“I am not going to hold your hands in the station,” Dev said with excitement.
“Yeah, sure! I think you want to get kidnapped.” Mocked Daddy. “Do you even know how crowded the railway stations are?”
Four-year-old Dev could only think of the railway station in Thomas, the tank engine. Summer holidays were about to begin and this time Mumma was adamant to make him experience the train journey. He was quite excited about this and had been running around the house making the sound of a steam engine. ‘Chuk, chuck… Chuk,chuk…’
Daddy was not quite in favor of sending them by train. He was apprehensive about many things and one of them was that platforms were daunted with not only stray dogs and cows but also they were very dirty.
However, Mumma had full faith in Prime Minister’s Swatch Bharath Abhiyaan. All she could picture was a pristine platform just like in DDLJ.
“Hah! Gone are the days when platforms use to be dirty and stinky. Our county is getting transformed. People are getting educated. Do you know they have started keeping three types of dustbins everywhere for recycling purposes?’
“When was the last you saw this in a railway station?” Asked daddy.
“Hmm… I haven’t seen it but now it’s definitely there. I saw in WhatsApp.” Blurted Mumma. “There are escalators and the platforms are as good as the airport lobby.”
“Ah, WhatsApp! I forgot you are graduate from Whatsapp School of Information. The trains are never on time and you are going alone. I don’t want you to feel harassed there alone with Dev.” Daddy said showing his concern.
“Oh common! Things are changing so fast. It seems you are stuck in your childhood days when trains use to be late. Now there are apps that tell the exact location of the train. Update yourself, daddy!” Mumma smiled convincing him.
“The train will reach in the next half an hour. The app is showing that it’s in the outskirts.” Mumma informed daddy holding Dev’s hands who was constantly wriggling to get out of her hold. As she made her way through platform no. 1. She was amazed to see the shining floor even at night. But it seemed like a dream as she reached her platform no. 6. which greeted her with a sharp stench.
“Mumma you said I can walk without holding hands…”
“Beta… it’s so crowded. You can get lost here.” Diya said looking at the crowd which had just jostled out of a passenger train with labors flocking like migratory birds.
“Is he a kidnapper?” Dev pointed at a person standing a few yards who was himself getting exasperated waiting for the train in the torrid atmosphere.
“Shhhh Dev… Don’t point.” Mumma silenced him.
The train was now more than 3 hours late. But the app was still showing its location on the outskirts of the city.
With the latest technology in her mobile and promising government policies to “We the people of India…” Mumma was hoping that acche din would actually come soon for one and all.