Night Unknown - Where Anything Was Possible

by Samay Kumar

Yes, it was last winter, when I spent a horrifying night with lots of tension the reason for spending such a horrifying night was due to the fact that I was returning from a beautiful place with full of natural beauty definitely a healthy place. it's none other than Deoghar, situated in the state of Jharkhand. But do you all know that bad always follows the good? So, it was unexpected that, such a night I would have to tolerate after a memorable tour to Deoghar. It was an unthinkable night that was waiting for me. Well, I would no longer stop myself from sharing this horrifying night. Returning catching a train from Deoghar in the afternoon was the wrong decision which made things more worse. I reached Jasidih station, but was unable to find a convenient train to my destination. So, there was no other way rather than watching trains. Now, I am a railway fanatic also a railway modeller, so I was enjoying. After waiting for long, I got into a train to Asansol. Since it was in the winter season the temperature starting falling rapidly around 8 o' clock in the night, when I reached Asansol. I walked at the end of the station premises, where some cycle rickshaws were standing. I told one of them to take me to a nearby hotel. Now, the reason for staying at Asansol was that, I planned to return home the next day, as there are plenty of convenient trains available in the morning. But sadly, I failed to book a hotel room. So, I planned to return to Asansol station. I tried my last chance for getting a station dormitory room. Booking a room was cheap, but nothing worked in my favour. The female staff at the railway enquiry asked for citizenship ID in order to book a dormitory room. But, I didn't have an ID proof carrying with me. So, that night I decided to stay at the railway station. It seemed to me a punishment, which fate had in store for me. It was hard to withstand the coldest night that too at the railway station. My wardrobe comprising of a leather jacket, woollen gloves, cap etc were not enough to make me feel warm. I again asked at the railway enquiry center for a any convenient train to my destination. They said that there is one only train in the night which would reach my destination, but it is running 3 hours late. Suddenly, an announcement filled the not so silent station, which was of a goods train which derailed some few kms away from Asansol that too on the down directed track. What? Oh, my God! I had to return home by the train that would definitely move on the down directed track. How will I reach home? I was praying to God. It was 23-40 PM, that I was loitering here there inside the big station to find a warm place, till the announcement of the one only convenient train to my destination filled the air. A quarter to 12, that the train entered Asansol. It was a sigh of relief for me, as I found a warm place to spend the night. After a few minutes, the train sped up, but after half an hour, the train retarded. The velocity of the train was around 15 km/hr. It's just a guess. It retarded again then stopped completely. I dared to open the train compartment door. Cold wind agitated me, I found not a single bit of light anywhere around the place. Where the train had stopped? My mobile operator indicated it was Andal, it's actually the place of the derailment. It stopped for 2 hours. The train then moved with a very slow pace, changed it's track I heard the sounds of hammering falling of ballast over the railway tracks. The maintenance was being done by the railway trackmen. The train after changing it's track was moving with a low pace. Covering every 100 meters or less, it was blowing horn frequently. Being a railway expert, I understood when does a loco pilot use frequent horns of a train. It showed clear signs of the danger zone which it was crossing. The train was actually moving on the reverse direction track i.e. the track of an opposite directen train. Just imagine, the train was moving with a passenger strength of more than 500 on that dangerous track. Since, it was already 2-30 AM one of the up directed tracks had less traffic, there was no other way rather than to run the train on that track. Around 3-30 A.M. that the train crossed the danger zone sped up for it's destination. It reached my destination at 6 o clock in the morning whose actual arrival time was 3-30 A.M. I felt relieved with lots of exhaustion on my physique, lost all words to describe what I experienced in the night.

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