In 1996 when we booked a train ticket from Chennai to Hyderabad, we were a “no show” because we had just gone bankrupt ! Since then ofcourse we have travelled to Chennai and Hyderabad separately but never booked a train journey from Chennai to Hyderabad !!
This time too we had to change our plans at the last minute and managed to get a ticket from Tambaram to Secunderabad on a special train that has been introduced for the festive season.
For Krishnan, Chennai is home. He has lived in this city for the first 35 years of his life. He knows all the station names between Chennai to Vizhupuram 😊 because he and his brothers have travelled so frequently between these two places. But he has never taken a long distance train from Tambaram!!
The Tambaram station is morphing into a modern Train station with platforms 1 to 6 having up and down escalators but to access the escalator you need to go around the entrance on a short trail walk 🤣🤣 with no directions.
Krishnan walked around for 15 minutes and couldn’t find a display board and finally we hired a coolie who took us to platform 7. The train station is not dirty but it’s not spotless.
I paid the coolie ₹50/- extra and brought a smile to his face … we don’t like to haggle with street vendors, roadside vegetable sellers or rickshaw wallahs – they are struggling to make ends meet through hard labour.
The train started exactly at 5 pm with a massive jerk. We thought that was just at the start but those massive jerks have come every few minutes making this journey unpleasant 😞.
The building is 125 years old and the Madras High Court is 155 years – 125-year-old home of a 155-year-old Court.
We couldn’t sleep right through the night. The jerks were sudden and often. No bedroll was provided as per Covid protocol. Thankfully we had brought food and water with us – no vendors came by for food, just the tea and coffee vendors.
The TTE came early and asked us to lock the cabin as the fourth passenger was a no show. We tried sleeping early but with the sudden jerks coming at regular intervals we woke up at 10.30 and stayed awake for nearly an hour !
Amma and I woke up at 4.30 and haven’t gone back to sleep. Don’t know if the pilot is a rookie or the track is being changed frequently – but this wasn’t a pleasant train journey !
Now the train is late by 45 minutes 🤦♀️. Well, we have to be happy that the coach and toilets are clean. Being on time every time is still to happen.