Sunday, February 27, 2011
Well, for all that it's worth....and for reasons beyond comprehension of my smallish brain and smaller gray matter therein, I was in Lucknow as a witness in a court case. I did not see a crime being committed, nor did I commit one. I had seen a patient once and as a result was called. As it turned out, I wanted to go and so I did.
I got on the Garib Nawaj express from the Old Delhi railway station. The train was at a station and the crowd suggested that there was a stampede just waiting to happen. But anything for a 1st AC experience. As it turned out, the only good thing about a 1sst AC compartment if that there is lot of leg space for tall people like me. And a Surender Mohan Pathak paperbark in English kept me company for most of the night. One thing that struck me most forcefully though was the sheer possibility of traveling in a private coupe on a long train journey with a loved one. Must try that out sometimes. Anyways, I reached Lucknow right on time, 5.30 AM, it was wet and rather cold outside. I reached KGMC and rudely awoke my hapless host.
To cut a long story short, my day in Lucknow was taken up by the court appearance, the lawyer being scandalized by the claim I put up and the fact that by the time the business at the court was over, there was no time and very little light left for some good photography. For food, well, Aminabad is nearby and Tunday's beckoned. Only one mouth, one stomach and little time. However, the kakori kebabs in chotte nawab got my undivided attention. Luxury kebab: Kakori Kebab.
On my way back something strange happened. About 6 am the train stopped in the middle of nowhere. And kept still there for what seemed to be a longish time. Eventually after about an hour, I got down from my rather cramped side-upper berth and had a look outside. It was raining and I suddenly realized why we were not moving. There was no engine!!! Apparently, we had run into a good's train that was being pulled reluctantly by an engine that finally gave up about there. As a result, a mid-track pow-wow has ensued which culminated in the engine from our train being commandeered and taken away. As a result, we watched initially in bemusement and later with irritation as trains overtook us. Finally after about 3 hours, the engine backtracked and after some industry finally restarted on its job.