November 29, 2006

Ticketed torture

Booking train tickets has always been a ritual associated with long hours of waiting at paan-spit covered railway stations and some gutsy tussles and struggles.

A few days back, when I sat down to book tickets for the Konark Express, online, in style, i filled long registration forms that asked me about everything I thought I knew and they knew. After filling a few such forms, my attempts met their unworthy end at 'Cannot Find Server'.

I tried again, and this time, I reached the end. Almost. When I told them I would de(is)credit myself using a certain credit card, they promptly approved of my decision by saying 'Opening &&^*(&^%^&U&*. And then, the screen ended with a 'done', on a whitescreen as white as the mogra in Umrao Jaan's tresses.

With 3 seats on the train still up for sale, I went to Andheri station like my pants were on fire. I took the pink form and filled it up with a pen purchased from outside the station and then stood in a queue. The person taking care of this snake was off on a chai break 30 minutes before his duty ended. The line did proceed, with the velocity of a thousand page tome on boredom. 10 minutes before they were due to close, i.e. at 8, a kind officer announced that only two other queues would continue functioning post 8 pm. Not being very good at the art of pre-empting stampedes, I landed up at the back of one of these lines. Then the guy at this counter went for his chai.

He came back and slowly and slowly I reached the head of the line. I shoved my pink slip at him, tried to flutter my eyelashes (that are not very long and are quite prone to falling off, considering that I get ample opportunities to make wishes with one of them on my knuckle) and ask him for AC tickets, but he only had to say - AC sab khatam hain. Not wanting to lose the precious seat on the train, I settled for a 3 day adventure in the sleeper class compartment.
So that is how I spent an otherwise enjoyable Thursday evening, in a heady (as in .....headache giving) race for railing...


umesh patil said...

The service provide by the trains are really hectic better than trains you can rely on buses or you can also go by flight.

Ranjana said...

Buses..........for a 2000 km u do that often?

and as for flying away, if u pay the fare ill use a plane :D

Anonymous said...

u fluttered ur eyes at him??
no wonder. he must have purposely not given u tickets!

Marie said...

Hello :D you wrote a comment on my blog about the Odissi dance, sorry for the misunderstanding, I wasnt really trying to mix up the different dances, but was mostly making a big general occidental description(even if not really true, I know) for the people who had no idea about what I was talking about :D
Thanks for the highlight though, I promise I wont do it again ;)