I like traveling by Shatabdi Express trains. They have chair car seating, they have are air conditioning and they dump you back at Delhi the same night.
Kalka Shatabdi Express Train at Kalka Raliway Station
So while coming back from Barog we reached Kalka by noon and it was quite hot and humid there. We headed out of the station to eat lunch. We found a restaurant called Shelly’s near the station and ordered a lot of things and took our time eating it too. It started raining heavily while we were eating. And yet it was three in the evening when we found our self back at the hot and humid station with a light drizzle still falling.
Seats inside the Kalka Shatabdi Express Train
It was raining but the sun also was out. I walked the length of the station that there might be a rainbow but no such luck this time. Brat 1 got us some tea and that helped in passing some more time.
Unfortunately, some kids came begging and I said I would buy stuff for them. They asked for potato chips and biscuits and I bought them the same. And then we had more tea. The brats finally told me that it looks like the train is open, let us go inside.
Checking out the Reservation List
There was this young girl, recently married (look at all the bangles in her hand, newly wedded brides wear them) on what could have been her honeymoon but then what looked like her husband’s entire family was also traveling with them. Shimla is full of honeymooning couples and I have nothing for or against them, until they start throwing their empty chips packets out of the toy train window. But then to be fair to them, almost 95% of the train does the same.
However, the biggest surprise of the day had still not revealed itself. We boarded the train after waiting for sometime on platform 3. We were glad for the air conditioning on a hot day. I had a window seat and both the brats aisle seats. I am mean about window seats, I do not give them even to my nephews. I mean anything else and their wish is my priority but not when it comes to the window seat. They also know this and let me have it after a token protest this time. Most of the times they don’t even protest.
And then an elderly couple took their seats diagonally behind us, plugged in their cell phone on charger and started playing bhajans (Hindu prayer songs) loudly. Both the brats immediately plugged on their headphones. One has a ipod shuffle and another a mobile that has a million songs. I have a mobile with three songs and I had left my headphones at home! Another person in Brat 1’s row took out his headphones and the mobile with a vengeance after about going through this for half an hour.
I was tempted many times to tell them to lower the volume (or better still to shut up) but Brat 2 always told me to ignore it. Let it be. I had to be content by giving them dirty glances occasionally. After an hour or so, Brat 2 took some mercy on me and transferred my songs via blue tooth to his phone and gave it to me along with the headphones. But how long could I let him suffer?
So I gave him the phone back after a while and was forced to listen to the cacophony till we reached Delhi.
Moral of the story? Next time I will fill my phone with songs and I vow I will never leave my headphones at home! This was sheer torture at the end of a beautiful trip.