A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

My adventurous life

Posted by Pepper on July 3, 2014

Each time I believe we’ve seen the worst, and each time my husband proves me wrong. I am talking about our track record when it comes to being on time for our plane / bus / train. We never learn. Rather, he never learns. Until now, I thought the worst experience we’ve had was when we *just made it* to our train to Amsterdam from Paris. The doors shut the freaking second we set our foot in. I didn’t think we could have experienced something more nerve wrecking. But guess what? We did.

We had our train from Chennai to Bangalore at 5:30 pm. I had been pestering Mint to finish his packing the previous day. Ofcourse, he paid little heed to what I said. We’re used to packing an hour before we leave. Why would he even consider doing it a day in advance? I let go.

We had asked my father-in-law how long it would take for us to reach the station from home. 45 minutes is what he had said. Now I am very wary of estimations like these. For one, I don’t much trust human judgement in these matters. We can never forecast the traffic condition at that time. For two, I know Mint doesn’t treat them as an ‘estimation’, he clings to the number as though it is God’s word. I try telling him these calculations are only approximated values and are very prone to human errors. So if somebody says it will take 45 minutes to reach, we should keep a buffer of atleast 15 minutes and consider our travel time to be an hour. But again, does he listen to me?

Mint had an official call in the afternoon. I kept eyeing my watch, wondering when it would end. Finally, he hung up at 3:45 pm. I had aimed to leave by 4:15 sharp. I am known to prefer security over adventure and would rather wait at the station for 30 mins than make a mad dash for the train on the last minute. He started packing only at 3:45. Sigh.

That is when my FIL asked us if we would like to go the hospital to say bye to Oregano before we leave. Sure, I would have loved to do that. But did we have the time? I ran upstairs to check with Mint. I told him if we could leave by 4 pm sharp, perhaps we would have a chance to stop at the hospital for a minute and meet Oregano once before we leave. He agreed.

I kept badgering him to rush but he seemed to work at his own pace. I could feel a fight brewing. Why have you not finished packing yet, I asked him. What can I do, he said. I had my call till 3:45 pm. Rubbish! I wanted to scream. Who asked you to not pack before your call if you knew it would last that long? You could have done it last night! Don’t act as though you had no time! Knowing it wasn’t the best time to pick up a fight, I let go.

We left the house only at 4:15. The hospital wasn’t even en route to the station. Needless to say, I was hyper ventilating. Once we reached the hospital, we ran up to Oregano’s room and spoke to him exactly for 3 minutes. We rushed back  to the car where my FIL was waiting for us. He was going to be dropping us to the station. By the time we left the hospital, it was 4:36.

Mint laughed when he noticed the stress on my face. He reminded me of his dad’s estimation. It was a 45 minute ride. By that calculation, we would still reach by 5:16. So we would still be almost 15 minutes early. Err, okay.

As luck would have it, we encountered heavy traffic. I tried calming myself. At 5 pm, I asked them where we were. They told me we were nowhere close to reaching. I gulped. Our car seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace. At 5:15, my FIL said it was really doubtful we’d make it. Great.

By the time we reached the flyover close to the station, it was 5:20. Our train was to leave in 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the flyover was fully jammed. Although we could see the station, it wasn’t close enough to walk. So we continued waiting in the car. Before we knew it, the clock in the car said it was 5:26. Perfect, I thought. We’ve missed the train.

In a last ditch effort, we decided to get out of the car and run. So out we stepped, pulled out our suitcase from the trunk and we ran. Maneuvering through stationary vehicles, rolling our suitcases on the slopes of the flyover, we ran as fast as we could. Surprisingly, we were at the end of the flyover in about a minute.

Once we were at the end of the flyover, we found ourselves at the crossing of a main road. Although we wanted to run, we had no choice but to wait until the traffic came to a halt. Every second seemed precious. It was past 5:27 by now. Finally we requested a traffic cop to halt the traffic so we could run across.

We entered the station a few seconds after 5.28. We paused for a few seconds below the indicator to find out which platform our train was leaving from. As luck would have it, ours was the very last platform. Which meant, we had just over a minute to run across the entire length of the station!

I had my hand bag and another heavy bag on my shoulders, yet, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. Mint was sprinting ahead, although he was carrying two shoulder bags and our heavy suitcase! That’s when the difference in our fitness level truly stuck me.

On and on I ran, wondering when our blasted train would be in sight. In just a few seconds, I thought I was going to collapse. So I called out to Mint and told him I can’t do it. To my horror, he just ignored me and continued to run ahead. Not being left with much of a choice, I stumbled forward on my shaky legs.

The porters who realised I was running to get the 5:30 Shatabdi to Bangalore looked at me in shock. I could see the train by now, but I was sure the asphyxiation was going to make me pass out. My lungs were on fire. So I had stopped running, although I was this close to the train. I was just bumbling along. They wondered, why the hell was I not running when it was the past possible second? What could I tell them? I had no breath left in me because I had been running right from the flyover a block away from the station?

