International Lifestyle Magazine Jan 2013 - Page 60

How wrong was I !?, In the pitch of darkness, our cars pulled out of the hotel drive and onto the main road, to be suddenly hit by what appeared to look like New York`s Time square at 12 noon, traffic that I had only seen in big city Center`s during peak commute time . Police were blowing whistles to keep the traffic flowing, hustle and bustle everywhere, and bumper to bumper driving at a snail’s pace. The pressure was now on and questions were quickly being raised from the back seats as it became a grave possibility and likelihood we would miss our train. Plan B was now being developed as we nudged along. Alas we arrived with 5 minutes to spare, and before a leg was out of the car door we were rapidly set on by Porters grappling at our luggage, whilst the cameraman holding tightly to his equipment played the game of “tug of war” ( no one is allowed to touch his camera !!). At least 8 luggage porters placed our bags on their heads, as we then tried to find the platform or even the entrance of what looked like the entire cast from the film “Ghandi” had arrived and trying to gain access to the station. In a procession of bodies, the crew and I followed the porters, climbing over men, woman and children that were curled up and sleeping on the floor( heaven knows how they could sleep, bless em).The noise and the shear panic of keeping an eye on all our baggage in such chaotic circumstances was nothing but a nightmare, at one point I pinched myself in the hope that I would wake up still in the luxury of my hotel room, with nothing more than the noise and bustle of a breakfast tray being delivered , the words “good morning Mr Coxon, your fresh baked butter croissant and ground coffee as you like it sir “, mystically echoed around my head . Instead I looked like David Livingstone and his camel trail of Gurkhas heading towards the Himalayas in search of a yeti !. One of the baggage assistants declared that he knew of a faster way into the station and away from the madding crowds, but with only 3 minutes remaining he decided to head down the road, the crew standing in the midst of chaos beckoning him to come back as the 7 other porters proceeded to follow him. Despite none of us ever being to Delhi railway station before, we felt that we knew better and that this local was taking us down the garden path, ( the exact actions and activities you are warned to avoid in my lonely planet guide !), alas as the shouting could not be heard over the general noise or they were deliberately ignoring our cries to stop ,we hastily made chase to recoup our luggage if nothing else. Fortunately the Porters intentions were honourable and they did find an empty entrance into the station, so with seconds to spare, we found our reserved carriage and boarded, the porters kindly placing the baggage in the compartments before being handed pieces of silver for their assistance, the train gently pulled away as I slumped into my seat exhausted and exhilarated !.