As most people have come to know (or otherwise are coming to know now) I had gone home, to Calcutta for the week.
Left on saturday evening from office...and this time I made sure I had LOADS of time. Ive had enough of being JIT for a train! reached just as the train pulled into the station and sat down at the designated seat. Atanarjuat was also there, though more busy wrapping up his packing - he was also leaving by a paralell train.
Inside I was surrounded by 5 men...as i came to know over the course of the journey, 2 were automobile part dealers between Delhi (Connought Place - one of the largest sch spots in India) and Ahmedabad (the largest 2-wheeler market of India) and 2 were pollice men - on their way back after a case investigation. the talk was diverse and interesting ranging from religion, religious practices to dacoits and work. THe police emn had come to Ahmedabad (where I stay) for administering (after a court permit) 'Truth Serum' to a serious criminal. One of them was an expert in dealing in these kinds of cases. Darn interesting! I did not really believe in ;truth serums' but now i get the practical dose!
So then the trin left on-time for Delhi. There dear frnd Apu and his brand new 1-month old wife were there to recieve me. So left for their place, rested, met other frnds like vinky, and batchmate akash...had a nice time, left vinky home, then apu dropped me midway to the station (while he went ot meet some relatives)...and i went to board the express that would take me to calcutta - after 9 months.
As I came down the stairs on the station, I noticed the train was already in, and it was pretty small - just 8 bogeys. well, my ticket was RAC when I had bought it, so i didnt know which bogey I was in. I checked the last bogey (right in front of me) and saw initials quite like mine. Delighted at the quick discovery, i boarded the train, and settled down. Something rankled, and i went out sans luggage, to check the PNR number apart from the initials. and saw - to my dismay that i was in the wrong place! Well! Never mind, found my location 2 bogeys away...and then shifted the luggage. Journey was good with 4 surgeons next to me talking incessantly (in loud voices) about their preferred surgical techniques and anaeshetsists...
I was on the side with 2 seats, and with me was this 30-odd lady based in cal - nice woman working for a travel agency, educated in Wellhams, Delhi, worked in delhi...nice peaceful journey.
THen in cal Dad was there to recieve me, and it was a whirlwind tour of everything in a cramped 5.5 days.
Journey back? Well, cal to Delhi again, on saturday afternoon. Carried a HUGE suitcase for Apu&family containing their wedding stuff from his inlaws (cal based). Delhi - apu was not there to welcome me to the capitall this time, so mae my way to Vinkys place - spent a nice time catching up, and before i knew it, it was time again for the next train. Apu arrived, picked up suitcase and dropped me midway on his way to some work. Took the Ashram Express from Old Delhi Station and Behold!! I was again on the 2-ppl side of the bogey, and on the other side was a colleague fo mine, who had joined the company same time as me - as a management trainee - also newly married - month old. very swueeky loud woman, but still, I had my books! THen there came another newly married woman (wearing Chuda and all). And no more people. SO there were 3 of us, me the only spinster (Thank God!). Midnight the coupe got filled, with 3 families, each with a yr old baby! If you are reading this, Done, Dont, Dont travel with Kids!! You will get innumerable curses from fellow travellers like me!
Reached Abad, and made my way to office-groggy.