Wednesday, June 04, 2008

THE MOST THRILLING ADVENTURE, EVER!

PROLOGUE

Now, people blog about all sorts of nonsense. About their opinions on the IPL, about shoes, about their favourite sitcoms, about book reviews, about their loved ones, about failed Frankenstein experiments and... Erm, never mind.

Now, I have blogged about all sorts of nonsense myself. What I truly lacked, of course, is an adventure of sorts. A live report sort of thing. Of course, you will agree that blogging is rendered difficult during the course of an adventure himself. Otherwise Superman would have done so himself, had not the act of handling a laptop computer in one hand, while using the other to inflict super(hu)man punishments on his enemies been slightly taxing and impractical.

Here, now, once again, in the Chronicles of Dementia, I present to you, a revolutionary new idea. Blogging while undergoing an advernture. And how is this possible, you, o sceptical reader, asketh? How, when even the mighty Clark Kent failed, can a Chemical Engineer-turned-MBA student succeed? Can the knowledge of the 4Ps and management pfaff prevail, where Kryptonite powers failed?

Ha, I say!

For I have come upon the solution - perform your adventure online! Yes, within the realms of cyberspace. Where a simple Alt+Tab can move you from your adventure to your textpad to write your post. But again, doubts remain in your mind. What sort of adventure can you derive online, you ask?

I have come upon the ultimate. It gives you thrills, goosebumps, uncertainty, your future in real life will depend on it, AND it involves money as well. What is it, you ask? We are talking here, o captivated reader, about nothing other than...

PART ONE: 03 JUNE, 11:52 PM

Indian Railways' online ticket booking.

No, really! Where one accidental 'backpage' can render you helpless and ask you to start all over again. Where one small error can land you in deep crap. And what makes it all the more exciting? Tatkal, of course :D

Now, the history is such: I needed to go to Mumbai on the 8th of June, following my internship at Jamshedpur. Now, me being the 21st century poster boy for procrastination, put off the ticket booking till until only a waitlist was possible. Now, in a fit of panic, the waitlist does not seem to be moving at all, leaving Tatkal and its various shenanigans my only hope to get my Mallu arse to Mumbai! Now my travel agent has failed to book a Tatkal for the 8th, and in a fit of frustration I tell him to book anything - even sleeper - for the 9th. You will, of course, know that Tatkal bookings happen 5 days before the train leaves, at 08:00 AM.

Now, I'm taking the onus upon myself as well. I'm getting up tomorrow morning, after analysing what train, which class, which will result in a loss if both agent and self book tickets, etc, and going to book one myself!

You may whap your head and say, what nonsense... Leave alone to blog about. But I assure you, I have hardly been under more tension. I can't sleep, in anticipation of the booking. I have practiced entering my User ID, password, name and all. Oh, and IRCTC is notorious for transactions stopping halfway through. I'll have to start all over again, and in those few precious seconds, dozens of tickets could be swept away.

AND to top it all, I'm using a fragile GPRS connection, and on a computer that is prone to go blank every half an hour - my stupid Acer!

So, the tension is in the air. Everything comes down to this now. 08:00AM, tomorrow morning. I'll be up at 07:30, do my finger exercises, practice typing my name a few dozen times. Phew. This is real heart-stoppin stuff here. The remaining part of this post will be typed out tomorrow.

PART TWO: 04 JUNE, 12:50 AM

Goodnight, world. When I wake up tomorrow, the stakes will be high, and the competition intense. Phew.

PART THREE: 04 JUNE, 07:52 AM

I've never woken up so early. Well, for a while, anyway, and that was only to take a leak. 8 minutes to go till I can book a tatkal ticket. I'm logged in, I'm ready, and I'm raring to go. Heart is pounding. I haven't been this nervous since awaiting my final year marks in college.
Now just two minutes to go... The tension is getting to me. No mails to distract me either...

PART THREE: The during

ARGGGH! It's started! Here we go! :D
'unable to retrive train list' :O
Re-login number one :|
Entered MCST instead of CSTM. Tension getting to me.
Only 18 tickets to go. That means 5 tickets booked in the last five minutes.
Re-login number two. Curse you, IRCTC.
I wish I had a better internet connection to do this. Should I need to do this again, I'll do it from office.
Yikes, browser acting up. Will I have to restart the computer as well? *tears hair out*
Typing this down is actually keeping me sane.
Only 14 more tickets to go. I hope to hell that my agent got one of those 9 tickets that have been taken up...
The second AC is already in Waitlisted mode! Why the eff to people want to travel so much? Why can't they just stay rooted to one place? >:(
IE sucks. Atleast this ordeal has proved to me that Firefox rules.
I don't mind if I have to swallow my previous words and IE comes up with something. For all its faults, it's always looked to be slightly stable. If only it didn't move like a snail held down by an anvil...
Online reservation not happening. Keep getting errors :|
BREAKTHROUGH! Oh my goodness, Mozilla has taken me to the neext stage! More tension now!
Only 2 seats left *groan*. Incredible. Lalloo, you fodder-straddling, scam-collecting twit, get us more trains!
Just one seat left. This is better than the IPL final.

In-fuckin-credible.

Payment made... Now for the painstaking wait for the confirmation page. Last ticket, at that. I envisioned this last night. Must look up alternate career as a prophecy-seer.

I DID IT! THE LAST FUCKIN' TICKET IS MINE! Just checked the status on IRCTC, and there are no more seats left! I did it! I got the last fuckin' seat! This is bloody incredible! The most AMAZING, thrilling and fuckin' tense thing that has ever happened to me!!!!!!! :D :D

EPILOGUE:

I swear I'm not making this up. It's 08:39, an hour since I woke up, and what a rollercoaster it's been! Thank you Mozilla Firefox! No thank you, IRCTC, for making my life hell.

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I'm going to Mumbaaaaaaaaaaaai! :D

I'm putting up this post five minutes after the whole ordeal. Should have probably kept blogger open as well. What an aadventure I say. I don't need to jump off cliffs and chase trucks with soft drinks for thrills - IRCTC can give you all that and more. Fear Factor should take a few leaves out of their book! :D