I had made it on time and walked right into the station to check which platform my train would be. The message on the board read - 15910 Avadh Assam Exp, delayed for 4 hours, expected arrival- 10.30.
I had made it in time to read my delayed news but since in winter it gets dark by 5ish so I decided to wait it out in the station. 4 hours, how bad could it be.
6-7PM: I called my cousin, informing her about my delayed train and spoke of her trip to northeast at the end of this month. Things she should get, warm clothes, etc. Then played with this baby who kept snatching the book I was reading for the next half an hour.
7-8PM: Called another friend, started planning a trip to Goa for new years. Then I keep the phone and start reading my novel when an old lady comes up to me and asks about a train to the northeast. I reply I don't know and she just stands there and stares at me for the next 20 minutes until her train arrives.
At around 8 the shopkeeper from a counter comes up to me and asks me to go sit on platform 1 or the waiting room as I was a girl sitting alone and that my train would be late. I left my seat (I was sitting on the floor)on platform 3 and headed towards platform 1.
8-9PM: I took around 15 minutes to move my base from platform 3 to 1. I looked for a suitable place to set up my camp and finally right outside what is called the "upper class waiting area" I sit. I take a toilet break in the "lower class waiting area" and then headed back to reading my book
9-10PM: Dear passengers, train no. 15910 is delayed by 8 hours and expected arrival is now 1.50 in the night. Inconvenience is regretted.
Had another 4 hours on my hand now. Started staring at the ceiling. After I counted the number of rafters there were on the ceiling to support the roof I called another friend of mine. His words of encouragement included - oh once I was waiting in Delhi for my train which got delayed by 12 hours and then at the 13th hour then announced it has been cancelled. Of course, I cut the call soon after that and continued reading my novel.
10-11PM: I notice a beggar trying to get into one of those plastic sheets as his sleeping bag. He was shivering. It was pretty cold. He then put his legs into the plastic tarp and pulls a dustbin down rummaging it for food I suppose. He doesn't find much. He then takes off the plastic from his legs and uses it as a pillow to try and sleep. His bare feet are exposed to the cold.
Right in front of him is another poor guy, he is just sitting and shivering. Not doing anything but just sitting there. I take out my sketchbook and sketch this scene out. To remember.
To not complain about not having this or that when these people are suffering so much in the cold, living day by day not knowing if they will have something to eat or wear the next day.