Thursday, 30 June 2011

Tatkal travel and Stale Comesum food

I am a fairly regular traveller by train and nowadays I use tatkal more than the normal ticket mostly because I am not sure about which mode of transportation I plan to take until 1-2 days before I actually travel. Tatkal suits me quite fine and I have travelled using that option on more than a few routes - say, some 10-12 different routes and both by Sleeper and AC.

I am appalled by the kind of coaches one gets while getting into the train through a tatkal ticket though. A few are infested with cockroaches and a more apt name for those coaches would be co"ckro"aches. I find them to be regular companions, who happily nibble at our leftovers and also playfully buzz around our ears and legs to mention their heartful thanks, in the Andhra route and even after innumerable complaints to the TTE the words fall on deaf ears.

The bangalore-chennai route has the special malodorous smell of putrid urine that greets ones nostril from far away like a special bosom friend.

But then, to the credit of the railways, the AC coaches arent so bad and I am not usually a complaining type. I also notice that the Garibrath and the Shatabdi are managed quite impeccably.

Unfortunately, I also notice a pattern. Its mostly only the tatkal sleeper coaches which are fully-loaded with these features. Which brings me to a question I pose to myself and you all - Are tatkal coaches specially discriminatory? I understand that tatkal coaches are attached at the last moment depending on requirement / demand or some vague thing like that... but does it have to be especially bad that one cant sit inside without getting a feeling of being comfortable stagnated in ditchwater? Railways definitely doesnt have to treat people who book at the last moment in such an unfortunate way

I initially thought this cant be so and I have a prejudiced view - but then, each time I go along to other coaches to see if my theory is right and, believe it or not, each time I personally feel that the other coaches dont smell so bad. I probably might be wrong, but the point holds... atleast for me.

In case you wonder about the veracity of the statement, I urge you to try out what I just mentioned. I welcome your views too if they concur with mine / refute mine.

On a side note, why does Comesum serve such stale food? I thought they used to be atleast a bit better earlier.