Grueling, loooong, tiring, boring……….
Beautiful, splendid, reality, amazing….,
Are you confused right now????
Well here’s how it all started.
2007 : hussein: ” so guys I told Anwar to buy us tickets for Rajdhaani Express Apperently is the fastest and most comfy train in India.
I’m like thanx Hussein u always got it figured out, it’s Rs1300 per ticket which was R130 South African rands, I always find myself converting in this place.
Anwar and Shafiq were Indians born and living in India and where going to accompany us to the beautiful lands of Kerala, so we said book the best train well pay them it’s cool, and so we wait for Anwars return from the station.
It’s was 5 of us so 6500 rupees for all the ticket on the famous Rajdhani Express, the excitement builds up as I go to the narrow alley Internet cafe to google our mode of transport and destination together.
Beautiful indeed for 130 bucks whilst sipping on my traditional addictive Indian ‘chai’, I return to the room a while later and Anwar returns the same time telling me in a thick Indian accent :” aal set” meaning all set alls well Iv organized your tickets.
Thats great Anwar let’s go to the other guys and plan our transport to the Nizaamuddeen station tomorrow morning, I was appointed treasurer, it was a hard job.
Anwar hands me all the tickets and a big load of cash, “Anwar what is this?”
yeh kya hai?
He over excitedy says ” aap ka change” “that’s your change”,
I count it and it’s precisely 5000 rupees, “yeh konsi train ki ticket hai?” ” what’s trains tickets are these?”
And Anwars answer sends a huge shiver up my spine!!
“yeh firoz pur express ki ticket hai” ” that firoz pur express tickets” He once again says, beyond himself with excitement
“FIROZ PUR EXPRESS!!!!” I exclaim?
At this point Anwar is scared
I further question him ” Rajdhani ka ticket ki kya hua” ” what happen to our Rajdhani ticket?”
” nahi Saheb hum neh kabhi is train me betha nahi aur jab hamere ghar me gareebi hai hum kaise is train mein beth sakh te hai, aur agar nabi hota to aap saw neh Bhi Firoz pur Express me jata tha”
” no sir we’ve never sat it such a train ever and whilst there’s poverty in our home how can we travel in such luxury?” ” and if the Nabi was here he’d Also prefer Firoz pur over Rajdhani”
This answer took me aback I just kept quite and asked no more and so did my fellow friends.
He refused to sit in that train Whilst it been paid for by someone else? He further explained that if due to our sacrifice in travel we give the dawat of iman it’s bound to have an effect.
This silenced us all, and so the next day we were off the most busy Nizaamuddeen train station in New Delhi,
Walking thorough multiple check points, listening to a mixture of Many Indian languages, crossing paths with te most disturbing looking beggars, and wide eyed for platform s3, had to be the most difficult task for me as I’v never caught even a taxi back home.
Finally reached our platform and train was nowhere in sight Anwar and Shafik were beyond themselves with excitement as they’ve never seen more than their gham Ghaziaabad, 5 kms out of Delhi.
At this point I’m tired and can’t wait for the train to arrive so I can “stretch out”. After a rather lengthy period of time I hear a loud horn coming in the distance amongst all the fog, and my eyes fall on this 1960 colored train which literally appeared to come from that age.
“train agaya train agaya” Anwar say whilst grabbing our bags.
I didn’t get a glimpse of the train driver but I’m pretty sure he faced a Hitler mustache complementing his ride.
Pushing and shoving we finally reach our seats, thank god our seats were all together, it was a blue in color interior with 3 tier, far worst than my expectations but Anwars words of Nabi SAW rang in my ears, so I just said nothing, as I started yearning for home and wishing I should have never come this way, at this time at home I’d probably be cruising the streets of Fordsburg in my Golf Velo together with Mohammed and Ismail.
Really feeling down, I try to gather my thoughts and start taking note of my surroundings. My eyes fall on a fresh paan stain on the corner of the cabin, I block it out of my mind and decide to make durood instead………
Part 2 to follow