ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Universe on Tracks

An ode to the Indian Railways, embracer of one and all

My train from Goa to Dharwad in north Karnataka is scheduled to reach the destination at 11:45 am. It is already 11:15 am. The train has been stranded somewhere midway in a forested area for the past 40 minutes. When my patience wears out I inquire with one of the housekeeping staff of the train. He is clueless. Apparently, he too inquired with the ticket checker, who nonchalantly replied, “tyre puncture.” I hope against hope to reach my destination at least in an hour and a half or so. That is, of course, subject to my train relenting in the next 10 minutes.

Why is it that Indians who travel by trains still have such unwavering faith in the Indian Railways (IR)? Most trains arrive and run according to their characteristic delayed schedule. I heard an announcement by a sweet-sounding female voice at the station this morning as I boarded the train: “Train number (so-and-so), superfast express is running one hour late from its schedule. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers.” What irony! A superfast train running late! The IR has a good chance at inventing a new subgenre in black comedy.

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Updated On : 24th Mar, 2017

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