Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
I never knew that I needed to master the art of bladder control to get a ‘tatkal’ ticket at Tambaram railway station.
Here is what happened :
I went to Tambaram railway station at 7:30 AM for the ‘Tatkal’ ticket to be issued at 10:00 AM. With photocopies of all necessary documents in place, I started my waiting marathon of 2:30 hours.
When hardly had I spent 20 minutes, did I need to empty my bladder. I withheld the urge for another 20 minutes. I didn’t want to spoil the morning for the co-waiters in the queue and decided to visit the washroom.
There was none. Yes, there was no washroom. I asked for help. Every person available in the vicinity pointed me in a different direction which resulted in my going round the railway station thrice, disturbing many half naked people in different stages of defecation or urination at different places along the tracks and behind buildings and under bushes.
Unable to contain further, I approached a person who resembled a cleaner in the platform. He said that the existing washroom had been demolished and a new one was under construction. Praising the genius who decided to demolish a current facility before having something in its place, I explored further to get rid of my agony.
I couldn’t contain any further. I decided to open up somewhere behind a lonely bush. Suddenly there emerged a figure in ragged clothes from behind the bush asking me something in a language that I didn’t recognize. I beat a hasty retreat.
After a 30 minute walk around the bushes, ruined buildings and many railway tracks, I came back to the ‘tatkal’ reservation counter, fully loaded and waiting to explode.
Due to divine intervention, nothing untoward happened and the co-waiters in the queue were saved, for I was able to contain myself until I got the ticket.
I saw several elderly women in the queue, waiting for more than 3 hours. How would they relieve themselves ? Why does the railway administration not take the convenience of the passengers into consideration while deciding on demolishing essential facilities ?
Why are the railway department, ministry and board stuck in pre-colonial times that they are totally indifferent to the needs of the passengers ?
What is needed is a washroom in every railway station . Wi-Fi and fancy stuff can wait.