It was a big day for me – it was Sunday..! I was off from work. Being off from work was the most exciting thing for me. I used to get only 1 off per week and that’s why I would realize the importance of this one-week-off. I always spent few minutes in weekdays to prepare a list of pending activities, which need to be done on weekends. And I always had a big list of such activities – which includes filing my important papers, bank statements, visiting my cousins, bill payments etc.
One such Sunday, of the monsoon season, I had a task of visiting to one of my dad’s business client. I was supposed to be going to Andheri at their place. I took a walk, as usual, to Thane Station from my home. It was a Sunday, i.e. Mega-Block-Day for Mumbai Local. That was the reason I preferred to travel after 3 pm. This would ensure that trains are back to schedule. I was on station by 3:30 pm and saw a big queue. I could have easily purchased Coupons and used them. But then I wouldn’t have got the opportunity to wait in the long queue and observe lot of activities that happen on railway station. After almost 20 minutes I managed to get my return ticket of Ghatkopar, as I then use B.E.S.T. Route No. 340 from Ghatkopar Railway Station (West) to go to Andheri.
I had to now check for which platform I would be getting the train. It was Sunday and there are major changes to all the trains. I had a look at indicators near the ticket window and found the earliest train to be arriving on platform no. 4 for CST, which was a slow local. I had to rush to the platform but the Foot-Over-Bridges were unusually crowded. One person takes almost 2-3 seconds in moving a step ahead. So I spent almost 5 minutes to go to platform no. 4 from platform no. 1. But I was finally on the platform waiting for the train.
While I was stepping down the Bridge towards platform, I recollect I had seen the indicator showing the time same as seen earlier. The platform was also crowded, bit-more-than-normal. You can easily bump into 8-10 people if you walk 4 steps in any direction. I had to wait as there were about 5 minutes more for the train to arrive. While waiting I was listening to my favorite-weekend-RJ, Zoya. Weekdays I prefer listening to Mallishka – 93.5 Red FM, Bajaate Raho..!! I was into it, completely. I realized that I have missed the announcement that happened, when I saw people reacting to it – many even started climbing the FOB back upwards to go to other platform. Fearing if I missed some important piece of information, I had to take away Zoya off my ears. Now there wasn’t any announcements. Wait for a couple of more minutes – the announcement happens. She declares the slow local to be arriving on platform no. 4 was late by about 10-15 minutes. Gosh, I was supposed to do more wait or I tried to concentrate on another announcement for fast train – whether it would halt at Ghatkopar? Yes, it would halt on Ghatkopar and was supposed to arrive on platform no. 6 in another 5 minutes. I can easily get there and into the fast local.
No, it was Sunday. I didn’t want to act like a normal working day – every Mumbaikar keeps rushing for the fast trains. I preferred to wait on platform no. 4 till the slow local arrives. 15 minutes of more wait – I started moving here and there on the platform. After some time, I tried to check the indicator, if it still shows the same time as shown earlier.? I turned to my right, and surprisingly I couldn’t see the indicator. I tried to arrange myself on the platform by moving a few steps ahead in right, and then search for the indicator. Sorry, it was still not visible. Tried to move a few steps towards the track and search again.? – sorry, it’s still not visible. I could find few more hoardings but not the indicator.
No worries, every platform has 2 indicators, I guess. I had another option to look at my left-hand-side for the so-guessed-second-indicator. Turn to your left – what’s wrong.? Where’s the second indicator ? Naah, it’s still not visible. Move few steps towards the left-hand-side, I reach to my original place. So I move few more steps in left-hand-side. Take a look around – search for the indicator. No, it’s not there as well. Move a few steps ahead, towards the track and check out again – No, the indicator is still not visible. I had to recollect back – While I was getting down the FOB, I had actually seen the Indicator on Platform No. 4. Sure? Yes, sure. I had seen that.
Dunnoe where is that gone missing. Not just one, but the so-guessed-second-indicator is also missing. Weird. I then thought to move back to my original place – few steps in right side from where am standing now. I was back to my original place – near the railway canteen on platform no. 4. Was even looking around at people. Most of them didn’t look to be worried about the delay of local. I was now getting impatient with 2 reasons -
1. 15 minutes of delay announced, had now been almost 25 minutes.
2. Indicator wasn’t visible to check if the train isn’t cancelled from the schedule.
There was a question-mark on my face – will the train arrive here? I was observing a whole lot of people – they were observing me and my unusual moves. But they didn’t identify my uneasiness with regards to the slow train.
There hadn’t been any announcement since last 15 minutes and that made me more impatient. To comfort me, she announced – that the special slow local to Mumbai CST is now arriving on Platform No. 4. I don’t understand, what makes the trains so special on Sunday. Oh.! I now understand while writing this. Every train is special on Sunday – like every child is special as per Aamir Khan. I was relieved a lot with the announcement. I raised my head towards Almighty, to thank him for that announcement. Before I could even thank him, I found out how silly was I. Despite of staying in Thane since more than 20 years, how could I do that? It was not the first time, that I was waiting for the train on Platform No. 4. When I raised my head towards the Almighty to thank him for sending the train, I couldn’t stop laughing on myself. It was a normal smile, but it was tagged abnormal by people standing around me because I was standing alone on the platform. Naah – you can’t guess why I was laughing instead of thanking Almighty for sending the train. I found that the Indicator was just above me. The same indicator, that I was searching for since last more than 20 minutes – was just above me?
Aaaah…. And I learnt, there was no second indicator on the same platform. I doubt if I can have any more silly incident than this one.