The November Trail
This November trip was an all train trip. Indian railways go crazy during winter months due to fog. This year, Delhi smog was the said culprit. The winter fog was still to set in but the smog made it tough for trains to reach on time. We were to board Swaran Jayanti Shatabadi (train no. 12957) from Ahmedabad station at 5.40 pm. We reached well before time, around 5.15 pm, having enough time in hand to settle down without any rushing. It’s a routine practice by railways and a good one to bring the train on platform approximately 20 to 30 minutes before the time of departure. When the train did not arrive at the expected time, we were all ears to the announcements by the railways.There was no mention of our train, which is abnormal as “Rajdhani” trains are the premier trains. Anyway, google came to our rescue and we found out the delay of about 45 minutes was mentioned on some website but not on the official site. On inquiring from one of the porters ( they have all the correct information) , it was found to be true. So, finally we boarded the train around 6.30 pm and train was late by 45 minutes from the starting station. The train reached late from Delhi due to smog, hence the delay, as were updated by the local “google smart” porter. It reached in time at Delhi Cantonment station on 10th November morning at 6.45 am .We were to go to Dwarka in west Delhi and this station is nearer.
I have been using Rajdhani to travel to and fro between Ahmedabad and New Delhi since last 15 years. There is no change in food served. Same menu every day, every time. Please at least have two or three different sets of menus. It’s so boring to have the same meal every time. #Piyushgoyal 🙁
Wedding of dear Abhishek, my sister-in-law Babli’s elder son was on 12th November. It is third wedding in the family in November. We are having November marriages every year since 2015. The trend was started by Sahil’s on 18th November, 2015, Megha continued the trend and was wedded on 11th November, 2016 and now Abhishek’s is getting married on 12th November 2017. Family weddings are fun. It’s an excellent opportunity for catching up with extended family , dressing up , dancing and partying. The children are making sure, we meet every year. 🙂
After the wedding, we boarded the Amritsar – Shatabadi to Beas from New Delhi. It was supposed to start at 4.30 pm. But due to smog and other unknown reasons, it started almost 1.5 hrs late and maintained the delay all through the journey. We reached Beas at 12, mid night. The actual time of arrival was 22.30 pm. It was so smogy that one can barely see one’s stretched hands. It took us another 40 minutes to cover a distance of 5.5 kms which otherwise takes less than10 minutes. Since the place is surrounded by fields, density of smog was very high as local farmers burn their leftovers and with winters setting in, it settles down and blocks vision.
I was to board my next train, Amritsar – Haridwar Shatabadi for Roorkee from Beas on 19th morning at 7.20am. Though smog and fog was cleared by rains few days ago, train arrived late by an hour from it’s starting station Amritsar, which is just at a drive of 30 minutes flat. It maintained the delay and reached Roorkee at 2pm.
I had gone to Roorkee, an educational hub in the northern state of Uttrakhand, India to my sister’s place to bring my father back with me to Ahmedabad on 19th November, 2017.
It was the last leg of my November tour programme, which started on 9th November to attend Abhishek’s marriage.
I was to board my last train, Yoga Express on 20th from Roorkee to Ahmedabad on 20th November. It is the only train running between Ahmedabad and Roorkee.
The train was coming from Haridwar, just a station before roorkee and was late by more than one hour. We had reserved seats in first AC. The coach attendant was at the gate of the coach to help with the luggage, which made boarding the train with my 87 yrs old father little easier. As we settled in the coupe , I found it very badly maintained. The condition of bedding was pathetic. I was alotted the upper berth. As I went up to sleep, it was smelling so badly and was very difficult to sleep up.
Here are some pics:
In my total travel of almost 3000 Km by train, not even a single train was on time.
It’s high time, Indian Railways tighten up their seat belts and invest in people’s comfort and hygiene. I as tax payer citizen demand better services. It’s important for the government to reduce their own expenses and spend for the facilities for the common people, whom you address as “cattle class” in the corridors of power.