A journey with zero visibility
It was one of the coldest days of this winter, chilling wind was thumping my face so hard that it could take the flesh out of it anytime.
I reached Hazarat Nizamuddin railway station at around 4:30 PM to catch MP Sampark Kranti to my home town. There was torturing rush on the ticket windows and platforms because of the disorder created by the delays in almost all the trains. Somehow I managed to reach my berth in one of the coaches and felt some warmth.
I was amazed to see that the train started on time and crowd was started settling in their respective places, I also took off my shoes, sitting comfortably I started reading the novel I was carrying with me, “Sea of Poppies” by Amitav Ghosh simultaneously started munching some potato chips. People were chatting about the fog and the cancellation/delay of the flights and trains, they made me uneasy when they discussed about the recent accidents those occurred because of fog and lower visibility.
My main concerned was the arrival time of the train at my destination which was 3:30 AM, I was fretful that how would I get up. These Sampark Krantis do not have many stoppages so it’s very difficult to find out what’s the current position of the train, mainly from the AC coaches in the night. I thought when ever people would get down at Sagar (which comes just before my station) I would also start preparing to get down as it would take 30-40 minutes from there.
At around 11 PM, I put on alarm in my mobile and started trying to sleep. Till that time we did not observe that fog had been started to spread all over the places and the speed of the train was getting sluggish.
I suddenly woke up when heard people coming in and out to see if the station is about to come but due to impenetrable fog they was not able to find it out. Whenever I saw people going out with their luggage to get down at Sagar station , I also started packing to get down, then they used to come back saying train got blocked due to signals or something else. It happened many times whenever train stopped due to fog and the same went on till train reached Sagar at 8 AM (yes 6 hours late) after spoiling the sleep of each and every passenger in the compartment.
My parents also started calling me after 4, they thought I missed my station while sleeping, because of their concern they also could not sleep.
One thing I noticed that our trains need to have digital display system (as we have in delhi metro ) to inform passengers about the next station and the exact delays.
Finally I reached my station at 10 AM instead of 4 AM, after spending 6 hours additional in 5 hours journey after Jhansi. That was the worst journey I ever had in my life, a restless, wakeful night full of anxiety and stress.