Life has its way of putting us in situations where we don’t want to be. No matter how hard we try, dealing with such situations only gets difficult, if we continue to panic. On the contrary, if we choose to stay calm, then life rewards us with pure joy and excitement. I along with my group of close friends experienced the same kind of thrill and adventure when we decided to get together and travel to Mumbai this friendship day.
Yes, you read it right! Unlike in the past where we had celebrated friendship day by watching movies, throwing parties and eating out, this year we resolved to travel to Mumbai and spend an entire week together. Following this, we booked our tickets from Kolkata to Mumbai and mutually agreed upon the places that we would visit as a group. We decided that we would spend every single moment doing things that we really wanted to do. For instance, site seeing, shopping and trying out the Maharashtrian food and cuisine. We were extremely excited about our plan and were looking forward to have a memorable trip. However, fate had other plans for us!
One of my friends advised that instead of travelling from our homes in Kolkata, we first meet up at a common friend’s place and leave for the Kolkata railway station together. We felt, he had a valid point and that travelling in a group would only add to our excitement level. So, we resolved to meet at Abhaya’s home as it was situated closer to the railway station.
On 8th of August, as we gathered together and left for the station, assuming that we would reach our destination before time, we were greeted with a massive street jam. Kolkata, as many would be familiar with, is renowned for its street jams and bandhs (strikes) and it was just one of those days when workers of a popular political party had decided to go on a protest march. Nevertheless, we continued to pray and hope that the streets would clear soon. But to our dismay, it took almost half an hour for the jam to clear. Unfortunately, we were running out of time, as our train was scheduled for a departure around 5 ‘o’ clock.
We somehow managed to reach the station 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time and rushed to catch our train. However, we were in for another disappointment as the train we had boarded was headed towards Kerala in South. With only five minutes remaining in our hand, there was little we could do other than hope for some divine intervention. We gathered our luggage all over again and de-boarded the South bound train to catch the train that was destined for Mumbai. Unfortunately, the train that we were supposed to board in the first place, was lined up five platforms before the one that we had managed to board after all the confusion and rush. This meant that we had to run really fast and that too with the luggage in our hands. Obviously, we did not pause even for a single second and ran with all the speed and courage that we were able to muster during those few moments.
On reaching the platform, we could see our train leaving the station and thus had no other option but to board the nearest compartment. Finally, we managed to catch the train but couldn’t hold our laughter, even as we gasped for breath.
– Puja Bhardwaj