‘Move’, ‘Move’, ‘Move’ were the words that reached my ears as we reached the platform at Kurla Terminus.
Hey, can’t you hear? Shouted the loaders making the passengers miserable and fearful.
I asked my parents, ‘Why are they shouting and why is the platform so crowded?’ I am not so comfortable in crowded places, especially so when I hear loud voices. My parents took me to a relatively quiet place but the voices seem to be following us. I felt very afraid and insecure. I did not know what to do. My Mother suggested me to take rest till the train comes.
It was the happiest part of the year. Like every year, we were on our way to our beautiful village in Bankura (West Bengal). Durga Puja was just around the corner and we were traveling back to our roots.
Twenty dresses for five days. All of them went into two big suitcases with my soap, shampoo, make up and other accessories. For the train journey, Ma packed dinner consisting of Methi Paratha, Kheema and pickle. She is a very good cook and enjoys preparing variety of dishes for us.
Before leaving the house, Dad checked with the railways if the train was on right time and we boarded the car after they confirmed with a “yes”.
As we reached the station, we heard an announcement-‘Train number 12561 Samarsata Express will leave Kurla Station at 10:30 pm instead of 8:30 pm’.
Kurla Station despite the makeover, is very dirty and cramped. Since most of the trains were running late it was very crowded with people, the loaders with their huge carts, hawkers, beggars and street dogs. There were people sleeping everywhere. There was hardly any space to sit properly. Moreover, the stench coming from the tracks were simply unbearable. Several fights broke out during those three hours. Police tried to intervene wherever possible but they were short-staffed.
After an eternity, our train pulled in. Our porter immediately came in and helped us board the train. The cool environment of the AC compartment soothed my nerves a bit. I went to sleep as soon as the train started and enjoyed my whole trip and the vacations later.
This experience has taught me one thing – ‘there is always good after bad’.