Tuesday, September 15, 2009
To experience real India you need to travel by train and so I did with my four year old last month. The journey was a 14 hour trip from my home town to the states capital.( Mind you, this journey should not be construed as an austerity drive by Federal Finance Minister of India)
I reached my seat bidding farewell to my parents and noticed a suspicious looking brown bag unattended in the same coupe. As the train gained momentum I got more anxious and alerted the official. With his experience in Indian railways the grey haired ticket collector advised me to stay calm and assured owners sight
Moments passed and to safe guard my four year old’s life along with mine I moved to the farther end of the compartment recalling horror images I witnessed on TV and also realized some times, lives of people hinge on attentiveness of other. Fatalities can never be undone and hence I was pressing for immediate action over the unclaimed, unattended, suspicions brown bag.
The conductor walked towards the bag and opened only to announce that there four steel boxes inside the bag wrapped in plastic. Panic then gripped my fellow passengers as the train was in motion and nothing can be done to fix it. We sought the help of a stick wielding police men who was brave enough to pick the bag and drop it at the washroom and closed all the doors to our compartment as a precaution. He reasoned that should there be a remote with a passenger it may not detect as the door is closed. Believe we had to do with him because we had to stay optimistic.
I called few friends and alerted them my coach number and the trains name just in case.
Most of us did advise the conductor and the policemen to throw the bag from the train but they did not heed to our pleas as they reasoned that it may contain something valuable and that they would prefer to hand it to the next stations manager
There was no means to alert the next station about the ordeal we are going through .Thank fully as the next station approached, my co-passenger walked in to claim for the bag and also clarified about the steel boxes having dinner for his parents who were travelling in the next compartment
I can say those were the torturous 90 minutes of my life brushing with terror. Am I prepared? Ahem not really