Life as a medical transcriptionist is routine and monotonous.............after all what is so thrilling to hear the same set of dictators from morning to evening, and some times even till night/midnight. But then, the ending of the month brings a kind of spring to the steps of the MT professionals, as this is the time to start earning the extra amount or the "incentive".
This was the reason I did not heed to my sister, when she said, "Bhaiyya, why r u going today, u just came yesterday night, u can easily go by the early morning train." I told her, "Look olli, last time when I travelled in this morning train, i reached office at 11:30 a.m., but this time, i cannot afford it."
The reason was simple, "incentive". I had completed my target on Sunday, Monday being day off, Tuesday and Wednesday where my incentive earning days, being 30 and 31st December.
It was already 3:30 p.m. and train's time of arrival was 3:50 p.m. As i reached the station, there were already 2 trains on the platform, and the guy at the ticket counter informed me that my train was late. "I know dude, thats why the journey which i was supposed to make tomorrow, i am making today, cause i know, tomorrow also, ur train will be late, " I said to myself and chuckled.
I went straight to the bookstall on plateform number 1, where i had spotted my favorite magazine e-halka from a distance. Actually the 3 issues which were there were all old ones, but since the shopkeeper was not interested in giving discount, I selected the issue which had Mumbai blasts as the cover story. I just stood beside the shop and started reading. It was around 5:30 when the train finally came at the station, but thanks to e-helka magazine (whose motto is Ree Air and Earless), i barely noticed that I had spent nearly 1 hour there, standing and reading.
I got into the coach which stopped near me. There was a burning rubber type of smell in there, anyway ignoring it, I chose my favorite window seat, and started reading from where I had left. After a few minutes train left MVLK and reached Chengannur. By this time I was reading the account of a tourist who was trapped inside the Oberoi Trident. "It was smoky in there and the NSG commondoes shouted from outside, stay in there, we are coming, in." I could by now feel a somewhat smoky atmosphere in the coach itself, but then i thought it was may be because of the style and way of reporting of journalist and myself being so involved that I was feeling like that. "Why are u staying in there, just get out." I looked and saw a railway police constable shouting, he was glaring at me. I had already noticed people from my coach were making a beeline towards the exit. I lost no time in joining them and once on the plateform, came to know that brake in our coach was on all the time, and so due to friction, the lower side of the coach had caught fire, we were lucky that it was spotted here. I got into the next coach and continued reading. The train left chengannur at 6:15 and by that time, it was already dark. Luck was certainly not with me that day, as lights in our coach were not working, we were told that it will be repaired at kottayam. So I to stop reading and be content with watching a kid who looked like Arsheel Safary (of Aare zameen par), who had with him, his granny, who also served as his punching bag. He was very much interested in just switching on and off the fans on our side, and when his granny forbade him to do so, he would ask her, "Why, is this bomb which will go off when i touch it?"
Finally lights were restored when we reached Kottayam, which was around 8:15. I started reading again and only when we reached Mulunturatti did I put it down, as next was the station, where I had to get down. As I kept the magazine inside my bag and stood up, there was some commotion and also a female voice screaming.........one lady was detraining when the train started to move......luckily the train was just moving out of the station, some good samaritan pulled the chain..........so it took us another 15-20 mins before we were back on track. Finally, it was around 9:15, that i reached Tripunithura, but as i reached the main road, to my surprise, there were no buses plying there on the EKM route. After waiting for a couple of minutes I started walking, i just wanted this journey to end, it was now nearly 6 hours since starting this journey. I got an auto along the way and reached my uncle's house at 9:45.
Next day, got up early and reached office by 9:45, only to find my friends and colleagues waiting in the parking lot area.........someone shouted from among them, "No net connection, it will probably be afternoon that we can start working."
It was around 11:15 that we the problem was cleared and we were at our desk by 11:30. I could not help thinking about what i had told my sister about getting late if I came by the morning train..........strange are the ways of nature....................