The Journey

My train reached Howrah 10mins late(3:40am). The departure was delayed by 20 mins(4:10am). Thanks to a train accident only a few moments ago, it took us 7hrs to cover the first 60kms. The accident had happened at some place near Kolaghat & we saw the twisted coach as we went past it. The follow opposite me was Lieutenant Arvind, an NDA product. He was a very affable and suave guy who had a way with breaking the ice with perfect strangers in no time. We soon made friends and started chatting about how the NDA guys (& that includes him) would frequent Fergusson College for some greenery! Thanks to Arvind, I managed to get acquainted with some girls from the NE who were also on their maiden trip to Bangalore. One of them was Tara, a very pretty and bubbly girl accompanying her aunt & cousin to meet someone there & spend a week there before heading home. The other girls managed to make friends with her, & Arvind being the catalyst, we were soon a bunch of lively and noisy folks in the compartment. The guy on the berth above mine was from LFS & IIIT who was placed in Wipro Tech, & like me, was heading for the silicon city for the first time.
Girls being girls, Antakshari was soon the season's flavor & we had several episodes of it. You can imagine how I cringed at the idea, but since I couldn't opt out, I had to passively participate. I could only offer 1 or 2 suggestions for my team to hum.
The funniest part came when the girls had to sing a song that began with the 'sh' phonetic. Now, this is an alien thing to Assamese people & the girls tried all sorts of workaround like 'ch' & 's', but we wouldn't accede. But the lasses were in no mood to give up either! After the ensuing confusion had managed to make them almost run for cover, they enlisted Arvind's help, who gladly obliged. Looking at Tara & gang's miseries made my day! We now knew about their Achilles' heel. Of course, in the future episodes we tried to exploit this important fact to the fullest by making them sing as many songs as possible with the erring phonetic. But the girls had learnt their lessons well. They were now stocked with a rich assortment of all the right songs with the said phonetic. It held them in good stead! We also played snakes & ladders later.
BTW, there was a hottie in the coach next to ours, a Jemima Khan lookalike. I never imagined Assamese babes could be such stunners. I didn't manage to bring myself to talking to her, so dazed was I!.
The 13th & 14th were thus spent. Our train was supposed to reach Bang @ 6pm on the 14th. The delay, however, would let us touch Bangalorean soil only on the 15th @ 12:45am. Before parting, I took Tara's email id. She asked for mine. I promised that I would email her soon.
BTW, the train had changed direction thrice during the journey (Howrah, Vijayawada & Chennai). Lt.Arvind had disembarked @ Vijayawada to catch another train.

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