Yesterday, 17 Nov 2017 has been really lucky day for me.
The morning started with check-in in a hotel in Mahipalpur, New Delhi at 2AM from a very troubled and hectic drive down from Shimla. Had a good discussion ( mostly I listened) about present Assam situation and went to sleep at 3AM.
Got up at 7:15AM as 8 out of our 10 members had to take flight at 10AM to Guwahati. Everything went smoothly, the airport droppings arrived in time, hotel guys were very helpful in loading luggages in the car. Me and another team member went back to room and got a call from Guwahati bound team that one car did not take taxi fare from them. Wow!
Then there were some pending works which needed my urgent attention as I was kind of holidaying in Himachal Pradesh. I checked for Wifi in hotel and found that they have a put a board about Wifi Details in the room. I connected to it and internet worked blazing fast! The twin problems which were pending for last one week got resolved in first attempt! Wow!
I was about to call OLA cab and then received an SMS from OLA with a discount coupon of Rs. 80! I used that and reached Saket from Mahipalpur for just Rs. 50! Wow!
In Saket, I slept for two hours and then went and got SMS that my wait listed (22) train ticket got confirmed, RAC! Wow!
I went to Nizamuddin to board the train at 5:10PM and reached quickly at around 5:45PM, though I was afraid of bad Delhi traffic. I went to ComSun restaurant and was debating if I should buy coffee as I was left with Rs. 400 in my purse and I thought I should not draw cash from ATM. Then a girl came and asked if she could seat in the empty seat in front of me. I said yes. She sat, kept her luggage and asked me again if could watch over her luggage while she goes and gets some coffee. I said yes again. She came back with two cups of coffee and offered me one. She said, she is thankful for watching over her luggage so she thought of buying me coffee. I profoundly thanked her and accepted the coffee. Wow! ( No she was not traveling to Udaipur in the same train).
I was carrying a bottle of Blenders Pride in my backpack and I was apprehensive if I will be stopped and asked to remove it in the luggage screening while entering to platform. I was the lone passenger getting the luggage screened and no, they did not stop me. They let me pass! Wow!
I reached Platform 7 without any further event and found that the train is already parked in the platform at 6:20PM for the scheduled departure of 7PM! Wow!
I knew the chart wont be pasted, so I went straight to meat RAC seat and sat their comfortably. I looked around and found few fat ladies, men from Punjab sitting their and talking to ( or at?) each other loudly as usual. I kept playing with my mobile while I was waiting for the second RAC passenger. No h/she did not come. I was kind of happy and secretly hopped that h/she should not come so that I get the berth to myself! But another fad lady came while train was about to leave and sat in my berth. She was Punjabi too and offered to inform me that she is part of some Yatri, going to Nathdwara on some religious trip along with many people from Rajpura, Bhatinda etc etc. I had no interest but still I was polite to act attentive and replied when needed like a good boy.
After one hour, Railway TTE ( Traveling Ticket Examiner) came and asked for my ticket. I showed him my ID and told him my berth number. He looked at his chart and did not find my name and asked me to show the SMS, I showed him again. And I found that my ticket is actually booked from Udaipur to Nizamuddin on the same day, same train name but different Train number, and I was there at Nizamuddin boarding on the train to go to Udaipur! The TTE then said, ohh, then you must be a current reservation person, and the original owner of the guy who was on the chart must have cancelled as he was supposed toboard from Nizamuddin only. So he crossed his name, put my name, age and asked the PNR from me, asked me to occupy the berth and moved on! I was too ashamed, dazed for proper response and just sat there! Wow!
( I had just Rs. 400 in my purse)
I was really afraid and thought the TTE would come back after realising his mistake and I would be in very embarrassing situation where I am travelling without ticket ( wrong ticket), used that wrong ticket brazenly to occupy a berth and keeping straight face about it! Then another fat lady, friend of the lady who was already sitting there, came and sat with us. After few mins, that lady asked me if I could exchange a upper berth seat with the one I was sitting which was side lower berth. I said sure then I asked her which one. She said, sleep on any of the upper berth in the adjacent seats. I told, then I would take up the side upper berth, she told no problem, they have many berths as they are in big group. Then she asked me if I had my food, I said no. She immediately said, ohh, then you must have our food, we got lot of food and immediately offered me a nicely packaged food without garlic and onion! I tried to refuse though I was aware of my cash position! Then whole of their team came urging me to eat, i mean at least 10 of them asked me to eat, and even started giving me sweets etc. Typical Punjabi hospitality! One lady got up giving space for me to eat! The food was really good! Wow!
I went to my newly acquired side upper berth and slept their but still apprehensive that TTE might come looking for me after discovering his mistake or the original berth owner may pop up at Mathura! But none came and after another station, I slept peacefully! Wow!
I got up at Mavli, now relaxed as I knew I can now manage with Rs. 400/- even if the TTE realises his mistake! Then I reached Udaipur City station, walked out, reached home, paid Rs. 70 to auto guy ( still left with Rs. 330 from original Rs. 400) and sate down to write this experience and thought, I forgot to buy a lottery ticket yesterday.