Today i had gone to get a berth reserved for a journey that i intend to undertake after exactly a month. As expected, i didn't get a confirmed reservation. Ofcourse, or else i would have emerged a happy soul out of the railway premises. But that they will ensure doesn't happen.
i ve been getting my reservations done since about 12 yrs now. And the entire gist of the whole thing is that getting ur ticket made is nothing short of doing a pilgrimage tour. After this ordeal , even God excuses you a thousand sins.
Firstly , you have to do a major research and analysis of which all trains exist, their quota, some break journey (actually the journey is meant to break you) rules, connecting trains, onward journey et al.
But this is not as easy as it sounds. All this info will obviously be available on a different window called the enquiry. So if you'e already sweat your heart out in the main queue the clerk will promptly and most appropriately route you to the correct enquiry window. When you reach ( after searching and lot of enquiry) the enquiry window, you will be told that you should have had filled a separate form for this. Nevertheless, the clerk will do a massive favour to you after seeing your face which can by now beat any african malnourished child's face to the cover of the Time Magzine. And countless such deeds he sincerely believes has already booked the golden throne in the heaven for him.
So after this massive research operation you again undertake the expedition up the main ticket window. And if only you have got up on the right side of the bed that day, you will reach there before tea/lunch/pen /ticket roll change/currency counting/ closing time. In the meanwhile you would have already availed the services of the body massager which any queue in our country doesn't fail to provide.
By the time you reach the 'summit', you would have already witnessed atleast a score of duels and a few dozens of choicest of abuses would have enhanced your vocabulary.
At the window, your form is scrutinised more serioulsy than an IT return form and once the clerk has been fully satisfied( which will be after you have made a dozen corrections and have been glorified with few words in the local vernacular by the people standing behind you), will he go ahead and type a few characters on his keyboard.
A few agonising minutes more and Voila!!! there it is the ticket; THE TICKET. It almost feels like holding the olympic gold or your first born baby. The blissful look of satisfaction of the person holding a confirmed (which is as common like the snow in the desert) ticket is nothing short of an orgasm.
Getting a reservation done is a full day job(at least). and missing atleast two meals.
On a serious note i would recommend that the period of reservation be reduced to a fortnight from 3 months. This would give the travellers more flexibility of plg their journeys.