Young World

An unforgettable journey

Manasi S.P., L.K.G., The Oxford English School, Bangalore  

I have been in many bad buses but I have never been in such a train in my entire life. Mom and I were travelling alone. When mom cross checked the tickets, I assumed that it would be the usual A/C compartment that we would be travelling. We hadn't taken any dinner. Mom allowed me to buy chips and juice as my dinner; just the kind of food I would like to live on. We boarded the train late evening around five. On reaching my coach I realised that my train was an ordinary sleeper class coach. What's more, our seat was situated at the end of the compartment, right next to the washrooms and the pantry.

After I kept my luggage, looked around and saw to my joy that my seat was next to the window. I love travelling by train, staring out of the window, looking out to the world whizzing by. There was a lady sitting on my seat, supposed to have got off in the next stop but didn't. It took almost an hour for me to get the window seat!

The window was open, alright, but when the sun set, and it started to get a bit chilly, I decided to close the window. But the window, no matter how much I tried, refused to close. After the combined effort of my mom and me, the window came down, but then I realised that the glass was already broken and there was only a metal frame. With the help of an uncle who was sitting opposite to us, we pulled down the shutters. A huge spider got crushed mercilessly as the shutter was pulled down! Gruesome!

I had to put my feet up as there were a lot of cockroaches roaming around. They were walking as if they owned the place, while they were actually ticketless passengers and had no shame. I climbed on to the upper berth as I loathe cockroaches and hoped that it would be better up there. I wished fervently that there would be no one to share my berth up there. Ill-fate had it that, I did not bring any books to read. One of my favourite past time, other than staring out of the window in a train is reading books and getting lost in the world of words that spins stories. My wish was not granted as there WERE cockroaches in my berth too.

Dinner time arrived for every one including our ticketless passengers. These cockroaches climbed into the carton in which they kept the Vadas and the dinner packs. I didn't have heart to eat my food looking at this. I was surprised with the number of people who bought this food.

As expected, I was forced to go to bed, though I didn't want to, with all the cockroaches and the spiders roaming around me. Sitting at the edge of the berth, nearly falling off I wrote my diary. Bed sheets and pillows weren't supplied and I had to be content with a blanket I had chanced on bring and my bag as my pillow.

After tossing and turning for almost an hour, I realised that I couldn't sleep and sat up instead. I listened to my Ipod staring at all the people around me who were sleeping so peacefully with all the cockroaches around them. Mom and I were the only two who were awake at twelve in the night.

I swear, I did see a cockroach creeping over a man who was sleeping. How could he be so blissfully unaware when it was going up his leg? After seeing this I lost my sleep and I was awake the whole night. I came down at three in the morning and I dozed off for nearly an hour, sitting. When I woke up I had a stiff neck and a sore arm. I had been sleeping against the diary. A piece of advice — never ever doze off sitting.

For around ten people there was just one fan and I was sweating. The closed window of the preceding night, refused to open making things even worse.

We reached Cochin at half past four and i was very glad to see my uncle and even gladder that this journey had come to a close. Though I love new experiences, I am pretty sure that I don't want to repeat this experience ever again! These ticketless travellers mar our beautiful journey and the railway authorities shouldn't turn a blind eye on them. Now, my diary and I wait for our return trip.

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Printable version | Nov 18, 2020 7:54:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/kids/An-unforgettable-journey/article13368451.ece

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