Coming back from Kalka to Delhi by Shatabdi Express

by Mridula on July 18, 2009

in Indian Railways,Kalka,Shatabdi Express,Trains

I like traveling by Shatabdi Express trains. They have chair car seating, they have are air conditioning and they dump you back at Delhi the same night.

Kalka Shatabdi Express Train at Kalka Raliway Station
So while coming back from Barog we reached Kalka by noon and it was quite hot and humid there. We headed out of the station to eat lunch. We found a restaurant called Shelly’s near the station and ordered a lot of things and took our time eating it too. It started raining heavily while we were eating. And yet it was three in the evening when we found our self back at the hot and humid station with a light drizzle still falling.

Seats inside the Kalka Shatabdi Express Train

It was raining but the sun also was out. I walked the length of the station that there might be a rainbow but no such luck this time. Brat 1 got us some tea and that helped in passing some more time.
Unfortunately, some kids came begging and I said I would buy stuff for them. They asked for potato chips and biscuits and I bought them the same. And then we had more tea. The brats finally told me that it looks like the train is open, let us go inside.
Checking out the Reservation List

There was this young girl, recently married (look at all the bangles in her hand, newly wedded brides wear them) on what could have been her honeymoon but then what looked like her husband’s entire family was also traveling with them. Shimla is full of honeymooning couples and I have nothing for or against them, until they start throwing their empty chips packets out of the toy train window. But then to be fair to them, almost 95% of the train does the same.
However, the biggest surprise of the day had still not revealed itself. We boarded the train after waiting for sometime on platform 3. We were glad for the air conditioning on a hot day. I had a window seat and both the brats aisle seats. I am mean about window seats, I do not give them even to my nephews. I mean anything else and their wish is my priority but not when it comes to the window seat. They also know this and let me have it after a token protest this time. Most of the times they don’t even protest.
And then an elderly couple took their seats diagonally behind us, plugged in their cell phone on charger and started playing bhajans (Hindu prayer songs) loudly. Both the brats immediately plugged on their headphones. One has a ipod shuffle and another a mobile that has a million songs. I have a mobile with three songs and I had left my headphones at home! Another person in Brat 1′s row took out his headphones and the mobile with a vengeance after about going through this for half an hour.
I was tempted many times to tell them to lower the volume (or better still to shut up) but Brat 2 always told me to ignore it. Let it be. I had to be content by giving them dirty glances occasionally. After an hour or so, Brat 2 took some mercy on me and transferred my songs via blue tooth to his phone and gave it to me along with the headphones. But how long could I let him suffer?
So I gave him the phone back after a while and was forced to listen to the cacophony till we reached Delhi.
Moral of the story? Next time I will fill my phone with songs and I vow I will never leave my headphones at home! This was sheer torture at the end of a beautiful trip.
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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

NITYIN May 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Ahh.. Kalka Shatabdi…. always bring great memories!! Traveling home back to Shimla from Delhi, Kalka Shatabdi has been the fastest way to reach back Shimla. I liked the older Shatabdis better as they had better leg space. The new one though have bigger windows…

Traveling on Jan-Shatabdi to Kalka has been a nightmare as this train halts at Ambala Cantt for almost one hour. So much is the delay that evening Shatabdi from Delhi reaches Kalka first though Jan-Shatabdi leaves 2 hour earlier!

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Mridula May 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Thanks for sharing Nityin, apart from the odd experience I too love traveling by trains.

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Kelly July 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Ah…public transportation always puts you in such close proximity to humanity. Such a love-hate thing. It's fascinating for people-watching and yet so annoying.

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Mridula May 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I agree Kelly but we mostly use public transport as we are not very fond of driving.

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Mridula July 22, 2009 at 6:10 am

Indica blog about it some time!

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indicaspecies July 22, 2009 at 6:07 am

I've travelled by Shatabdi a few times. I like it as it serves food regularly. I've had an interesting conversation with a bank officer and an educationist on one such journey.

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Mridula July 21, 2009 at 4:34 am

A roommate who plays it for one hour every night Doli, that must be really tough. Mine was at least a one off thing!

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Doli July 20, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Oh my I feel sorry for you! I am in the same plight every night. My room mate plays all bhajans for around an hour before sleeping. I have almost felt like shaking her and telling her to use her headphones and not disturb others while sleeping

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Mridula July 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Anu, this was a first for me on Shatabdi, before this I thought everyone used headphones!

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Anu July 20, 2009 at 9:36 am

every time we travel by public transport, we keep encountering things like that – the bag throwing as well as the music! only one thing is worse – the video coaches in long distance buses – thats a real nightmare… and u cant even tell him to shut it off!

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Mridula July 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for sharing the link Chintu.

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Chintuthewhizkid July 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

Here is a recent article from DC on the "indian tourist" – http://www.deccanchronicle.com/tabloids/indians-are-‘worst-tourists’-040

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Mridula July 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

Akhila, I too was sorely tempted but their age was a complicating factor.Tarun, I rarely travel in the metro but we did use it from Dwarka to Chandni Chowk this time and they kept saying do not play music in th train!Thanks for putting it that way Bindu, indeed we have made our entertainment needs complex.I know what you are saying Priyank and yes it is a bit irritating.Nilesh, people are telling me that 14th August is a holiday in all probability and a long weekend too!Hobo, I agree that civic sense is important and quite lacking in India too.

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Hobo ........ ........ ........ July 19, 2009 at 5:58 am

Delhi-Haridwar – I travelled by Jan-Shatabdi. It is a nice experience while sitting & travelling. They have chairs.And yes, civic-sense is important always no matter we are old or young.

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Nilesh July 19, 2009 at 5:08 am

pity you Mridula. you were compensating for enjoying such a beautiful place.

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Final_Transit July 19, 2009 at 4:15 am

Awww…. I sympathize with you. Its very annoying indeed. Did you try complaining to the TC? They can't do anything against you!The only annoying thing about Shatabdi chair cars is that they cannot be rotated. So half the times, they are facing the direction opposite to which the train is going!

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bindu July 18, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Must've been annoying. Amazing how ubiquitous these devices have become, and how complex our entertainment needs have become.

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Tarun Mitra July 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Ha ha! Such things happens in the Metro too, and really is irritating. And when we don't have the necessary thing at that moment of time, it is the pain we must endure.In the words of Jim Coetzee "Pain is truth, everything else is subject to doubt."

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Akhila S July 18, 2009 at 4:36 pm

oooh, that always happens in the public transport. And its really irritating if they are not playing my kinda songs. And in such cases I have a history of telling them to use their headphones and not force the entire Train/Bus listen to their choice of song. :)

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