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Meeting of fellow ghumakkars decided
Now the planning about this mighty journey had already been finished, with Manu Tyagi and family coming along with us to Amritsar only. He was going to catch us in Ghaziabad in our train. His train tickets were booked. Meantime our train Golden Temple Mail was having a halt of 30 minutes at Delhi – Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. So I thought why not call our tour planner Sandeep Jatdevta to meet at this ultimate travelling venue. We will have a great time of about half an hour there. God knows when we will meet next. So this was the best opportunity to meet him. So along with him let Neeraj and Vipin come. I again called up Jatdevta for this meeting and he also readily agreed. He called Neeraj and Vipin to confirm. All of them told if free they will definitely come. So yaa it was decided that we all four are going to meet at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. This meeting was planned around one and half months back before 26th July 2012.
26th July 2012,Thursday
Now 26th July arrived, full day went on packing and preparations and we started on our way to Mumbai Central Station with full enthusiasm. Even my train journey was going to be a wonderful one because it was going to travel via 8 states. I will have slight glimpse of their culture through railway stations, people ,dressing, watching views via train, food etc. Excitement knew no bounds. We left for Mumbai Central station at around 7.00 pm from our house as our train was scheduled to depart at 9.30 pm . We boarded on the train took seats ,train started and as soon as Borivali station passed at 10.10pm we started to dose off on our respective reserved seats. I was tired due to preparations and packing and soon as I went on my sleeper , sleep captured my tired eyes and made them relaxed and closed.
27th July 2012, Friday
Ratlam to Kota, Kota to Mathura,Mathura to Faridabad
Next when I woke up was in Ratlam Station in the morning at 7.00 am. At Ratlam the halt was just 10 mins , but our train was 20 minutes before schedule , so in all we got 30 mins . I had already planned what I had to do in Ratlam station. After getting up , it was time for breakfast ,and MP is famous for a dish called Poha , which is available in each and every street of its cities and towns. So even though we use to make Poha at home, I decided to have one plate of Poha there. I had delicious one plate of Poha for Rs. 10 in Ratlam station and then took some magazines for Sonali to read. I had more time after having Poha and buying magazines . So I took my Sony Camera and went towards railway engine to take some pictures.
Photo Courtesy :- http://kidszone.sailusfood.com
Then Train Left Ratlam and I again dosed off . Really I was very tired. Again After two hours I woke up had tea. Now my excitement was getting high as I was going to meet Sandeep Jatdevta and company at Hazrat Nizamuddin station. We arrived Kota railway station at 11.00 am and I called Sandeep Jatdevta and he told me that Vipin is not going to come as he had to go to Jaipur for his office work. Now Sonali was busy with magazines. Aarya was busy painting her drawing books and playing with balloons with fellow travelors. I was busy looking out at different railway stations . Meantime Sawai Madhopur station arrived at 12.15 and I got down to have some food. Although We had taken more than 10 kilo of fruits for our journey as Sonali had fast of full holy Shravan month and she does not prefer eating outside much. But I will have whatever I feel like because I keep fast on Shravan Mondays only. At Sawai Madhopur railway station I had delicious Poori Bhaji and then went on ahead to cross Rajasthan and reach UP.
Photo courtesy :- http://spicesouth.com
Mathura station came and nerves started as within 2 – 2.5 hours I am going to meet two fellow authors of ghumakkar.com, Sandeep and Neeraj. I once again called Sandeep to confirm him that train is on right schedule so he does not come late. And as usual , everytime I forget something or the other while packaing. This time I forgot Aarya’s cough syrup. Aarya’s coughing had already started in train and we were helpless. But when I rang Sandeep I asked him to bring cough syrup for Aarya. I rang up Manu Tyagi also from Mathura station to check how his proceedings were going on. He was ready to be on Ghaziabad station. And Lavi jee was preparing dinner for us. Previously Manu was supposed to come in Hazrat Nizamuddin station itself but then he decided to come via Ghaziabad due to lack of time.
