Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Snake takes joyride on the Coimbatore- Chennai Express Train!!

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www.thehindu.com
Only last week I accidentally ran into a scary but weird scoop in the daily newspaper "The Hindu"dtd. 19 January 2018 which I would like to share with you though this unexpected event took place a few months ago.  

You  always take a train to go to a distant city or destination to spend your holidays or to attend the family  function, etc. Such a train journey gives you a temporary change from the daily regimental routine life, an opportunity to relax  and keep your mind off from the pressing problems at work, etc.  You also  expect such a journey will be uneventful - unnecessary delay, etc.
Coimbatore-Chennai, Tamil Nadu. India Today
At the railway station when you board the train you hear the train announcer say through the PAS "have a pleasant journey"- a ritual you will never miss at any railway station.  With pleasant mind  you get into a good night's sleep and in the following morning, to your horror, you get up in the midst of commotion, yelling  and panic  because  a passenger has just sighted a poisonous snake in the coach below the lower berth. One positive factor is the train is about to stop at the last station. Fortunately, the train is not moving fast as between two stations. What about your state of mind at that time? You may be frozen with fear!

It was really a scary incident. Such incidents do happen on foreign trains as well. In April 2017 in  Australia a  slimy, creepy creature  was spotted riding a train! Yes, a python hitchhiked on a South Coast Line train. Though the staff were alerted about the creepy creature, it was not removed for more than 90 minutes. Perhaps, the serpent might have, for a change, played hide and seek with the railway workers. (vide: Indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/unusual-passenger-a-small-python-takes-a-ride-on-a-sydney-train-4619940/)_

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At  Chennai Central station in the 3rd week of January 2018 this is what had happened in an air-conditioned coach of the Coimbatore-Chennai Central Cheran Superfast Express (train no. 12674). Amazingly, the serpent surfaced, as if out of a comfortable sleep, just minutes before the train reached its destination  when one of the passengers tried to  lay  hands on the baggage to shift it. Horrified, the passenger almost ran amuck like a musth bull elephant. The other equally terrified passengers moved  away to the other end of the coach to avoid confronting the critter. When the train stopped the  attendants tried to locate the snake which  appeared to be a venomous one, Since it was  an AC coach, the snake  had been there quietly when the train left Coimbatore Jn - the train's origin. The snake was under the lower berth and quickly moved to side lower berth;later it was removed from the coach immediately. The moot question is: How  did the snake get into the AC coach?  The investigation was on regarding this incident. The  rakes of Cheran Express are being maintained both at Chennai and Coimbatore. Even if it is a ghat area it is difficult for a snake to get into the coach. 

For the terrified passengers, this incident was nightmarish because the whole night when the they were fast asleep, the languid snake had been giving  them company without any untoward incident - no hissing, no fuzzing! He was just dozing in the comforts of AC!

Perhaps, it is nice if the Southern Railways include Snake Charmers in their employ so that they can play the Pungi or Bin and catch the scary intruder when the train goes through the Ghat areas. 

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/snake-on-a-train-scares-passengers/article22469853.ece