Secunderabad Railway Station.

secunderabad-station

Raman and Sudarsan,  family friends from my teenage days, now live in Secunderabad. They have recently been posting some old photographs from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad on Facebook and this is one such photograph taken in 1928.  The station is very much different now, but when this story takes place, it was not too different.

Secunderabad station had a special place in my life and let me tell you why.

Despite being North of Hyderabad, all trains from anywhere in India, terminating at Hyderabad would first go to Secunderabad and then to Hyderabad and would halt their for up to twenty minutes while some engine exchange took place.  A bit of a nuisance really, and once I settled down in the Northern parts of India, if we went by train, we would get off at Secunderabad and take a taxi or an auto rickshaw to go to Hyderabad where my late wife Urmeela’s family lived and continue to till today.  That would save about an hour’s time spent in the train at the Secunderabad station, the time taken to go to Hyderabad and from there to her home.

In November 1968, I was travelling from Chennai to Hyderabad by train to get married. Urmeela had come to the Secunderabad station to surprise and receive  me.  Since I was not expecting anybody to receive me at Secunderabad,  I had decided to go to Hyderabad in the same train, as I was to stay in a hotel near the station there till the marriage.  When the train halted at Secunderabad and all the passengers had alighted, I found a shoe shine boy to polish my shoes and sat back to relax and read inside the compartment.

Urmeela missed seeing me anywhere and decided that I had changed my mind about the marriage and had given her the slip.  She went back home and was inconsolable with the entire household in panic as all arrangements had been made for the wedding in the evening.

Just picture the scene.  Those were days when there were no telephone connections  and I in any case was living off a suitcase as a travelling trainee.  The family did n0t know how or who to contact and there was a pall of gloom.

After checking into the hotel at Hyderabad and showering and changing, I got myself an auto rickshaw and reached Urmeela’s home around 11.00 in the morning and there was stunned silence but great joy in seeing me.  Urmeela was quite furious and till I calmed her down was ready to call off the wedding for having put her through the experience earlier.

Till the day she died, the one joke that would lighten up her mood was her husband’s tryst with a shoeshine boy at the Secunderabad railway station on his wedding day!

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43 Responses to Secunderabad Railway Station.

  1. How horrible not to be able to make contact! What a difference from now.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Yay, Razor!

    • Cathy in NZ says:

      Shanker, that is a disaster “no shoeshine boys” – what has happened to that business? What are folk doing for extra money? Or are they doing some other hawker’s trade at the station/s?

      • People do not have the time to stand and get their shoes shined any more Cathy. And, shoe shine boys can easily find other more remunerative employment in cities now a days.

  2. Ursula says:

    I feel for everyone. Not least the bride since nerves are order of the day. Unless yours [nerves that is] are made of steel. Best of German engineering. Remember, Ramana, my father cancelled (no bull) the wedding two days before the event, guests from abroad having already arrived in my country of origin.

    Never mind the groom. All that counts is THE BRIDE. We got married in a small village and I – THE BRIDE – was sternly warned, by the vicar during a warm up prep talk, that the bells will toll (two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon) till the bride arrives. Do I look like someone who is late? EVER? Unless I really don’t want to be there. Having rescued the flowers dislodging on the bonnet of the bridal car twice as we were floating along the river chauffeur, maid of honour and I made it. Hells Bells – ACDC had nothing on me.

    Cheers to Urmeela and her staying power. Little can’t be cured with a glass of champagne and suspending disbelief.

    U
    Ursula recently posted..An ugly glimpse into the darker recesses of my soul

  3. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    Oh I can imagine what Urmeela must have gone through. It’s a bride’s nightmare to be ditched by the groom on the wedding day! And this feeling hasn’t diminished today even with cell-phones at hand. I know a story of a groom who was 50 minute late to his own wedding, everybody kept calling him on his cell-phone, with calls going straight to voice-mail, and when he showed up the bride’s father felt like punching him…a whole drama. So, I can imagine…

    Rummy, thank you for sharing this endearing story and I want to believe that I am not wrong when I think that you and Urmeela loved each other and were happy till the end :).

    Cheers
    Max Coutinho recently posted..Genocide & Racism: Perverting Terms to Escape Criticism

    • Cathy in NZ says:

      When I got married, both of us were late, he was he was just one of those kind of guys and me because the car broke down – we arrived at the exact same time at the Registry Office where the celebrant was almost cancelling our appointment! It turned out alright but everything from then on during that day was at least 30 mins behind time! Fortunately, we made the train the next day for a short break down country (W.Australia). The following year we went to Singapore for a proper “honeymoon” – that part of my life is now been abandoned although we do still see one another from time to time…

    • Max, all her friends who were by default mine advised me against marrying her, and all my friends by default her friends advised her against marrying me. We proved all of them wrong and stayed married for 40 glorious years. Yes, we loved each other.

  4. Maria says:

    Oh, that’s a nerve racking story. Poor Urmeela. Good that it all worked out.
    Maria recently posted..Another Mashup/Catchup – LBC Post

  5. Anna says:

    Lovely story. Indeed something to remember.

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