Nervous and Excited Journey :- Faridabad to Hazrat Nizamuddin
One and half hour passed at 5.30pm, I called Sandeep Jatdevta to say that I crossed Faridabad railway station. I had already given him the coach no. and my seat no. and told him be at Nizamuddin station near my coach.He told me that he is already near the Nizamuddin station with Neeraj. First time I am going to see him after that much discussions , questions and conversations, knowing him from more than one year through ghumakkar.com. As I think myself to be a very good planner and always like to plan things well in advance , I already had an idea how I will pass that half an hour at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station, so excitement inside me knew no bounds. That last half an hour from Faridabad to Nizamuddin was like long long torture. When you are madly eager for getting achieving or meeting something or someone and you know that its near than the last minutes are deadly sarcastic. I couldn’t stand or sit in one position, used to move here and there. Finally I decided to stand on the corridor of my bogie to have first glimpse of Sandeep Jatdevta and Neeraj Jat.
Also I was looking at which side my station was coming. I already had my Sony HD Camera in my neck to have first pic of Jatdevta and Neeraj from my side. In the meantime, I thought why not take a full video of approaching Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station, till I get first view of both these great authors of ghumakkar.com. Now train was quite slow and I could sense that railway station was coming nearby . I saw a new flyover called Barapullah flyover just before Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station crossing above the railway tracks and there after passing below the flyover I had first glimpse of Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. I started my video camera of my Sony Camera and my train entered Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station, platform number 1. My coach was fifth from the engine . So I was going to cover almost whole railway station in my video. I started capturing the whole video hoping that by all of sudden Jatdevta and Neeraj would come in my frame .
My plan and hopes trashed by Sandeep Jatdevta and Neeraj Jat
Now the train was approaching to stand still running slow, but still glimpse of both these Jats were not available. I thought they were playing hide or seek or what. My video in the camera was still running. Train stopped completely and I was searching for Jatdevta and Neeraj on the platform like we search coins down on the floor when they fall down from our wallet. I don’t know what came in my mind when I wrote this simile. Now it was completely two minutes I searched here and there but no signs of both of them . I was searching them with my mind and senses in helter-skelter.
Then I thought they might be playing some mischief to harass me gently. So I picked up my cell phone and rang up Sandeep Jatdevta and LO! to the super excitement I had, Sandeep Jatdevta said that they were on the new Barapullah flyover which was constructed above the railway tracks just before Nizamuddin railway station. I was totally trashed and smashed by the words of Jatdevta. He said that both of them were on time and were standing on the flyover and waiting for the train. From the flyover railway station looks quite near. So they thought rather than waiting on railway station they would watch train coming from flyover and as soon as they see train coming they would quickly come down to railway station. These two Superstuds were standing on this flyover for the first time and were not knowing the way to railway station. So when they saw the train they looked out for the way to station . They thought there might be some small path like passage downwards to the station, but to their surprise they didn’t find that passage. And they were wandering here and there. I asked them how much time it will take , they said that they are going down the flyover circulate and then come ,at least a kilometre by walk. I was totally upset , depressed, angry, irritated, nervous, disappointed etc.,( put all the adjectives what you would feel when something like this happens and mix them up) that was my feeling on Nizamuddin Railway Platform. They told me that they are going to find autorickshaw fast and come ASAP on the railway station. In frustation and anguish I deleted the whole video which I took to capture their first visuals.
Meantime Sonali aked me what happened because she was also going to come out of the train to meet them. I told them about the incident. Now still 20 minutes were remaining , I thought still it would be good if they meet me for 10 minutes and anyways they were also trying hard. Any ways it was time for locomotive change for my train. So I went down to see the change. Now a diesel locomotive was added to my train which would go via Meerut – Sarhanpur route to Ambala and then Amritsar. After seeing clicking some of those pics only 10 mins were remaining for my train to depart. I was feeling low but still hopes were on. I rang up again to Jatdevta to see whether he is going to make it or not. He told me that they have got the rickshaw and may be reaching soon. But simultaneously he told me that if not possible not to get demoralised and will meet in a bigger way next time. So no problem. Anyways now I was out on the platform speaking with Sonali through the window in the train. She very well knew how was I feeling but was keeping mum on that. Only a better half knows her better half. I consoled and convinced myself that its ok we will meet next time.
