When relatives and some associates asked me about my college most of them had ‘raised eye-brows’;) for quite a while! And it was all natural. Because they just wondered; how do I travel such long everyday…and then they questioned me about managing my studies and tuition classes. But before that I always heard them say “NICE COLLEGE!” and that was enough for me.
It was certainly a challenge for me to travel from Vasai to the last stop down town, 50kms away! But traveling never got across my way, in fact it was a pleasure. I always had the Vasai local ready for me most of the time thanks to western railways, I rarely had to get into crowded Virar local train. The coach I travelled in everyday, was like my second home! Everyday was different, there were surprises, concerns, there was contentment, sadness, jokes and parties, fights over silly issues which only led to more jokes! The only days I became concerned were those before my HSC board examinations.
The good part was that the college had very favorable timings. My first year in junior college was a fantasy! There were no coaching classes, no load of studies and it was so much fun in college. The passionate suffering began once the second year started…
My schedule was as follows:
I wake up in the mornings, wait for a bus, reach the Vasai station, catch the 7:17 Vasai local, travel for an hour and a half revising or completing journals, then the Marine Lines station would arrive and I was in college within the next 10 minutes! Alright, college was fun but the suffering doesn’t end here…as the lectures would end at 4, I used to wait in the college killing time in the library or in the canteen as I had classes every evening at Borivali! Sometimes I was with my friends or sometimes with unknown colleagues. Sharp at 5 I left college to catch a Borivali local. On reaching Borivali at times I felt very frustrated and whenever I saw a Virar local train ready to depart I used to say good bye to my friends and the tuitions and simply head home!! If I attended the tuition class I always got anxious of the rush in the late hours in the Virar local! It was like a nightmare! Life was hard at such time. You never know what would happen.
I literally travelled on one foot on the extended floor of the train, one hand held onto the pole and the other holding a heavy bag! The other foot had absolutely no place to rest it was left hanging out! The situation was that feeble! But at least I could enjoy the cool fresh breeze…! On the other hand if I got pushed inside the coach with the rush it would become very difficult to even breathe in, forget about moving your body or turning the head! There was stale air all around and smelled irksome! I used to reach home late at around 10!
I mostly tried to avoid such traveling so it was natural for me to miss my classes.
My board exams were absolutely normal, the trains were never late, I would reach well before time, on exam days some of the fellows even used to offer me a window seat so that I could prepare well while I promised them sweets after my results! I actually felt better studying in trains than at home…
This was my journey form home to Vasai to Churchgate to St. Xavier’s to Sinhal’s(tuitions) and back…safe but tiresome!
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