Shatabdi is a sort of luxury train for the middle class families in India. Firstly the train takes less time to reach the destination as compared to other trains and then the tea, soup, snacks and food serve in the train makes it different. Not only this but no external chai wala and other such vendors are allowed to enter. All these ingredients make your experience totally different. Though I have travelled many a times in Amritsar Shatabdi, but this time’s experience was really exceptional but more towards negative side. I with my family boarded Amritsar Shatabdi from New Delhi railway station at 4:30 PM. There was a complete ballyhoo in that compartment with people setting their luggage and kids making noise. We thought it would subside, but no it kept till our destination. This was enough to make us feel that we were not travelling in the same Shatabdi.
After a while we were served tea which was ok. Plastic cups have now been replaced by paper cups with Indian Railway logo on that. Practically and hygienically it is a good change. After Ambala Cant station came the round of soup with butter, black pepper and bread sticks. The soup was not at all good. Bread sticks were fine. Then the dinner was served. It included paneer, yellow dal (Moong dal), rice, and two paranthas with curd and pickle. Dal was overcooked with a very bad taste. Paneer pieces tasted stale. Paranthas were half cooked. Curd and pickle were fine as these were packed. We haven’t had our dinner in the train.
Apart from the bad food quality, general public is also at fault. The kids of the family sitting just next to us were leaving no stone unturned to deteriorate the train. They were pulling window curtains, regularly switching lights on and off, moving on the seats etc. Surprisingly their parents were also not stopping or scolding them. But we must take care of the public transport as these are made for our convenience. Apart from this railway authorities must work on the quality.