Ardent followers of CoD would already be familiar with the author's ill spate of bad luck with technology, entrance exams, and of course, the Indian Railways.
But there was one incident, wherein it looked like Murphy himself decided that three of us should go through an experience that would make the aforementioned trinity of incidents look like mosquito bites.
Introducing the protagonists of the story:
Golee aka Gaurav (Keyboards)
Murphy looked at this eclectic set of people, smiled wickedly and thought, "Alright! Here's the chance for some top-rate mischief!". How deliciously he decided the venue and timing of the incident as well, given our musical backgrounds: The mecca of rock fans in India - the Iron Maiden concert of 2007.
The concert in itself went without a glitch - no bones broken, no clothes torn, no wallets looted and no physical damage done. But I knew something was going to happen, given my incredible record with Indian Railways, which included proudly strutting onto a train for which I had booked the previous day's ticket, and sheepishly getting onto a second sitting seat (or floor, depending on your point of view).
Now, a little background. Me and Anshul were booked on the same ticket, which I held. Golee took his own ticket. Anshul was staying with a friend somewhere, me and Golee were staying with his uncle together in Grant Road. Oh, we had already lost 300 bucks for travelling in a first class, so I could sense something was going to happen.
Final day, about to return to Ahmedabad from Bandra. So me and Golee are in a highly compressed local train (now I know why they say Mumbai is a very close-knit city), approaching Bandra where we needed to get off.
Then comes Stupid Mistake # 1. In a moment of Warren Mendonsa-induced madness, I look at Golee and blurt out, "The solo of Cry is amazing, man... " and proceed to air-guitar and produce random tones, which were meant to be an emulation of the solo. The usually musically receptive Golee told me to shut up and focus on getting out of the goddamn train. And indeed, Murphy struck as he was pushed out by an exodus of people, but I was pushed in by an influx. :|
So by the time I recovered, tried to abuse my way out of the train, it had already started moving - and to my dismay I realised it was a fast train. Next stop - Andheri! Time for our Ahmedabad train: half an hour to go! :D
So what does this genius do? Instead of getting onto the local back to Bandra, he decides going by auto might be quicker. (note, at this juncture, the author's adept technique of shifting to third person to absolve self of any allegations of inanity). Stupid Mistake # 2.
During this story, no doubt, all you Anshul fans (who have his teeshirts and are screaming his name, and are crying for just one glance of him) are no doubt perplexed as to where he is in this strange turn of events. Good question. Neither of us knew either. A quick phone call to him, and he said he was on his way to Bandra. Good. But the fact was, the ticket remained with me. I didn't think at this point it would be very therapeutic to bring up this minor monkey wrench-in-the-works. So I let it pass.
Then, comes Stupid Mistake # 3 of underestimating the Mumbai traffic and hoping the train would actually reach Bandra on time. The auto driver told me it was a no-brainer and told me it would be better to catch another train from Dadar. Seeing logic in this wise man, who had no doubt aided many a stranded journeyman, I proceeded to Dadar. When I informed Golee of the latest tectonic change in my travel plans, he was livid.
Anshul, in the meantime, was still nowhere to be seen.
Ten minutes later, Golee called to give me the momentous news of the train having left Bandra, proceeded to curse me, and ordered me to get to get to Borivalli, where the train would stop next. I sheepishly asked the auto driver if it were possible to get to Borivali in the next 10 minutes, and the look he gave me was the same sort of stare that would be cast on an asylum inmate by a visitor. I took the hint, and asked him to proceed to Dadar.
Still no Anshul.
At Dadar, I paid an exhorbitant 700 bucks for a single sleeper ticket. And while taking a break from questioning the agent's geneaology, I called up Golee to apprise him of the situation. Anshul, in the meantime, having missed the train at Bandra, boarded an auto which ran parallel to the train - and after a western-style chase, actually ran and jumped! :O
So there we were, Golee and Anshul in one train, me in another. Quite sorted, you would agree.
Then came the tickets.
Anshul pleaded and brought out the whole saar-please-I-am-a-student sob story, and was let off from paying a fine, and was ordered to get off at the next stop, which, luckily happened to be Surat (this probably happened when Murphy went for a toilet break). So he proceeds to call me, asks for the name of the train and joins me :D
In the end, we make it, in three pieces, to Ahmedabad and proceeded to the alumni party on campus.
Oh, and the other Metalheads had their share of Murphy too - a gang had bought a full 'haul' to beat the 'dry'ness of Gujarat (if you catch my drift), and left it in the trunk of a taxi. Good thing they didn't leave milk behind, that would have been an udder waste.
So that was it, another incredible story starring Chuck and Indian Railways.
This post is NOT dedicated to Iron Maiden, who caused all the trouble in the first place!