I’m not a hardcore traveler like those who always keep traveling. I have a bike and it’s my only travel partner but I was always limited to a certain area even I have never been to any historical place in Dhaka except Lalbag Fort. It’s not like that I’m a homesick guy or like a nerd who spends most of the time in his own room. Actually, I love to travel but I didn’t get many opportunities.
Anam is my good friend, not only mine, as a helpful person, he is a good friend to a large number of people as far I know. Around 10/12 days ago he proposed me to take a presentation at AUW, Chittagong. It was interesting but unfortunately, I fell sick and went home for a rest. As I’ve committed to attend the event, I got back to Dhaka before two days of the workshop though I wasn’t fully recovered. The presentation was about UI/UX. I passed a long time with UX. After becoming a PHP programmer I almost stopped thinking & working about UX but still, I have a soft corner for it. Anyway, I prepared myself with a presentation for AUW but it wasn’t presented at the end (that’s another story, I’m gonna write about it shortly below).
I am doing a job beside my personal work, that’s why I’m always in a tight schedule, I managed two days from my team leader for the event. As scheduled, I met with Anam Vai at Raj Bilash Restaurant for dinner and discussed about the event. I already booked 2 tickets from Bangladesh Railway Authorized Site. After finishing dinner as planned we went to Airport Railway Station and after confirming the final tickets we had to change our initial plan! Actually, I planned and booked the ticket for the train at 15:00 but I got a ticket for the train at 08:00. I just became speechless because we have not gathered our luggage items yet and the watch on my right wrist was saying it’s already 22:30! My home is 18 KM far from the station, so I took a ride at approx 80KMPH+ speed to get home fast. We had planned to print some souvenir stickers for students but couldn’t for limited time. Just packed some personal data, presentation in my pen drive (also I have uploaded them in cloud) and my dresses in a bag and got back to Anam’s Home to drop him, we planned to stay in Anam’s home till 07:00 and then dinner and go to station, our train schedule was 08:00.
Me and Anam both like to work and learn mostly at night, Anam is one step ahead of me, It appears that he can live even without sleep! My friend Alim requested me to stay in his home, he told me he just downloaded a movie and want to enjoy with me. I couldn’t refuse the offer. As planned, I and Anam passed a sleepless night and met again at Raj Bilash Restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast, we caught a BRTC bus (wondering, after how many days I’m traveling on the local bus) to reach to the train station. After reaching the station we were announced that the train got late due to strike but no ETA, we thought it can be one or two hours as a normal delay but it wasn’t. Morning is my sleep time, to restrain myself from fallen down I was walking after a certain interval. Anam was also doing the same, after 2-3 hours we take coffee because it was a big deal for me to keep myself awake. Anam is used to make coffee but I ain’t, I take tea normally but the situation was not good and coffee was the only solution to get rid of sleep.
Many people were waiting like us, Also a girl (about my age) was waiting beside me. She was alone and board. We were hopeful about the train but maybe Allah’s thought something different and checking our patients. In the afternoon the girl (sit beside me) walked to me and told about her situation. She was trying to get the train from 4 days ago but couldn’t get train due to strike.
We felt recharged after this, a woman is surviving then why we can’t be? after this, the authority announced that the train won’t come today and they are ready to get back tickets and refund the price, we were disappointed and speechless but got some hope after hearing that a train (Subarna) is coming from Chittagong and tickets are available. We already had the tickets of First Class, we gave it back and got another two but those are second class tickets (non AC). At the end, authority announced an ETA about the train. I gave a proposal to Anam to go Uttara for shopping. After agreeing with my proposal We started walking to infinity, I bought a set of dress for sports and got some meal at BFC.
We didn’t want to spend time out of the station, our sixth sense wasn’t supporting it. After getting back to rail station we started waiting again! Waiting, coffee and again waiting, but in this stage, it wasn’t such hard because we were gossiping with the girl who was facing the same problem, maybe she was the only female survivor. Suddenly we saw the train Subanrna at the station, just it come back from Chittagong, at least we were happy to see a train which comes from Chittagong. The train left the station to get an about turn. We already got tickets for this train. We were a little upset because of the tickets for the second class!
After quite a while, we heard the announcement that the train is coming back from Komlapur Railway Station to go back to Chittagong. Anam Vai suddenly proposes me to give a try to get First Class Ticket. I was thinking “how to get” its true Sherlock Holmes brain got hanged but I have a little hope. The counter was always busy and already kind of mad due to pressure. I got a plan to convince the counter manager as I know officially it wasn’t allowed to change the ticket at the moment of train arrival without showing a good cause. When I reach to the counter to change the ticket I got hopeless, already somebody quarreling with the counter manager for the same thing. I was trying to convince him but else he already got a much pain and didn’t agree to do anything without selling tickets. I changed my plan and came to the entering door of the counter. My plan to manage the Pion with some money. Again failed but I wasn’t hopeless, take the third attempt at another counter, I already created a story to convince him, the story wasn’t fake actually, I just organized it to make it more touchable 😛 I got successes and got tickets of first class, I have to pay 70BDT extra as I committed to the counter manager. I don’t get any receipt for this 70 Taka may be its bribe/bokshis. I had no guilty conscience because they didn’t provide tickets but tickets were available. In this case, I had nothing to do without doing this.
