I was chased by a little beggar who didn’t satisfy because I only gave him a chocolate which I brought from Jakarta since a week ago. “No….I need money,” he said while he continued to follow me from behind. Even when I unpacked my backpack to control whether any suspicious objects which enter in it after I have put it in taxi baggage for a full day, he still stood while endlessly raving in front of me who squatted in station corner to tidy up my backpack. “Hi kid….I don’t have much money … Sorry”, I brought my face closer for about an inch from his face. He was smile while showing his rabbit teeth.
At exactly 17:00 hours, I smoothly passed a metal detector of Agra Cantt station, although a mustachioed police continuosly watched me. A step later, I headed to platform and looked for Taj Express 12279 departure information on a simple LCD board. Temperature is listed at 12 degrees….”Starts to cool”, I thought….”Delay”, my brain recorded a information. Even though I should leave Agra on 18:40 hours.
Ticket class CC (Chair Car) which its price was only USD 3.8 certainly didn’t have access to station lounge which offers warm air and good food in it. Sadly, I was scattered with ecomomic passengers along Agra Cantt station’s platform which grew colder.
The longer I seated, my fingers began to get numb. Damn….I brought wrong clothes, my jacket wasn’t thick enough. Sometimes toilet became a temporary place to refuse freezing. But it couldn’t be long, the paid toilet spread urine smell to everywhere.
I was unable to hide panic when temperature touched 7 Celsius degrees. My socks which were penetrated cold and slowly getting wet made me feel like I’m soaking feet in ice water. While a double t-shirt under my jacket was unable to capture body heat….I started to lightly shiver in the middle of night.
Resistance used a small cup of chai (a pulled tea) and a small burger didn’t last long. Finally I just kept moving to overcome the cold.
Taj Express approached the station around 1:30 hours in the morning. I was absurdly excited to enter the coach, but my hope vanished when I didn’t feel a change in temperature after 5 minutes sat on the coach. No wonder…Apparently, there were small gaps in all train windows which put cold air into….Oooops.
Even more annoying, the train was completely motionless almost 40 minutes after arriving. Now, condition at coach inside wasn’t different from condition at station’s platform. While local passengers had fallen asleep and tightly closed with their blankets, while I was still busy to fight against to the increasingly threatening air. I began to think about hypothermia. Panic began to grow in my brain.
I didn’t care anymore even though train continued to slowly approach New Delhi. I really huddled panting. I chewed a last burger to generate body heat so that it extended my effort to conquering cold.
The more machinist increased train speed, the more I couldn’t move. I looked like having no hope, huddled and rigidly hugging backpack all the way. Only prayer as the last weapon which I have. At 3 Celsius degrees and all feet got wet, palm puckered and lips cracked, I felt like having a hard breathing.
3 hours 10 minutes, I really looked like a statue until finally I was able to jump from the seat and made sure about what I saw across window. Yes….That was Metro Delhi train…. I arrived. Oh, not yet…. it was still half an hour before actually arriving. The last half an hour that made me able to faintly smile before entered Hazrat Nizamuddin station in New Delhi.
Goodbye Agra and welcome to New Delhi.
Thank you God.