Hypothermia Danger at Taj Express towards New Delhi

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.

Trains passed over and over again that continuously promising a hope….But it wasn’t immediately arrived.

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.

The temperature was below 10 Celsius degrees when entering on 10 pm….”an alert” for me.

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.

Look at that Indian boy!….I wanted to take away his blanket.

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 that dirty bench didn’t disgust me because my focus was only against the cold.

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.

The coach which couldn’t save me from being cold.

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.

Intipan Hypothermia di Taj Express Menuju New Delhi

Buseet….Dikejar pengemis cilik yang tak terima karena cuma kukasih sebungkus beng-beng coklat yang kubawa dari Jakarta sejak seminggu lalu. “No….I need money”, katanya sembari terus mengintili aku dari belakang. Bahkan ketika aku membongkar isi backpack untuk mengontrol apakah ada benda-benda mencurigakan masuk setelah seharian kutaruh tas itu di bagasi taxi, si bocah tetap berdiri sembari mengoceh tak henti-henti di depanku yang sedang berjongkok di pojok stasiun untuk merapikan kembali backpack yang sudah acak-acakan. “Hi Boy….I don’t have much money….Sorry”, Aku menjarakkan mukaku hanya sejengkal dari mukanya. Dia hanya meliuk-liukkan leher sambil memperlihatakan gigi kelincinya.

Tepat jam 17:00, aku melewati metal detector stasiun Agra Cantt dengan mulus walau polisi berkumis melintir itu terus memandangku aneh. Selangkah kemudian aku menuju platform dan mencari informasi keberangkatan Taj Express 12279 di LCD board sederhana. Tertera suhu di angka 12 derajat….”Mulai mendingin”, batinku….”Delay”, otakku merekam informasi. Padahal seharusnya aku sudah meninggalkan kota Agra pada jam 18:40.

Tiket kelas CC (Chair Car) yang harga tiketnya hanya Rp. 51.000 tentu tak berakses menuju station lounge yang menawarkan udara hangat dan makanan enak didalamnya. Menyedihkan, aku tercecer bersama penumpang kasta bawah di sepanjang platform yang semakin dingin mengikuti putaran jarum jam stasiun Agra Cantt.

Lalu lalang kereta yang terus menjajikan harapan….Tak kunjung tiba.

Semakin lama berdiam duduk maka jari-jari tanganku mulai kebas. Sial….Aku salah perbekalan, jaketku kurang tebal. Terkadang toilet menjadi tempat hinggap sementara untuk menolak beku. Tapi itu tak bisa lama, toilet berbayar itu menebar bau pesing kemana-mana.

Suhu sudah dibawah 10 derajat memasuki jam 10 malam….Siaga

Aku tak mampu menyembunyikan panik ketika suhu menyentuh 7 derajat. Kaos kakiku tembus dan perlahan membasah membuatku seperti merendam kaki di air es. Sedangkan t-shirt rangkap 3 dibawah jaket tak mampu menangkap panas tubuh….Aku mulai merinding ringan di tengah malam.

Lihatlah pemuda India itu!….Ingin rasanya merampas paksa selimutnya.

Perlawanan menggunakan secangkir kecil chai (teh tarik) dan setangkup burger asongan tak bertahan lama. Akhirnya aku hanya terus bergerak untuk mengatasi dingin.

Taj Express baru merapat sekitar pukul 1:30 dinihari. Gembira bukan kepalang aku memasuki gerbong, tapi harapanku sirna ketika tak merasakan perubahan suhu ketika 5 menit duduk di bangkunya. Pantesan….Ternyata ada celah kecil di semua jendela gerbong yang memasukkan udara dingin kedalam. Walah….alamat.

Bahkan bangku sekotor itu tak membuatku jijik karena fokusku hanya melawan dingin.

Lebih menjengkelkan lagi, kereta ini benar-benar tak bergerak hampir 40 menit setelah tiba. Kini kondisi di dalam gerbong menjadi tak ada bedanya dengan kondisi di platform. Sementara penumpang lokal sudah tertidur bertutup rapat selimut, sementara aku masih sibuk melawan udara yang semakin mengancam. Aku mulai kefikiran tentang hypothermia. Benih kepanikan mulai tumbuh di otakku.

Gerbong yang tak bisa menyelamatkanku dari kedinginan.

Aku sudah tak peduli lagi walau kereta terus melaju mendekati New Delhi secara perlahan. Aku benar-benar terduduk meringkuk terengah-engah. Kukunyah burger tersisa untuk membantu menghasilkan panas tubuh sehingga memperpanjang asaku menaklukkan dingin.

Semakin masinis menaikkan kecepatan kereta maka aku semakin tak bisa bergerak. Aku seperti tak punya harapan, meringkuk kaku memeluk backpack sepanjang perjalanan. Hanya do’a senjata terakhir yang kumiliki. Di suhu 3 derajat Celcius dan entah telapak kaki bisa basah, telapak tangan  mengkerut pucat dan bibir menggeretak, aku seperti susah sekali menghirup nafas.

3 jam 10 menit aku benar-benar bak patung hingga akhirnya sekonyong-konyong aku sanggup melompat dari bangku dan memastikan apa yang kulihat di seberang jendela. Ya….Itu kereta  Metro Delhi….Aku sampai. Oh, Belum….masih setengah jam lagi baru benar-benar tiba. Setengah jam terakhir yang membuatku bisa tersenyum tipis untuk segera memasuki stasiun Hazrat Nizamuddin di kota New Delhi.

Selamat tinggal Agra dan selamat datang New Delhi

Terimakasih Tuhan.

Cari tiket kereta dari Agra ke New Delhi melalui 12go Asia. Berikutnya linknya:  https://12go.asia/?z=3283832