Unceasing Journey @ #indianrailways – All for a Friend
Shikhar's repeated insistence and invitations bore fruit as we - me and Chetak - finally planned to attend his marriage in one of the most notorious states of India - Bihar. Destination for this seemingly usual wedding excursion was a town named Muzaffarpur in Bihar. It is the fourth largest populous town in Bihar and is known for its sweet or Shahi (as they are locally called) leeches. The place is located 70 km from Patna, the capital of Bihar which usually takes around an hour and half by car.
As per the plan, I and Chetak started from the office all ready to catch the Magadh Express (at 8:10 PM on 27th November 2013) from New Delhi station and so began our journey. As my home was quite near to the station, I had planned to pick up my luggage from home while on the way. While Chetak gift wrapped the wedding gift and I finalized packing of my luggage, dad asked me to check the platform of the train’s departure. It was here when the unexpected extension to our journey started. I dialed in the railway enquiry at 139 and the usual IVRS greeted me. After inputting the necessary details it tells us about the train’s status before finally indicating the platform number. And there was a surprise waiting for me - Train number 12402 Magadh Express from New Delhi to Patna Junction scheduled to leave at 2010 on 27 November is running behind its schedule time by 5 hours and 20 minutes and would now leave at 0130 on 28th November. What the delay was of such magnitude that it changed the date of departure – Shocked especially as it was its starting station. Well it is what it is and so it was!! This was only first of what was there to come. Our original plan was to be there in Patna by 11:30 next morning and in Muzaffarpur in time to enjoy the lunch with Mr. Groom. Now lunch was out of question and so we informed Shikhar about renewed schedule and planned to reach in time for the Ghudchadi – climbing a mare as traditionally groom covers a short distance on it in Indian Hindu marriages. Our belief was strengthened by the fact that trained started on time – I mean the reschedule time of 0130 in morning on Thursday.