’.While commenting so,perhaps they fail to realise that a train can genuinely lag behind due to the circumstances sometimes beyond anyone’s control.As long as a long distance is arrived
at without any mishap,the credit in all fairness should go to the vast and experinced railway set up.
24.The imminent hour comes.We are reported very close to Bandra.The expected rush leads to the exit gates.While Acharya says the train is bound to touch the platform on the left,the youngmen report otherwise.Saloni prefers to maintain her cool.She leaves it to her parents to provide the necessary guidance.
25.At last DB’s cell rings again.This time she faces no disappointment.Her husband is on the other end.Happiness returns.She has a much needed sigh of relief.She rushes to the door only to be politely advised to have patience.Sharp at 18.10 hrs., Bandra station comes.While all manage to get down one by one,DB still looks for HIM.He must be somewhere.Afterall,his call was received moments ago.She consoles herself.He ultimately surfaces.Both not only look at each other,they actually begin running from the opposite directions.It is only a matter of seconds that the usual rejoining scene straight from a Hindi movie is enacted.More appropriately,it is akin to the ending of ‘Mr.and Mrs Iyer’minus the chubby toddler.While they unknowingly try to ignore the world around them for a moment,it is my turn to focus rapt attention on the placard bearing my name.Yes,Sangli,the smiling Protocol Assistant is sighted.By folding his hands,he introduces himself.I shake hand with him.I feel happy and relieved.My joy multiplies when informed of the telephonic contact he had with my family.
26.Without any success,I try to relocate DB,Acharya,young job aspirants or Saloni.They are not sighted again.Perhaps they have,by now, mingled with the vast ocean of humanity that Mumbai has.Time is ripe for me to bid good bye to the train in which I spent lovely and memorable twenty hours.I place myself at the disposal of Sona,the unassuming driver from the trusted world of bureaucracy to show me the interesting spots in the ever-resilient Mumbai.

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