Saturday, 9 May 2015

3 ladies on a rail n road trip

Life is never dull in the Eicher household.

And sometimes the Eicher household is not all in one spot.

Like tonight for example.  At this time on Friday night we were all here in Thane.  But the next few hours changed everything. 

Last night I took Sheba and Asha and Jemima (Asha's friend) to the Thane railway station at 11.15 PM.   We had decided that morning to try and get a 'tatkal' ticket to Jabalpur for the our intrepid ladies to go and meet our dear friend Dr. Chering Tenzing - who is heading up the Lakhnadon Christian Hospital.

At 10 am we were told that Sheba's train ticket was booked and that Asha and Jemima were 6 and 7 on the waiting list.   By 8 PM their status was 3 and 4.  I was sure that their tickets would be confirmed.

They weren't. 

At 9.30 an SMS came saying that the final chart had been prepared and that Asha and Jemima's tickets were still 3 and 4 on the waiting list - which meant they were invalid.  We discussed about what to do.  Should we call it all off?  Should we try and brazen it out?

We took the latter course.  We left early and parked the Papaya on the east side.  I got the ladies onto the platform and went and bought 2 unreserved tickets for the girls.  And then an hour's wait till the train steamed in at 12.50 AM.  I got the ladies in and hoped that they would get another berth at least.
The train headed off north and I drove back to the sleeping ones at home.

Sheba buzzed me at 1.30 to find out if I had gotten back home.  She said that the ticket collector had come and said that he would see if there were any other berths.   He never came back.

All three shared a berth and made it up to Jabalpur by 5 PM this evening.  There they had the joy of meeting Chering at the station.

While on the train Sheba had called up Nimmi Kerketta - one of her childhood friends from Rourkela who lives in Jabalpur.  Turns out she lives near the station and so after a rough night they had a grand welcome to Jabalpur at Nimmi's home and then Chering took them out to dinner. 

Chering is a remarkable lady.  Sheba and Chering go back to their days in the late 90s at the Christian Fellowship Hospital in Oddanchataram where Chering did her higher studies in specialising in Medicine while Sheba did Family Medicine.

We have kept in touch since then - with Chering joining Nav Jivan Hospital just as we were leaving for Mumbai in 2001 and then serving at the Herbertpur Christian Hospital near Dehra Dun.  The picture is from a time when she helped out at the Prem Sewa Hospital in Utraula.

For the past year Chering up to her eyeballs in work at the Lakhnadon Christian Hospital.  Chering writes about her life at "What Gives" - a short and pithy blog about her adventures.  One of the things Sheba told me about Chering right after we were married was that she does cartwheels.  We have watched Chering over these many years of service and are amazed at what she has been able to do.  She has a big heart - and a great laugh - and reads and thinks in 101 directions at once.  One of the reasons we want Asha and Jemima to be exposed to remarkable folks who are doing so many things which are often unseen (but not unnoticed in the Throne Room - Malachi 3.16).

At 9 PM Asha called up briefly to say that they had arrived at Lakhnadon. 

Here is to our adventurers!

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