In the wee hours of the morning, the helpful hotel attendant fetched a rickshaw for us to travel to station. Though we were hardly few hundred meters from the station, the luggage made sure we would need a rickshaw. We reached the train, half expecting Vesta to be standing outside the parcel van. To our surprise, the bike was already loaded in the train, and the luggage bogie sealed. The train guard confirmed the safe loading of the bike, and informed that this was the only luggage in the bogie today! Seemed that like us, Vesta too would be traveling leisurely on her journey back.
As expected, this train did not have any pantry car. It is really questionable, that many of the long distance and non Garib-rath trains do not have pantry car. I thought pantry car increased the revenue of railways only, so what’s the harm in attaching them to trains that travel for more than 24 hours?
But now the travelers as well as the agents in trains are too used to this. We got timely breakfasts and meals from a gentleman travelling in the same train, who was actually an agent who arranges such things regularly. Breakfast consisted of hot idlis, but the lunch and dinners were of rice only. Being in Kerala for past two weeks, we already had too much of rice, and were longing to eat chapattis and other Maharashtrian meals. This is a superfast train, taking a handful of halts. Without any problem, we reached Pune on the next morning. Taking down the bike at Pune station is always a grand function, and this time was no different. The railway porters were nowhere to be seen. So I pushed the bike myself to the parcel office to get it released, paid the customary tip to the station police who clears the bike for taking it away. Poured the petrol that we carried from Ernakulam, and headed home. By 7 A.M., we were at home, our professional lives awaiting us. There would be a lot of work pending from these 18 days away from it. House to be dusted, projects to be completed, files to be updated, but now we were fully charged to take anything head on. Till the next tour!