Mentally I had decided. Mint was waiting for me next to the train. I was going to call out to him and ask him to get on even if I couldn’t. I would figure out something for myself. The jerk. I hated him. This was all his fault. Putting me through this hellish anxiety. He was fit enough to run like that. I wasn’t. Let him just go. I would think of an alternative.

It was 5:30. The train started moving. I saw the guard inside the train waving the green flag as it chugged to life. He saw me walking just a few  feet away with a dismayed expression on my face. He called out to me and asked me to enter from the official coach which was the closest from where I stood. Okay, I thought. Let me give this one last shot. With trembling legs and burning lungs that were gasping for breath, I willed myself to run just a few more steps.

I remember stretching out my hand to grab hold a bar so I could pull myself in the train. I almost expected the guard to give me his hand, DDLJ style. But no such thing happened. He waited for me to gain a foothold myself. Once in, I realised Mint was nowhere close. He had tried entering from the other coach and the door was locked. So he ran back to where I had entered from. By now, the train had picked up considerable speed. He reached the door, first threw in one bag. Then threw in another bag, and finally pulled himself in.

Once we were both in, I allowed myself to collapse. The guard looked at us sympathetically. We still had to walk the entire length of the train to get to our coach. But now that we had made it, it didn’t matter much. I was drenched in sweat, my hair was in clumps and I was still out of breath. My face was drawn and haggard. Mint turned around, gave me one look and grinned.

I swear I wanted to not just smack him once, but clobber him until he was blue. How does he manage to put me through this every time? Me, who is mocked and laughed at for going to airports and stations 3 hours prior to departure. With him, I always end up in an adventure that lets us make it with the narrowest margin possible. Always. I am still trying to forgive him. You see, unlike what all my Famous Five reads made me believe, I truly dislike adventures.

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48 Responses to “My adventurous life”

  1. deuxtime said

    I can totally understand your need to be present at the station/airport .. I’m exactly like that. I would have DIED if I were in your place. Thankfully the guard let you in his coach .. most guards are quite unsympathetic!

  2. Haha it was a good read but having said that I could almost feel your anxiety…..I too can’t bear to be late and I feel my heart is not well equipped to handle these sort of adventures…..

  3. Arch said

    ROFL!! 😀 I am so sorry, but I just couldn’t stop rolling in laughter reading this – “My face was drawn and haggard. Mint turned around, gave me one look and grinned.
    I swear I wanted to not just smack him once, but clobber him until he was blue.”

    Of all the trains, you guys had booked Shatabdi and ended up late at the station! If it had been any other train, it would still standing there showing no signs of leaving. 😀

    I am just like you I hate last minute rushing and surprises. For two years when I traveled between Chennai and Bangalore, I would always be waiting at the station from at least 1.5 hours before the departure!

    • Pepper said

      I was surprised by just how punctual Shatabdi is. It didn’t even wait until 5:31. It started moving at 5:30 sharp! That’s kind of impressive!

  4. ROFL….I am sorry to say this. But I just got such a thrill reading this 😛 Arey, he is such a nice husband, trying to make sure your heart is getting enough exercise 👿

  5. Jazz said

    Oh god.. Sorry Pepper but that was too funny.. But at the same time I salute you girl, I would have given up at 5.25.. I know the Chennai station and flyover you are talking about.. Truly an adventure !!

  6. I gotta tell ya the silver lining is that you and your husband get to travel and experience things like this together that you can look back on and laugh about! Better than being stagnant at a 9-5 bordered in by the city you were born and raised in…

  7. mamata said

    Pepper,

    First of all I bow to you for being so patience and not picking up fight. If it had been me the story would have been very different between us. Omg, I just can’t stop myself praising you the way you write down its so so great it was like a movie rolling just in front of me. Your writing skills are so impressive, I enjoy reading each and every post but dare not to comment. I do know chennai roads, traffic and the railway station. Reading this I was just recollecting all the scenes. I like ” I remember stretching out my hand to grab hold a bar so I could pull myself in the train. I almost expected the guard to give me his hand, DDLJ style. But no such thing happened “.
    But at the end safe and fine.

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Mamata. I was really not sure I should write about this episode, because I was not confident of my writing skills. I wondered if I would be able to really put down all that I went through. I still don’t believe I managed to fully express all that I underwent, but thank you for all the praise!

  8. The Bride said

    Totally sympathise with you. I wouldn’t be able to take the stress of cutting things so fine when traveling. V’s aunt and her family are serial offenders in this regard and I can never understand why they don’t just leave on time. In fact, they have the gall to be furious with the airlines for not holding the flight for them ‘even though they called and said they were on their way’.

