Sunday, December 8, 2013

The suitcase that took a detour.

After my husband retired from his office job, we were in wanderlust  mood. So we decided to pack our clothes, medicines, few daily necessities and then set out. Of course  we also had to add our laptop and charger. We had made a program were we would attend the marriage of our friend’s daughter (Shreya, d/o Subramaniyam and Ramani)  at Hyderabad. Our elder son is also living there now. So after attending all of the associated functions of Shreya’s marriage for three days, we spent a few days with our grand-daughter. Then we came to Delhi. My son had some program at Ghaziabad. We all then travelled together to Delhi by rail. This was our grand-daughter's  first outing by rail. It was a memorable journey for all of us.

From Delhi me and my husband then took the train to Chittaurgarh. The train was Mewar Express. This train starts from Hazrat Nizammuddin station and the final destination is Udaipur. It usually starts in the evening and it reaches Udaipur at 7:30 am the next morning. Maloti one of my dear friends is living in Chittaurgarh.  Her husband, Probir, is working with Birla Cement and they stay in company quarters near Chanderiya. This is a little industrial town outside Chittaurgarh city. So Probir-da told us to get down at Chanderiya railway station because this is the nearest station from their home. Otherwise he had to go to Chittaurgarh railway station, which is 20 km from their home, to receive us. The scheduled arrival time of this train is 5:30 am at Chittaurgarh and at 4:30 am it stops at Chanderiya just for 2 minute.

21 August evening we boarded the train with our baggage. We had two suitcases and one hand bag. We pushed the suitcases under our berth and the hand bag was with me. Our seat numbers were 1 and 2 in 2nd AC coach. A family of 6 members were our companions. They had lots of bags and baggage with them and they pushed two of their suitcases under our seat. Soon we started chatting. After a good deal of conversing, I gathered these information.

  1. This family belongs to my home city Varanasi.
  2. The lady is an ophthalmologist and has a private clinic.
  3. Her husband is a Reader in BHU.
  4. He is teaching in medical department as cardiologist.

I asked her that if she could give me her contact number so I could contact her when we were back to Varanasi. She smiled and said “Your spectacles shows that you have a eyes problem. She gave me her mobile number. Then we had dinner and occupied our berths.  I was at the lower berth and Abhijit was on the upper berth. He set the alarm for 4:15 am into his mobile. One by one our co-passengers  fell asleep.

I did not sleep well during the journey. We both were tense about the fact that at 4:30 am we had to get down at Chanderiya where the train would stop for 2 minutes. As luck would have it, the train reached there before time. I was looking out from the window. It was dark and train was entering in the station. Suddenly I saw a torch light was approaching towards the train. The train stopped. In the faint light I recognized him.


Immediately I jumped off and pulled out my suitcase and pushed my husband hard.  "Come on. We've reached.” Though he was fast asleep, he woke up and jumped down, then pulled his suitcase and came out. In that dark and life less platform we three were feeling so happy. We had met after a long long time and were excited. We were totally nostalgic.
We soon came out from that life less station. After reaching home I fell asleep. It was only 4:40. An hour latter my husband called me "Minu I took the wrong suitcase. I have brought a suitcase that belongs to the doctor family and left my suitcase in the train.” In my deep sleep I said “Then I lost my laptop…I kept it in your suitcase.” He gave me a good shake and said "Wake up!!!”.

Probir-da was trying to call the station master of Chanderiya. But nobody was picking the phone up. Abhijit said “It is 5:45 am already and the train will reach Udaipur at 7:30 am. So it's no use calling Chanderiya’s station master. I then desperately started calling the lady doctor's number. But her phone was switched off. It was 6:45 now. Our desperation increased to new heights.  Then Abhijit said. “If the Doctors' realized that the suitcase was not theirs' they will leave it in the train. In that case it will be lost forever.“  I was more concerned about my laptop though. It was in his suitcase, and if that got lost, then it was not possible for me to get another one. I wanted to cry but I somehow controlled myself.

I then requested my husband to call someone in Varanasi. He asked “But who and why??”

I replied “May be Ray-dada. He should be able to tell us about BHU Doctors.”

“Our Professor can help us.” he replied and then called up his BHU-IT Professor (Dr. Ramji Agarwal). And the Professor gave him the mobile number of that doctor. It was 6:55 am by then. The train had stopped at a station before Udaipur. Meanwhile Probir-da called one of his friends and asked him to attend the train. He was able to catch up with the train and inform the Doctor family that their suitcase had been erroneously changed. At the same time Abhijit could contact the cardiologist on phone. They jumped up and only then were they able to realize that their suitcase was gone. Abhijit asked him where they would be staying at Udaipur, so that their suitcases could be exchanged.

One of the senior officer from Probir-da’s company was going to Udaipur to take a flight to Delhi. He asked the driver to meet up the Doctor at his Hotel, after dropping the officer at Udaipur airport. There, he would exchange the suitcase with the Doctors' family before return to Chanderiya. By 4’O clock in the evening, the driver gave us our own suitcase.

And I found my laptop.