Deepak Kashyap (second from left), UP Sharma (third from left) and RR Mahto (right) flag off the train at Ranchi station on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
A girl runs on the platform to catch the train that’s pulling out. She clutches on to a heavy suitcase, looking every bit distressed. A man, already on the train, stretches out his hand to help her. She latches on to it and is pulled into the train.
The iconic scene from 1995 blockbustre Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge got replayed during the flag-off of the third-day run of Ranchi-New Delhi Garib Rath Express at Ranchi station on Tuesday.
Only, there was nothing remotely romantic about this ‘real’ platform scene as the girl in question was no Kajol aka Simran, but a salwar kameez-clad 16-year-old desperate not to miss her train. Along with the luggage towing her was her mother, equally desperate to tag along.
Giving them a hand from the last bogie was an elderly man.
Train driver C.R. Ghosh also had a role to play. Hearing the shouts, he decided to slow down the train, making it easy for the passengers to hop in.
On getting up on the train, mother-daughter thanked the ‘SRK of the moment’ and also waved to people on the platform, again quite filmy style.
“I had been working with the railways since 1973, but never saw such a scene before. When I watched DDLJ years ago, I had thought that these things are only fictional. It makes us believe in movies,” said R.R. Mahto, one of the senior-most employees who retired on Monday.
Mahto, along with another senior employee U.P. Sharma who also retired with him, flagged off the Garib Rath minutes before from platform No. 1. Deepak Kashyap, divisional railway manager (DRM) of Ranchi Division, gave them the honour as a mark of recognition of their long services to the railways.
Earlier, the Garib Rath Express used to run on Mondays and Fridays only. “Seeing the huge demand for the Delhi-bound train, we increased its run to three days. Now, the train will also ply on Tuesdays,” Kashyap said.
The DRM also inaugurated an online booking kiosk for railway retiring rooms.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Kashyap said, “There is a demand for regularisation of the Rajdhani Express, which cannot be done soon. We have thus proposed to the SER headquarters to allow a halt of the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani at Muri station.”