It was the 25th of May. We were all set to go
to Puri for a short holiday. Our bags were
packed and we set out for the Railway Station.
We reached the station on time and boarded the
Howrah-Puri Express and took our seats. I was
travelling with my parents and grandparents. We
settled down, while the train slowly moved out
of the station. There was a buzz of excitement
in the air and I could not wait to reach my
destination. Everything was going well.
Shortly after the train left the station, my mother gave all of us some tasty snacks to munch. By this time the train was moving fast. I was relaxing when suddenly the lights began to flicker and in a moment darkness filled the compartment. We were wondering what was happening and then we realized that the air conditioners had stopped working as well. It was really repulsive to be in darkness with non-functioning air conditioners.
We asked the service personnel on the train as to what was wrong and he told us that there was a technical snag and it would take an hour or two before it was rectified. It was really hot and stuffy by then and sitting in the compartment became somewhat unbearable. Our co-passengers also began complaining about their discomfort. Added to our woes there was no water supply as well. For a moment I felt like being marooned without the very bare essentials of survival.
But soon our plight came to an end and power was restored. The lights came on and so did the air conditioners. We were delighted and soon things were back to normal. The train stopped a while at the next station where water supplies were being restored, after which the train left the station.
We were late by two hours in reaching Puri. This was the first time I was without water and light on the train. The unpleasantness and discomfort of the journey to Puri is hard to forget.