  9. Santulan said

    Ummm.. Is it bad of me that by the time you collapsed and suppressed the grudge to clobber him, I ended up laughing? Very mean, no.. (but hahahahahaha)

  10. R's Mom said

    hahahahahah! Sorry sorry..I shouldnt be laughing…Mint and you are EXACTLY like RD and me…I just cant take this tension of being late the last minute…my worst nightmare is missing a train/bus/flight..and RD always always takes it easy like Mint..

    Aiyo..big hugs to you okay Pepper…Remember next time Mint does this to you, let me know…his archivitta sambhar is cancelled 🙂

  11. HereandNow said

    Wow ! Engrossing read. It was like reading a suspense story, short one at that. Great finale though.

  12. Smita said

    I was waititng to read the last line where you would say “he grinned” 😀 You wrote it so well that I was imagining it all and laughing 😀

    But on a serious note, I am like you, I prefer reaching an hour in hand over errr….nvm…I have never been late in catching a train!

  13. Sri said

    OMG..i am almost gasping for breath reading your post…Chennai traffic can be terrible at times…U mean u ran from the flyover opposite Central Station to the platform…my goodness…i freak out when we are travelling and keep shouting to make sure we are on time…since we mostly travel with our daughter, we can never imagine running to catch the train!

    Even my hubby packs in the last minute..if i am really frustrated, i just pack for him telling him since he didnt do it himself, he needs to wear whatever i chose for him…

    • Pepper said

      Mint would have no objection if I chose to pack for him. Anyway he keeps asking me to approve his choice of clothes.. so if I were to do it, he’d happily agree! But that is not something I want him to get used to.. 😦

  14. 🙂 .. very filmy .. jab we met like ..

  15. arey baap re… yeh Mint bhi naa… ufff..
    I feel exhausted after reading this Pepper, thankfully that Guard let you in the official coach eh??

  16. Anna said

    I was laughing out loud while reading your post..but I know how you must have felt when it actually happened to you. Something similar happened last month when me and hubby were traveling for Delhi… although it was way less adventurous than your experience. In our case, I was the one who got on the train first, along with my 3yr old and I was like, I don’t care if hubby could make it or not 😛
    I had my exam in Delhi the next day..so I just wanted to get on the train anyhow.
    Anyways, good luck dear..and I so much wish our husbands learn something out from such experiences..but alas, they would still be the same next time (at least my better half would not change :()

    • Pepper said

      I had the option of missing the train. Had I had an exam like you, I would have been paralysed by the fear of missing it. God, so stressful!

  17. Boiling said

    Oh my! This sounded so stressful.

    Next time, you should pack his bag – aka dump everything you see of his into the suitcase and keep it ready or just leave alone earlier to the station. i would have a panic attack if this kind of thing keeps happening

    • Pepper said

      I have periodic panic attacks. Have strictly warned Mint now. If he does this to me again.. I will …er…think of something dire.

      But yes,I don’t want to be packing his bags! I want him to be ready on time himself..hmph

  18. Sarah Syed said

    This post was a 3D screen to your adventure. I could feel your anxiety. And as much I dread being in that situation, I’d’ve enjoyed the thrill and would be glad it happened to make a joyous memory.

  19. ashreyamom said

    oh.. that was relly bad.. u should have just taken the luggage and shut the door for once. may be he would learn from it.. i always make sure i am ahead of time, even if i have to wait for few hours its ok, i just cant take the stress. But, with my MIL, i always end up having such crazy moments like urs. but urs was the craziest..

  20. Oh My God you are too nice! I would KILL The Dude. I would just stop walking and not go. I swear! I know it was all funny when I read it but honestly, it couldn’t have been fun, not even remotely. Shudder.
    This deserves no grinning for a week 😐

    • Pepper said

      You know, I am a very nice wife I think. I forgive him easily for so many things like this! I wish Mint had a blog where he would document my niceness.

  21. Shweta said

    You have turned this into such a comic episode!! Apparently real life stories are the most humorous!! You gave me a good laugh, Pepper.
    Although I hate generalizing, I just want to roll my eyes and say… “Guys are always like this!!” Cuz I go through each emotion that you have mentioned when Mr. Husband has last moment preparations and I am in hysterics!!

  22. it was one hell of an adventure 😛 🙂

  23. Forget about train and flight, but no one could write it better than you Pepper on this!!!..:) :).that’s all I have to say 🙂

  24. Imagine we owned guns , I would have shot my husband 100 times by now. He is so much like Mint and test my patience. He is such a last minute person and I hate going through anxiety. Today we had showing of our home at 11 and we were painting the home at10:45. We are supposed to step out before the buyer comes. We stepped out at 10:59 and they were already in our driveway. I hate this last minute stuff but R is totally opposite of me.

  25. Satori said

    How do you write like this? Just how?

