It was around 1.00 PM on a Monday and the sun was at its peak. TO be more precise it was March 9, 2015. I started to office, after enjoying my weekend. Being the first day of a week, I was feeling fresh and wanted to reach office early so I can start my week with a bang. But unfortunately, I was late and the cab driver left me. When I realized, its late, I called him and he said he almost reached my office. Usually, if I miss my cab, I take an auto or a taxi and end up paying 350 Rs. Suddenly, the importance of saving crept in my mind and I decided I will take a train. Believe me, I have been the MRTS only twice and I have never boarded the train from Mylapore. Going by bus is ruled out as I have never travelled in bus and I am not familiar with the bus routes. My colleagues had taught me the train route so I was quite familiar with that.
During my college days, or even my school days, I never had the chance to travel alone. Either of my parents used to drop me and pick me. Even if they were unable to accompany me, I used to take a cab. Even auto was forbidden. Few might call it luxury, but it was a way of giving me full protection. I was never exposed to the world of public transport. Even long distance journey was by car or flight. For a person who was brought up like that, travelling by a train is very difficult.
Also, I never used to carry money. I am a spendthrift at times and if I carry cash I might spend it. At times, I avoid carrying my debit card, but luckily that day I had it with me. I was waiting in my cab pick up point and tried calling few private cab drivers, but they were unable to arrange a cab with a short notice.
I decided to take a chance and with 10rs, started walking towards the railway station. I somehow found the entrance. But, when I entered, it was empty. The ticket counter was closed. I asked a lady there and she said she was not aware of the ticket counters. I came out and saw the vehicle stand. Suddenly, I remembered I have visited that stand with my mom and I decided to walk straight. In few yards I saw something familiar and I realized I was in a very well known area. I saw many people walking towards the entrance. It was actually the back side of the station. I had two options, either to take an auto or go by train. I was already late for work and I decided if I go by train I an reach early. I somehow bought the ticket (spent 5Rs.) and started waiting for the train. Finally the train arrived. I have demophobia (fear of crowd). But my fate, the train was crowded. I always have the fear of falling down and I was praying god to save me. Somehow, I managed to put up with the crowd and the train reached Thiruvanmiyur. I got down there and decided to take an auto. I didn’t have sufficient cash and I asked my friend to come near the entrance to give cash. Unfortunately, I was able to find a share auto only. I told the driver I need to go to ascendas and he misunderstood me. He didn’t stop near my place and I thought he might take a different route. But as if he was going straight, I realized I didn’t have enough money and decided to get down. After getting down, I gave 5rs and he demanded 10rs. I told him I had just 1Re left and he started shouting at me. I was embarrassed. Unable to take it further, I told him I just don’t have change and he said he can give me change. I said I only have a 500 Re note. The guy who was sitting in front said he will pay. But the auto driver never listened and I started searching my bag. Finally he just left the place.
I was in constant touch with my colleagues. For few minutes I felt stranded. But, I regained my confidence and started to figure out the routes. I was not able to find any auto nearby and I decided to start walking. There were two routes for me to choose and I felt the second one was much shorter. So I chose that and started walking. Much later I realized I missed the route again and the route I had selected is the longest. With no auto and no cash I continued walking.
When I was around 15 mins away from Ascendas, a cab driver (drives for a reputed hotel) stopped and forced me to get into the cab. Luckily, a passerby stopped and asked the driver to move. After escaping from him, I started walking again and finally I reached my office building. That’s when I realized, how protected I have been all these while. I was very dependent on someone to even go for a shop. I just cannot go out alone. Many times, I have travelled in the wrong routes. If only I had asked someone for the correct route, I would not have faced so much. But the fear of asking or talking to a stranger has always been there in my mind. Now I know, I have to overcome this. Well, let’s see!!!!
C ya in my next post, bye till then!!!!