We missed the train.
This was our 7th train ride in India. It had all gone smoothly. But this time my heart was beating as ran from platform to platform realizing that we the platform number had changed and we we’re waiting at the wrong platform. The enquiry window had 30 people waiting in line. The ticket reservation and cancel window person was not helpful. All I could do was to go back to the family and see what will happen next. There was a later train but does it mean that we would had to stand all night on the Train?
Back at the platform two young Indians seeing the desperate look in our faces immediately came to help. They asked for the train number and search for the train schedule. They said you have a chance to catch the train at the Mughulsarai station. Go now and get a rickshaw.
We immediately ran for the exit. Even Joani who usually is not willing to go far with the big backpack did not fall behind. Time is ticking.
There was the usual mob and price negotiation for rickshaw at the exit. I tried not to be panicking as I negotiated with several of them. Time is ticking.
A rickshaw driver pull up who took our price and we began to pile into the rickshaw with our luggages. It took awhile to fit the 5 bodies and 12 pieces of luggages into a 2 cubic meter rickshaw volume. Time is ticking.
The rickshaw driver drive fast. I wasn’t sure if this was his usual speed or if he knew our timing was tight because he kept telling us don’t worry, it will be alright. He honked long and loud to pass cars in front of us. Several times he even drove on the wrong directions. Suddenly he pulled over to get petrol. Oh my, this is Amazing race heart attack. Time is ticking.
We continued. I asked how much longer. He said 10 km. wow. This is long. Then he stopped again. He went to the back and open up to see the engine. Oh no, what is wrong this time. He fiddled with the clutch for several times. Time is ticking.
Finally he said it’s okay and off we went again. He said he will pull us inside for extra 20 rupee parking fee. Once we went in, we pull out the bags and bodies as quick as we could. We went running inside. Time is ticking.
We ran up the stair onto the platform overpass. There was a train on one of the platform that began to move. Is this our train? “RUN,” I called out to the family. As I ran next to the moving train, I had one second to make a decision whether to jump on the train even if it is the wrong one or to miss the potential right train.
The train was gaining speed. We each with our big backpack on the back and one small one in front of us, ran next to the moving train. I couldn’t believe we are doing this. I first jumped into the train. I looked back and yelled for everyone to get on as I move inside as much as I can to make space for the other children. Nathan jumped in. Joani jumped in. Olivia jumped in. Where is Annie? I called out. After several seconds of anxiety, I saw her coming in through the door of the train carriage further down!
We were panting but all of us had a big smile as we realized that we just witnessed a miracle. God had timed everything down to the second so that we were not one second early or late. He wanted to show us that He is in control. Like what he did with Gideon reducing the soldiers from 32,000 to 300, he kept ticking the time so that we would arrive just at that exact moment.
If there were no delays on the rickshaw ride, we might have arrived 10 minutes early and felt proud about the way I reverted a near disaster. If there was one extra red light or one traffic jam, we would have missed the train and sulked in our own mistakes. But today, there was no room to give credit to the two young man, to the rickshaw driver, or to our running legs. All credit to God only.
Praise to God!