The train arrived ( like a magic to me) when I got tickets on my hand, just shouted to Anam vai “Go go go” we were running but I lost Anam Vai in lots of people. I called him and he said he couldn’t run fast as me but he still tracking me.
Got our seat easily and posted my status on Facebook. after getting a comfortable seat, our mind demanding to get some meal, ya we ware very hungry. Food provider came to us with the special food only for Bangladesh Railway. We got Cutlet, Bread, Cake, Water, and tea. Our 18 Hours of waiting was finally finished.
The train was moving very slowly, first, we didn’t understand the reason why, after some time I had been like ice after hearing that the train going slowly because of risk. Terrorist ware trying to cut rail line again and to reduce loss driver was driving slowly. Anam vai had no headache about that, he was having the meal peacefully. I was scared about of the rails. We were so sleepy, I was sleepless about 30 hours and Anam Vai More than 30 hours. I just went to sleep by saying this to train “go whatever you like”.
Had a nice sleep and when I woke up, I saw Anam vai still sleeping. I saw some hills from the train window and thought that we’re in Chittagong. I set up the camera and lens like a Snipist and came to the common space between two coaches as a perfect shooting place. Felt like everything was against me, The light was insufficient and getting motion blur for normal shutter speed, got insufficient light for sports mode shooting and couldn’t use flash because I was trying to capture hills!
After trying so many times I got some photos by tuning camera settings.
And we finished our eventful train journey, my first Dhaka to Chittagong train journey too. I was a little disappointed to be failed of getting a long exposure shot beside the hill. I thought to pull the chain though but didn’t 😛
After reaching at the station we felt hungry and start walking as Anam vai’s direction. I noticed somebody waiting for us. Its Rakib Vai and Asif (CTG) vai. With him we reached to a hotel and I ate some Biriani and got saved.
I brought formal dresses but din’t have time to wear it because it was already 8:00 AM. Then we meet with Fahria Kabir Apu in a restaurant and recast the whole program plan.
As planned we reached to Asian University for Woman we saw some poster and banner for today’s program.
We reached to the AUW Lab directly. and Anam vai started setting up projector and his Micro PC. Maximum students came by that time and we started, first Asif Vai has given his presentation about HTML then Anam Vai and then he announced my name. My topic was CSS. I should confess something, I’m not a student of English medium and this was my first presentation in English and without preparation, I don’t have any slide because of changing topic. I was ready for UX presentation but assigned for CSS after reaching Chittagong also didn’t know that there are many foreigner students here and I have to deliver in English.
I started, Anam Vai, Asif Vai & Fahrial Apu helped me a lot, without their help I really couldn’t do anything. Also, I am impressed by the students that how much responsibility they are. I’m much fluent with CSS but its really tough to tell something in front of a group of people.
We got break for launch and come to the AUW restaurant. We found a Gramophone there and Anam vai captured this. Also we passed a nice moment with some nice person.
After finishing Anam vai’s presentation we have gifted some souvenir from AUW
Then we packed up our tools and back to the auditorium for a photo session.
And thus we reached the end of our event, we were honored. They came to the gate to say us BYE. We got tea and finally, we said bye to Fahria Apu and Rakib vai. Asif vai was with us at the rail station to say us goodbye. I felt we have to survive again when hearing two shocking news. No train tickets ware available and the opposite party again announced a strike.
Our first requirement was ticketed, with the attention I read the message from the counter manager “No Tickets are available”. Also, I noticed standing tickets are available though but I’m not as prepared to buy this! ok then I started finding somebody with a special look 😉 yep got 3 tickets blacker at once, just like getting rain by expecting cloud 😛 and got tickets than with original ticket price, don’t know how they could provide with his margin. I think they got tickets with a cheaper rate from those travelers who canceled journey.
Saw the clock, 1.5 hours to wait, we were checking our mail (I’m from phone and Anam vai from his netbook) notifications at the waiting room. Saw a foreigner gentleman sitting in front of me. I started talking with him. He is from Spain and here to visit Bandarban. He survived two days in train to reach Chittagong from Bandarban. By saying goodbye to him we left the room and stepped into the platform. After about 2.5 hours waiting we saw the train is coming. No way to lose Anam Vai again got the seat and fall in asleep. Nothing special happened on the train. We were too tired and fell in sound sleep. We didn’t awaken even after reaching Dhaka Airport Railway Station. Somebody made us awaken and we were back to Basundhara by bus. I got my lovely Bike keys from friend and back to my living Place with it.
And this is the story of our Chittagong travel, I am not a writer not a good English known people too. Pardon me for my mistakes. And Thank you so much for showing your patience to read this big post