Home > Uncategorized > The train says “Catch me if you can” (a short story)

The train says “Catch me if you can” (a short story)

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I got up early in the morning, unable to sleep well the previous night, filled with thoughts about whether I’ll make it into my dream company or not. I managed to get selected into the top 1000 in the prelims test and had to attend my Microsoft interview at Hyderabad the next day. I got onto the terrace of our beautiful house at Tirupati, picked up the three little stones I usually have them around, and started juggling, but unable to focus, I came down and switched on the TV. I ran through all the channels and found nothing interesting, when finally I stopped at a channel showing the daily horoscope and it was my sun sign, virgo’s turn. The prediction was “Have an eye on the time, during journeys”. I had my train scheduled to Hyd at 6:00 PM that evening, so I felt this one worthy considering my usual last minute hasty packing.

I spent the whole morning playing cricket with my friends, had a light lunch and took a short nap, when I was suddenly reminded of a watch my uncle had presented me the previous week. He works at Bell labs, New York and got me this beautiful watch from US. Feeling happy about it, I got up from bed thinking it is the right occasion to wear this watch for my interview. I picked it up from my personal almirah filled with joy, looking at its black leathered strap, silver coloured dial when my eyes fell on the time. It was 5:00 already and it takes me at least 20min to get to the railway station.

Considering the early morning prediction, I felt it would be better if I started early. So, I called my mom, asked her to get my bag ready, took a quick shower, prayed my favourite lord Ganesh to “please, please get me a job at Microsoft “. I took blessings from my grand parents, went out and called for an autorickshaw. When I was about to get into it, I realized that I had forgot the watch & so came back running to my room and strapped it on my wrist. I looked at the time and it was 5:20, so felt relaxed that I can make it to my train in time. It was a cloudy evening at Tirupati and it seemed like its gonna rain tonight. The Auto moved slow, travelling through the narrow streets of the holy town. We crossed the serene temple street, Gandhi road and finally came to the busy bazaar street. It looked a lot busier than it usually does, with lots of people, since it was “Gangamma Jatara” the next day. It is a local festival to my hometown and I felt sad I had to miss it this year due to the interview.

The auto was travelling lot slower now, I looked at my watch to find that the time was already 5:45. I was about a mile away from the station and today’s horoscope added to my worries. I warned the autowallah my train is in 15 mins, but he said it is better to get down and walk to the station through a nearby passage, instead of getting stuck in this traffic. He was an old man of about 60 years of age and bowing to his experience and considering the lack of time, I decided to do as he said. I paid him the full fare though and started running through the passage towards the station. … when pfft, it started raining heavily. I was drenched in the sudden drizzle, and was guzzling through the flooded passage. I looked at my watch, now with tension mounting and it was 5:55, the station is around 200m away. I remembered the words of Dr .C.Narayana Reddy, a telugu writer ” Nuvvu ekkalasina bussu oka jeevita kalam missu “…. (analogically mapping to missed opportunities in life), and found my current situation same both literally as well as figuratively.

The fact that Indian trains are always late added to my confidence. But the thing we fail to realize is, so are most of the Indians :). Running and running… I got into the station and quickly looked at the announcements section. My train was scheduled to depart from platform no.3 and peeping through the window of a ticket counter, I found one already leaving from PF 3, so I rushed through the human traffic pushing people around mercilessly. My mom had always warned me not to cross the rails at the stations and one should always take the route through the over bridge. But, finding my career at stake, I decided to take a chance this time and calmly said sorry to my mom in my heart and ran through the rails. I saw the train already moving as I climbed onto the platform and started running towards it. To add to my misfortune, I stepped on a banana peel, slipped over the floor and fell down. I have always wondered how one gets hurt by stepping on banana peels (had seen only in telugu movies), but I had to experience this myself now. I thought ” Why the hell should it happen now? :(( ??” but alas, to just find myself lying in a sorry state and see the train leaving the station.

With my hopes shattered, I had a look at my watch and it’s 6:05. I started thinking “Is this watch unlucky for me? “, but quickly got over the thought and decided, “ whatever the reason is .. let me not take any more chances and at least go & catch a bus so that I can make it to the interview (though I hate travelling in buses) “
With a tired look and broken heart, I came out of the station, ( this time through the normal route on the over bridge ). I was looking for an auto & was welcomed by the same old autowallah giving me a sympathy look, may be he came to know that I had missed the train. He consoled me and told me not worry, and I asked him to take me to the bus station.

Looking outside from the auto, accidentally my eyes fell on the clock on top of the clock tower outside the railway station and to my surprise the time on it still read 3:50. I stared at my watch and it was 6:20 in mine. Out of the confusion, I realized my mistake with a huge huge sigh of relief, “Bull Shit!!!! This is New York time in my watch ….huh…. ” !

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Hi Aravind,

    It is a nice post with a surprise at the end. Many of us must have this experience of running to catch some or other thing in our life and failed to realized what real situation is. Do you still have that watch?

  2. Aravind
    August 12, 2010 at 1:17 am

    @Uday: Thanks for your feedback Uday. This story is pure fiction, it wasnot my reallife experience.. I dont have the watch 🙂

    • August 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      @Aravind: Oh! ok. good play.

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