Saturday, December 11, 2010

Travelling from Lucknow to Hosur, without getting ticket confirmed (16-11-2010)

1) Waitlisted (WL 275 at the time of booking) e-ticket, which could not get cleared and got auto cancelled. 
Pnr Number: 2541861072
Transaction ID: 0270108033
Train No: 5015
From Station: LUCKNOW NE(LJN)
Date Of Journey: 15-Nov-2010
Class: SL
Date Of Booking: 04-Nov-2010
Total Ticket Fare: Rs 524.00
Cancelled Date: 16-NOV-2010
Refund Amount: Rs 494
Refund Status: Refunded

Refund Date: 20-NOV-2010                                                                                                      

2) Waitlisted (RLWL 111 at the time of booking) e-ticket, which could not get cleared and got auto cancelled. 
Pnr Number: 6249200202

Train No: 2521
From Station: LUCKNOW NE(LJN)
Date Of Journey: 16-Nov-2010
Class: SL
Date Of Booking: 04-Nov-2010
Total Ticket Fare: Rs 546.00

Cancelled Date: 17-NOV-2010
Refund Amount: Rs 516
Refund Status: Refunded

Refund Date: 22-NOV-2010

I was in Lucknow for an official visit. I had booked the wait-listed e-ticket with hope that since it is the time of festival (Deepavali & Chat Puja in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh), Railway will make some arrangement to clear the wait listed tickets. No special train had been provided for the route and the availability of trains are only on few days of the week. 
To reduce my risk of entering into difficulty, if the tickets are not confirmed, I had booked two wait listed tickets, in two different trains on two dates. 
Due to work load, I could not take the advantage of Tatkal facility. 
When the ticket booked for the train leaving on 15th November, could not get cleared, I hoped to get confirmation in the next train (that to leave on 16th November). But on the night of 15th November (after 8:00 PM), and after very eagerly waiting for the reservation chart to get ready, I found that my ticket was not confirmed. 
It made me very unhappy and distressed. That night I rushed to the cybercafe to send an email to the Railway, writing them  that they are not fit for the business and should get privatized.
I was indecisive, whether to continue to stay in the hotels and waste my time and money, or try to somehow reach my destination? I decided to somehow travel in the sleeper coach of Rapti Sagar express, after giving fine to the TTE and by sitting near the toilet and gate.
I was tensed, and in the night I could not get proper sleep. Somehow in morning, I left the hotel to travel in the "uncertainty". 
In Lucknow, Charbag, the three buildings of railway station are located together, and with difficulty and help of a rickshaw puller, I was able to reach the correct station and get the General ticket from the counter.
The cost of the General ticket from Lucknow to Jolarpettai, in Rapti Sagar express was Rs.292. The train was late (some two hours), and when it finally arrived, I found it to be overcrowded. The condition of people in the General boggy was very pathetic-there was not even a space to keep foot inside it!.
I found a TTE and said him that I want to travel in the Sleeper class. He asked me to pay a fine of Rs.480, and guided me to a coach where many people were to vacate the train, after it reaches Bhopal.
I found some space near the Toilet-Wash-basin-gate to keep my luggage and seat on it. I had many companions, both from rich and poor families. Many people with the habit of smoking, use to frequently come near the gate-toilet and smoke. To control them, I used my mobile phone's camera to capture their video, telling that I will put this video on internet to show to the world, how rules are broken inside the railway. With this measure, many people stopped smoking near me.
After midnight, when the train reached Bhopal, some seats got vacated. No TTE guided me to a birth, but I found them selling the seats. After shifting from one vacant birth to another, I found a birth to get some peaceful sleep and with hope of not getting further disturbed by a TTE.
Next day, I developed good relationship with my fellow passengers, but in night, when the train reached Vijaynagram, many passengers (good number of Lord Ayappa swami's devotee, I feel happy to meet them in train, but most often they finishes the water in the toilets, after using it for frequent bathing. Also to do "aarti",  they burn camphor inside the train, which can be risky, but with blessing of Lord Ayappa, I have not heard of any incident of fire outbreak in this route.) entered the train. I again became a passenger with ticket, but not with a seat. A TTE came and was able to locate a birth for me. He asked me to give him Rs.50, which I happily offered to him.
In the early morning of the 18th November, I reached Jolarpettai, and from there I took bus for Hosur. The journey made me to pay Rs.822 to the 'Railway and its staffs', besides the Rs.60 (=30 X 2), which the railway charged for cancelling the unconfirmed e-tickets.
Video: Smoking near the toilet
Video:Smoking near the toilet-2
Video: Sound sleep near the toilet

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