Over the weekend, I visited my mom in Ernakulam. The trains to Kerala are limited and always are filled up months in advance. So, the tickets were bought almost two months in advance. I had a confirmed ticket for the onward journey. But, the return ticket was not confirmed and I was the first person on the waiting list. In spite of being discomforted by the thought of spending 12 hours in a general compartment, I consoled myself by saying there might be last minute cancellations which will get my ticket confirmed! So, I did not look for an alternate mode of transport.
On the day of return trip, Sunday, I decided to board the train from Ernakulam to Thrissur. I was planning to catch up with old friends in the city. I boarded a bus from Ernakulam and reached Thrissur by 12:30 am. My train reaches Thrissur at around 8 pm. So I had a good seven hours to catch up with my friends.
Around 3 pm, when I checked my ticket status, I was shocked to find my ticket was not confirmed. The final chart had been prepared and I wasn’t on it. So, my ticket is cancelled automatically by the railway booking system and money paid back to the credit card used for booking the ticket! Now, if I wanted to travel on the train, I had to purchase an ordinary ticket. If I wanted to travel comfortably, then I will have to persuade the Train Ticket Examiner(TTE) to give me an upgrade.
I did not want to postpone my return trip as I had an important meeting on Monday. So I immediately rushed through the narrow and circular roads of Thrissur to the part of the city hosting numerous travel organizations. I found the place with the help of a friendly autorickshaw driver. But, being Sunday, all the buses were full.
To my relief, they were having “special” buses because of the demand. The special buses are additional buses added on real time based on demand. But, the special buses travel to Bangalore via Mysore. The last time I travelled via Mysore, I was late and reached office during midday. Having no other option, I bought the ticket from the travel agent.
After buying the ticket, I returned to my friends. In between the revelry, I was working on the report that was to be presented on Monday. The cancelled ticket and my new travel arrangement had jeopardized my plan. I had initially planned to work on this report after reaching Bangalore. If the train option was feasible, I would have been at my home by 6:30 am. This gives me a good hour to work on the report. Now, if everything went according to what was promised by the travel agent, I would reach home at 9 am.
After bidding farewell to my friends, I reached the boarding point at 6:30 pm. The bus was scheduled to arrive at 7:45 pm. While checking the status of the bus, I also requested for a change if there are any other options. Since I had another hour to kill, I walked across the road to the famous Safire Hotel for an early dinner. The ambience was pathetic. But the tasty food compensated for the ambience.
I reached back at the boarding point by 7:15 pm. Around 7:35 pm, the travel agent informed me of availability of another bus which goes directly to Bangalore. He transferred me to that bus. I boarded the bus at 8 pm. I reached home at 5:45 am on Monday. If I had taken the train, I would have waited for another hour to reach home!
Picture Courtesy: www.kalladatravels.comTags: Travel,Bus,Train,Kerala,Ernakulam,Thrissur