Train Journey 12 – Train to Nepal
2003 March – Telecom Employees Association of Nepal (TEAN) has invited me as GS of BSNLEU to attend their TU class at Bharatpur on 12th March 2003. Since this is near India- Nepal border along UP – Bihar, I thought better to go by train. Started from Delhi on 10th by Saptagiri Express to Gorakhpur. Since I could not even enter the reserved 3-Tier compartment due to heavy rush by reserved and un-reserved passengers, I got in to II AC compartment and gave the extra amount to TTE. Such things happen. Reached Gorakhpur in the morning, where Com.K.D.M.Tripathi, Vice-President of Union was waiting. He was a sincere dedicated leader. He belonged to the priest family of famous Gorakhpur temple.
At 11.30 hours we started. On the way the train stopped in a small station due to some technical fault. We proceeded from there on a local train. It was fortunate that by the clever maneuvering of Tripathi, we got two side seats in an ordinary compartment. On both sides of the train, there were dozens and dozens of bi-cycles cleverly hung on the window bars, similar to milk cans hung on the Mumbai trains. Tripathi told me that passengers get down, unload the cycles and continue their journey to their villages. Very interesting. The train did not start for a long time and more and more passengers were getting in. Six – seven women boarded carrying big pieces of old wooden railway sleepers which were in the platform. In fact, they were stealing them. They put it under the seats. Many old jute bags were also with them. They were watching the station carefully. We had put our bags on the upper stand. Tripati told me, ‘always watch our bags, may disappear any time.’ I understood.
At last train started. It was stopping at all stations. After two – three stations, the women got down carrying the wooden sleepers. All of sudden, there was shouting by a young man clutching one of the bags taken away by them. It was his bag. The women told it is their bag. Others intervened, opened the bag and found out it was the boy’s bag only.
I wanted to have coffee or tea and Tripathi told that he will go outside in the next station and will bring tea, because if both of us go, our bags may ‘disappear’. He tried at two three stations, but no tea or coffee. Somehow he got two packets of roasted ground nuts, which we ate and drank water which we carried. We reached a station, may be 10 miles from the border by late evening. Went to a tea shop nearby, but came out quickly since the shop was most dirty and unhygienic.
We got in to a bus going to the border town Raxaul. We got seats. Though the bus seemed very old and worn, there was T.V. fitted and on. We were happy to watch the TV. Before start of the bus some persons boarded and stood very close to the TV blocking the view to all others behind. Nobody objected. When I wanted to protest, Tripathi signalled me,’danger’. I understood. The bus started. The road was so bad, that the bus was turning and tumbling this side and that side. We were afraid that it may fall or crash down. The speed was almost like that of a bullock cart moving on a rough patched road. Though the distance was about ten miles, it took about one and half hours to reach there.
We got down, engaged a tonga and crossed to Nepal. The Raxaul town was partly in India and partly in Nepal. TEAN leaders Com. Ashok Karn and others were waiting there. They took us to a hotel telling that we will move to Bharatpur next day to attend the TU meeting and class. We were so tired that we slept heavily.
Had Com.Tripathy was not there with me ?