    But I really sympathize with you! I also hate being late for anything and thankfully my husband is also like that. And kudos to you for not yelling at Mint! You are truly awesome!

  26. The time estimating thing you talk about, I think men cannot get their head around it. I insist on giving some buffer time too.
    This was probably one of the best travel stories I’ve heard! Was totally visualizing it in my head like a movie and can imagine how furious you must have been!

  27. Girl you deserve a medal. Truly do. I hate being late for anything and I don’t know what I would have done, had I been in your place. I broke into a sweat just reading about it!

  28. Hahahhaaa….im trying really really hard to sympathize with you, but i’m just like Mint. And my dad is just like you and we have a huge argument before every train/bus/flight. But i have never missed one yet. YO! And i’m sure even Mint would not have missed anything in the past, and wont miss anything in the future. lol. Please don’t hate me.

    • Pepper said

      You guys test your luck too much 😐 I keep telling Mint to not bring up the fact that he has never missed a flight/train. Just because he’s been lucky so far, doesn’t mean he always will.

      Since you’re just like Mint, I feel for your dad 😛

  29. vani said

    Pepper, i could connect so much with the stress you wrote about. I have been so many times put myself in situations which i could nt even take! All due to traffic in blr. Once i had to catch the train in the next station where my parents had already boarded in the main station . another instance i had finally missed the train after all the gruelling hours spent. no amounts if experience seem to make me learn though. Recently, we managed to catch the train with a backpack, carrying my 2.5 yr son and chasing his 5 yr cousin to run through 2 platforms n bridge. I could feel the pain nd numbness in legs that u experienced…..such train journeys are just Ahhhh

  30. D said

    So while this was a very interesting read which made me laugh at places….my valuable suggestion- never never try to catch a running train! few years back i was in almost a similar situation, trying to catch a train from my hometown to Delhi. It was very crowded, and by the time i could get in..the train started moving….i ran with a heavy bag in my hand…and in an attempt to climb the moving train, fell on the platform just next to the train! the guard pulled the chain or did something as the train stopped, and people who had gathered around me helped me get in. It would have been a life threatening experience that day. I later had though attacks for a very long time. I could have died..or worst..lost my limbs…i shudder thinking about it even today.. Its ok if the train is missed…just never never attempt to catch a moving one!

  31. MR said

    This would have made me smack R . in front of everyone too. I like adventure but not this kind, i like my vacation to be fun and peaceful not wondering if we’ll make it. 🙂 R was this way initially and after he put me to a few such adventures i did a horrible thing 🙂 we were in india for vac and leaving from pune to kerala for a holiday, he was as usual his asinine self and his family was smiling since i was getting on the edge, the car was waiting down and at the time i said i simply stepped down and took an auto to the airport, made my flight too with my luggage 🙂 yes yes I’m mean , he missed the flight inspite of having the cab at his beck and call – see i wasnt there to nudge him 🙂 i reached the hotel ,checked in and had a wonderful peaceful time in the taj for a day till he caught up. he has never ever been late, ever.
    It was fun i agree when we were young and you can manage and take it as an adventure , but with kids i don’t ever want to rush, it just doesn’t work for me.. my kids take their own sweet time, i dont thnk they’ll run to catch anything , they’ll amble along and we’ll miss every flight in sight.!!!

  32. Holy Cow! That did read like one heck of an adventure!! But, you guys made it..! Hurray and Three Cheers!
    Have been there in almost the same situation in B’lore more than a couple times. The thrill of JUST making it always made me super happy for some reason. Maybe, because I am the last-minute-packer and not-estimating-for-traffic-conditions person in our case 😀

    Please don’t hate me, but this post brought back memories of me and husband ( then childless and carefree) running across jammed highways with big luggage in hand. Super nerve wracking..and yet we made it every single time! 😉

    Trust me Pepper dear, Mint will get better and avoid such episodes if you have a kid along. I got better… so there’s proof 🙂

  33. K said

    Only you can write so well 🙂

  34. Ashwathy said

    OMG!!! What a description!! Excuse me while I double up laughing……… hahahahaha

    Ok. Sorry.
    But seriously, what a description. I could imagine the whole incident, scene by scene. In my case I am the one who ends up being late and hubby is mostly on time. But these days I have considerably improved. I don’t think I can manage that kind of heart attack.
    I am surprised Mint is still alive. My hubby would have certainly gone to jail for murder by this point.

    We have a similar incident though… while we were boarding the train from Palakkad (hubby’s native place) to Trivandrum (my mother’s place). Went running huffing and puffing through the platform like you did, but that was because of a station mix-up. Long story. Too much to type. Will tell you when we meet next. 😀

  35. […] without him. I am serious. For a person who reaches stations and airports almost 3 hours early, Mint’s attitude gives me near heart attacks.  So this time, I have truly made up my mind to go ahead without him. Let me just hope he gets […]

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