Something to cheer
Now only 3 to 5 minutes were remaining and I was looking towards the signal when it turns to yellow from red , already my mind set that Jatdevta didn’t met me at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station. This meeting of half an hour was planned one and half months before. So you all can imagine what was going on minds of both of us. I was just thinking why were they not waiting on the platform rather than waiting on that flyover. Its called “कुछ ज्यादा ही मस्ती और शानपट्टी” ( slang for mischief and pompous overconfidence) . Anyways when I was just staring at the signal A BIG PUSH came from backside. I can say जोर का झटका (a massive push) in hindi. My all senses for seconds became numb and I looked backwards on the opposite direction of railway signal. And there to my surprise it was puffing, pespiring and totally exhausted Sandeep Jatdevta Panwar in front of me in his trademark cap. क्या हाल है ? ( how are you?) were the first words from his mouth. At last we had something to cheer. In last few minutes we were only discussing what went wrong.Neeraj was still not in the sight. He was taking platform ticket. I and Sandeep shared few words, he gave me Aarya’s cough syrup. And then we had some few more words about yatra. I took some pics of Sandeep quickly .
In meantime Neeraj’s call came on Sandeep Jatdevta’s cell and he told that there was big queue for platform ticket. Sandeep replied “ तू आजा इधर प्लेटफोर्म पर ,बाद की बादमे देखेंगे”. ( You come to platform first. We will see whatever happens afterwards). Neeraj came we exchanged few words and had 2 – 3 pics clicked quickly. I made both of them meet Sonali and my father in law. And in the meantime engine horn blew and train was on the running wheels. I made my last bye to Sandeep and Neeraj and asked them whether its possible for them to meet via returning. They said lets see.Ultimately we met for 3 minutes. Thank you GOD once again.
Now we can see why always coincidence has upper hand on planning and perfection. I had planned the meeting with Sandeep one and half months back which failed completely and still there was something left and coincidently we met. KUDOS to our small SOUL TO SOUL meet.
Sad State of Mother Yamuna
My train left the platform and it was getting dark. Now I was waiting to see Yamuna river and standing on corridor of my bogie.In few minutes I was on Yamuna river bridge and Oh! my God ! to my surprise it was smelling like a gutter. Sandeep and Ritesh Gupta used to tell me that “यमुना कहा है ? वह तो एक नाला है.” ( Where is Yamuna? Thats a sewage). I was travelling on the train having around 40 km/hour speed with the height above the bridge of atleast 30 meters and wind blowing. Still the pungent and dirty odour of the great Yamuna which we call our mother was reaching my small nostrils. Only one word comes from my soul “Pathetic”.
Meeting with Manu Tyagi and family.
Now it was time for my family to meet Manu Prakash Tyagi and family first time on Ghaziabad railway station. Now after Sandeep Jatdevta’s meeting incident in Nizamuddin station my excitement quotient was nil. Still our train reached Ghaziabad station, we welcomed each other. Our families met inside the bogie. About an hour we talked about our yatra, Manu’s holiday, ghumakkar.com etc. Aarya and Anushka became friends within no time and started playing on the sleeper bed. Sonali and Lavi Tyagi ( better half of Manu Tyagi ) were chatting for sometime. And then we had delicious dinner made by Lavi jee. We had planned to have dinner at Nizamuddin railway station. But when I called ManuTyagi when I was at Mathura Station , he told me that Lavi jee was making dinner for us.
And to my surprise, she made something which I had never heard of. She made Poori Bhaji. Now this sounds OK. But Bhaji was mixture of potatoes, simla mirch, tomatoes, onions, soyabeans and masala. Manu , correct me if I am wrong. I had never imagined this combination can be prepared and would ultimately go in my stomach. And Simla Mirch I cannot tolerate much. But when I had my first bite , the bhaji was so delicious that I went on to lick my fingers. I had bhaji more than four times till it was finished. Still my mouth is watering when I am thinking of that dinner by Lavijee. Thanks again to Lavijee for providing me such a wonderful supper.
Then after the supper, it was time to sleep. When Muzzafarnagar station came we remembered our fellow author on ghumakkar, Praveen Gupta and when Sarhanpur station came Manu told me about new fantastic author Sushant jee. And after that we dosed off.
Thats all in this one. We had nice sleep, next morning we were suppose to reach Amritsar and start our yatra. Till then,
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