“Moooooommmmm!!!! My ticket isn’t confirmed yet!” The wailing brat perforates your eardrum with impunity. As always.
“Oh damn!” you mutter balefully, sotto-voce. “Let me check in Tatkal“, you say, massaging your ear vigorously after shifting the phone to the other ear.
“What! You haven’t checked yet!! Moooommmmm!!! I have to travel todayyy!!” the brat does the deed on the second (and only) eardrum left in possession.
“I was just about to check beta”, you mutter lamely… guiltily… massaging all forgotten. How on earth didja forget, edijet!
“Hurry hurry hurry…! It’s eleven-thirty already. You’ll most probably not get it anyhow. Its too late! If I don’t travel today…….”, she gives it to you encouragingly before ringing off. You are left to interpret the awfulness of the consequences from her trailed off words.
You may be able to get away with bad habits ten times. But all it takes is one time and the Law Of Averages catches up with you.
Feverishly praying… you
open the IRCTC site type in the IRCTC URL into the browser. It never opens for at least ten minutes even on the best days. When you’re desperate, it doesn’t open for half an hour. You are desperate. The site can smell it. Stop being in such a twitter. Shut up! DON’T FIGHT YOU TWO!
Meanwhile on another tab, you keep refreshing another site which shows you seat availability status. At eleven thirty there are twelve seats available in second AC coach. The tatkal quota is fourteen. Oh, only two gone you think in glee. I’ll get it surely! Yeah, in your dreams! Time dekha hai? Ha! STOP ARGUING YOU TWO!
The count goes down steadily each time you refresh. Eleven… nine… eight… five..! FIVE!!! You now want to start shooting someone… starting with yourself. But you can’t! You have a ticket to book.
You curse the other site for only showing you the status and not letting you book there. Meanwhile, the clock ticks on in double time. Naturally.
IRCTC site opens after the umpteenth refresh… half an hour later… right on cue. It is twelve by now. At least the quick book thingy will work now. Yeah, like THAT will make all the difference. God, you’re such a Pollyanna! SHUT UP YOU TWO!
Your palms are sweating and your fingers are trembling. Rapidly entering the data as fast as your fingers would allow, you check the available status again. (No, the quick book feature isn’t working. Didn’t you expect it?) FOUR!!
You start filling out the application. You’re so nervous you missspell missy’s name. Then you can’t remember her mobile number and must scroll your phonebook in the phone to find it. Why the hell didn’t you name her with a name that began with an A!!
Mistyped. Delete. Re-enter.
Captcha. Damn this stupid thing. What’s that… a P? No, fool! that’s an R. No way… that’s no R. SHUT UP YOU TWO MORONS… THAT’S AN F!! Oh alright!
Make payment. I bet the seats are all gone by now. Rakhi time… what do you expect? Wait! Where’s the XYZ Bank option on Net Banking? Whaaaaatt? How isn’t it there?! It’s always there…!!!! Stop whining idiot, look carefully! It isn’t there! The seats must SURELY have gone by now! And you must be about to get timed out by IRCTC. Shuddduuuppp dammit!!! Oh, there it is!
Fingers flying, you enter the bank username and password. Confirm. Confirm. OTP Sent. Oh, mother! Hurryyyyyy! By now CERTAINLY the seats are all gone. Why the hell is the OTP taking so long??? Ahhh! There it is.
Obviously you can’t see anything on the screen because you aren’t wearing your blessed glasses. Where are my glasses dammit. Oh shoot… there are on the kitchen counter!
You bounce in an out of the kitchen fir to beat jack-in-the-box.
Entered OTP. Wait with your intestines in a knot the size of a melon. Watermelon… not musk.
Based on the law of probability, everything is possible because the sheer existence of possibility confirms the existence of impossibility.
~ Dejan Stojanovic
Confirmed. CONFIRMED!!! Bliss!!! You throw up your hands in the air in sheer gratitude. Oh Lord!! THANK YOU! What thank you… you nearly missed it. Shut up! Why should I shut up… truth is the truth. I bet it was the last seat. If you don’t shut up I’ll kill you. Oh yeah! Hahaha… you can’t stupid! STOP FIGHTING YOU TWO!
Morbidly, you refresh the other site to see how many seats are left in the Tatkal quota. Four. FOUR!!! Disbelieving, you refresh again. FOUR!
What the hell? Someone must have cancelled their confirmed ticket adding one more to the tatkal kitty. Haha… what a joke. You were so desperate! Turns out you didn’t need to be at all. I told you to take it easy… but you WOULD go on like a cat on hot bricks! You’re positively pathetic at times you know. So clueless! SHHHUUDDDDUUUUPPPPP! NOW, NOW… DON’T FIGHT YOU TWO. Tell her to shut up! Why should I shut up… tell her to stop being so stupid! OH, GO TO HELL BOTH OF YOU! I’M DONE WITH YOUR BICKERING!
All through the day, you keep refreshing the site to check the available seats, your indignation mounting. What do they mean, making people run around so desperately while they keep digging up more and more seats? Why on earth do they foster that scarcity feeling when there’s plenty to go around? There was no need to hurry was there? Look at those four seats.. still available. No takers at all. How stupid!
The tally remains at four all day. Desperation quite on the other foot now, eh?
Law Of Averages indeed! Bah!
- The best you- the doer
- The critical idiot who squats in your head rent free and makes your life hell besides
- The ineffectual jury who tries to keep peace- and fails consistently
Law Of Averages
What a wonderful peek inside your (our) head! I could so see myself in there. Thank you for showing this mirror.
Thank you so much Beloo! 🙂
Many a time. Its really a race against time. Wonderfully written Dagny. I can still feel the knot.
Thank you Jeevan! 🙂 Good to see you here!
As it happens, I am reading this immediately after a brush with an apparently revamped (read booby-trapped) IRCTC! Perhaps one day we will get to ride bullet trains complemented with missile reservations?
You made the highly charged scene come alive with that piece.
Booby-trapped is EXACTLY the term! They seem to have turned the site into an insidious monster which devours you silently.
Bullet trains with missile reservations… oh that sounds like bliss! In fact, I’m fine if there are no bullet trains at all. 😀
Thank you for your words of appreciation! 😀
You know what mamma….you build up so much tension till the end..I was like, did she make it or not? As I am booking the reservation till the end 😀 ufff…..sigh of relief…will go and eat my lunch now. I am so scared about travelling in India now. For the fear of not getting my ticket confirmed even after I get into the train 🙁
Lol… it isn’t as bad as that and (God willing) will never be. You can surely travel in India without any concerns!
So, when are you coming next? 😀
Ha ha ! This seems exactly like the situation I have been on a lot of occasions. The trick is to open the site exactly 5 mins before the time it starts and not keep the screen idle. Prefill all the stuff first and then when you come back, the fields are filled up. Viola. Keep the Phone nearby, the card and everything else nearby and you are all set. 🙂 The only thing that defeats me is that dreadful Captcha !
Oh don’t get me started on Captcha. I wonder who devised that bit of ghoulishness! Pure evil those things are!