Me, Maro, Vijay and Tooms were going to attend Ashish's wedding. We had to board a 6:20pm train from Bangalore main railway station, and apart from Tooms all of us arrived by 6:10pm. Tooms had went to buy gifts and started from Indira Nagar at 5:40pm. Saturday evening traffic was starting to peak around this time. He got into an auto and asked him to race like hell to the station. Unfortunately the train was on Platform 2 which meant that he would have to take the overbridge in any case.
I was the only one who saw even the mildest possibility of him making it into the train when he started at Indira Nagar. Others just kept their hopes alive. But the ultimate shock came at 6:10
6:10 Tooms is at Richmond Circle. All of us see no hope of him making it to the train. We go blank. For me to come from Richmond Circle took 15 minutes to the station. This was a clear Mission Impossible.
6:11 I tell Tooms to rush and come, and promise him that we will delay the train.
6:12 We all rush to the engine driver and start dealing. I ask him to delay the train for 2 minutes and he gets whatever amount he wants.
6:15 Engine driver smiles and contemplates about actually taking the deal. He looks around, goes inside to think about it.
6:17 I see a possibility of him taking some cash but then some official enters the engine and I know that very moment that the deal is not gonna happen.
6:18 The engine drives politely refuses in the presence of the other official but I keep talking to keep the hope alive, however bleak it was.
6:19 Tooms is at the signal before the railway station. We hold our ground and I still keep talking to the driver.
6:20 The driver tells me that there is no other go and he cannot delay the train
6:21 The train starts 1 min late. It actually mattered, looking back in retrospect. Tooms reaches the outer gate of the station premises but he doesnt pick up my call because he is running. He dashes to cover 100m to enter the station at Platform 1
6:22 We guys still hold our ground, calm and cool, and watch compartments pass by us one by one. We go blank. Tooms meanwhile enters Platform 1, and through the window of the train standing on Platform 1, watches our train leave on Platform 2! He goes into a mad rush and enters the standing train, gets down across on the tracks, crosses the dividing water pipeline between Platform 1 and Platform 2, puts the gift on one door of S13 in our train which is already picking speed, goes back to the standing train, gets his suitcase and rushes back to put it on door of S12 (which has come in front of him by this time) and manages to get up on board
6:23 While we still wait with bated breaths I get the call: “Machi, I am in, get in already!” And we jump on board.
And the rest of the evening goes really smooth.
EPILOGUE: The engine breaks down sometime after 10pm and eventually our train reaches at 10:00 am instead of 5:40am, 4 hours and 20 minutes late!