This is a sequel to my procrastinating escapades – the first edition is here.
And it’s not just with Mumbai.Even in Bangalore – years later,by when I should have matured – I kept up my game plan.
I decided to save time and take my motor-bike to station to beat the heavy traffic that impedes the buses in the heart of the city.Unluckily some sport event was happening at the indoor stadium and the vehicles were parked all over the place – and I couldn’t do much but to wait.
While my train didn’t. Atleast if I did not have my own vehicle, I could have hopped off to cross the blockade by foot and hailed a richkshaw – but that was not to be. And then once in Bangalore City railway station, after composing from shock of the missed train, I find that there was no separate queue to cancel unused tickets and the general queues were Ridiculously Long. I once again tried to outsmart the system by chatting up some girls standing in the women’s queue (which because of our country’s skewed sex ratio) was considerably shorter and persuading them to cancel my tickers. After a patient wait for half an hour – the counter clerk flung my ticket out immediately, having been tricked like this countless time before in a day.I returned to square one of a Ridiculously Long Queue – not having thought of waiting there for the half an hour now gone – which could have served as a plan B – delusions of invincibility ? Maybe.
And for people who expect me to pick them up from the railway station – they can plan to have an elaborate morning tea and snacks on the platform before I finally arrive.
And for people who expect me to drop them at the station – well nobody actually expects – so I’m saved there.
And trains are not the only means of transport I’m an expert at missing. Inter-city buses too.
Especially when I was to board at a pass-through bus-stop rather than at the bus station (I’d thought this would save me an hour-long commute in the evening peak hour). Anyway I reached the boarding point – confident that the bus had not left – the traffic was so bad – and anyways I’d come on the same route the bus would have followed to exit the city – and I hadn’t seen the bus go.That I was not on time but 10 min or so late – didn’t ring me a bell – 10 min late is not late in India – I told myself, not reassuringly but confidently. I debunked Murphy’s law which stated that whenever I would be even 5 mins late the bus/train would always leave on time (the converse is also true). So I waited confidently for an hour or so before growing skeptical – there WAS a KSRTC booking counter nearby – which had a record of what bus had passed – I en-quired and was told that they did wait for me for a couple of minutes (phew, at other times I’ve seen this same bus company wait for passengers endlessly). I lost the full ticket money (due to a stupid rule) and had to purchase a new ticket for another bus.
This happened no more than some months ago – when I had already donned the hat of a responsible husband and a responsible father
I guess my son would never reach school in time – even if there was an exam.