Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Journey of 8:00pm via 12344 Down Darjeeling Mail


This is another story of mine own creation. Since my very childhood I have been fascinated by trains. One of my favourite is the Darjeeling Mail running between Sealdah Jn. in Calcutta to New Jalpaiguri Junction in Shiliguri. This is one of the greatest trains of India. Started in 1878 in pre independent India this Grand Train has come a long way…. So I thought of dedicating a just a piece to this Royalty and here it is.


This story would never had been written if in the early years of my life I had decided not to live on the Railway Station or pick pocket for a living or if there was no Darjeeling Mail…
In the starting years of my life I could never understand the meaning of  an orphan ‘anath’ or whatever they used to call me.  The only thing I knew was that my mother had died just a few months before I could celebrate my first birthday or even call anyone ma. My father left me soon as soon as he found that ‘she’ was dead and told by Raju bhai that a well-to-do man wearing the traditional boardroom uniform – black suit-white shirt-and a checkered tie stepped down from a car probably a Sant-Roe or E-lan-tara and without saying a word ‘dropped’ me in Platform no: 5 and never looked back since. That’s how I came to live in the Railway Station. This station has been my home since the past 14 years. During these years I developed a mutual love for the railways which so generously had given me everything which I had in those days – albeit indirectly.
            Life had been a hell in the station growing up with my friends who came from the nearby bastee everyday at 7 o’ clock and taught me the basic instincts of pick pocketing at an age of 5 years. So pick pocketing became my way of life and also the source of the roti-sabzi three times a day. But you know. . .  men-in-coats with their Me-God-You-Dog attitude are very cunning rascals. Each time I try to go near them someone calls those fatty-blokes with their tummy protruding out in tight khaki shirts and they give me a run for my stolen money. Bloody-Black-Suit-People! In fact due to their such ‘atrocious’ acts I had go sometimes hungry. But Raju bhai whom I am have earlier introduced and who owns and runs the only station eatery ‘Mera Khana’ was a very generous sexagenarian who before closing his eatery always used to leave some leftovers of the day at the steps of his eatery for me. Oh God! Thanks for Raju Bhai who ensured that I slept with a full stomach no matter whatever it the food packet contained. Continue reading The Journey of 8:00pm via 12344 Down Darjeeling Mail