Diary: 5 Aug, 2014
I have long lost the illusion that you control your life. Today was a great example of having that notion reinforced. When I had reached Chandigarh on 2nd, the plan was to see Kasauli on 5th. I was there with my camera and others were there, the car was there and the weather too. But plans don’t define what happens in real time. Suddenly, fever intervened and leave apart visiting Kasauli, I had to decide upon leaving back for home as soon as possible. I had no tickets but only a vague sense of desperation to reach home before things got worse.
After booking next day’s flight ticket from Delhi in a rush, I had decided to leave for Delhi with a friend by car on 5th morning. At 7am, the friend messaged that he is more feverish than me. Now, I am in Chandigarh with a flight ticket but have no way to reach Delhi first. Any travel by road takes at least 5-6 hours. Internet comes to the rescue – I got up and searched for trains. There popped up a Shatabdi at 12pm that would reach Delhi at 3:20pm. With a flight to catch at 6pm and simply no other option, this was the only way I could try. I had heard about the Delhi Metro running between the train station and airport and it was time to try it out. I took the medicines, called the cab and headed to Chandigarh station, bought a ticket for Shatabdi and sat down at the station.
But it was a different day as well (because yesterday and day before yesterday were different – more on that later). None of it made me panic. As the plans were falling apart in front of me, something in me was smiling because all this was only showing me what I already knew - you don’t control life, you can only try. And I was trying. If it worked out, good…if not, somehow I didn’t bother yet. In normal days, I would have sat there with nearly an hour and a half to go, fidgeting and grumbling but there I was, taking photographs. It wasn’t Kasauli but it was a place with its own story. I clicked many pictures and time flew by. Once on Shatabdi, I figured out next steps on how to take the Metro and then got lost into music and scenery outside the window. I still didn’t care what would happen if I miss the flight. I had no direct acquaintances in Delhi but I was still not going to think about it. I had lunch on the train (which was surprisingly good) and I had a peaceful time.
The guy next to me started chatting as we were about to reach Delhi and we talked about some stuff here and there. He was trying to get into Army and wondered why I had come back from US. Brief and interesting conversation. The train halted somewhere in the outer region and again, the clock was ticking by. It was getting close and although the thought of getting out and taking a cab to NDLS crossed my mind, I decided that action is not always the best course. We talked again some more. It was almost 3:40pm by the time train hit NDLS on platform 1. We got out together since he was going to take a Metro to Noida. We discovered that Metro station is all the way on the back and it meant crossing to platform number 16. There are no escalators in NDLS and we started walking again and fast. I was thankful for packing minimally as I always do. I could lift my luggage without needing anyone’s help. When we reached the Metro station, it was only 3:55pm. After parting our ways, I walked to the Airport Express line. By 4pm, I was down in the Metro station waiting for next Metro train. By 4:30pm, I was in the T3 terminal and by 4:55pm, I was outside the gate number 29B from where my flight was supposed to depart.
I sat down with a piping hot Americano at Delhi Streat (which sucked). I had made it on time against all odds or rather something had made it for me. Although I’m fairly strong and a risk taker, I used to panic enough and often in life. But it doesn’t make things better. Sometimes, it is just better to do your part and be happy with it. Kasauli didn’t happen because it is not yet time for me to see it. The railway stations and airport looked as charming to me today. Perhaps my fever had got into my head. Perhaps not.
Perhaps it is better to not try to control everything in life. Perhaps it is time to stop chasing and start catalyzing miracles. Yes, I think it was a good trip.