Kundu-babu continued working even after retirement (Part-II)(Continued from Part-I)
The on-duty Station Master attended the phone. Suddenly his face became colourless. Just retired Kundu-babu was astonished. He asked what had happened. The Station Master, in a trembling voice, informed him that a very fast Express Train which had crossed Kundu-babu's station only 20 minutes before, got derailed after another two stations. Some people died, three-four compartments were badly damaged. But the major problem was that the compartments were lying on the track in such a manner that the train movement on that route connecting West Bengal and Bihar (now Jharkhand) would be stopped till those compartments were removed from the track. The Station Master was very tensed.
Kundu-babu immediately forgot that he had just retired. He sprang like a tiger and started giving rapid direction to the linemen, pointsmen and the gateman regarding controlling subsequent train movement and manning the level-crossing gate. He immediately issued the direction to the goods clerk and ticket clerk to stop goods booking on that route. At the same time, he continuously answered Traffic Controller-Rampurhat, Traffic Controller-Barddhman, Traffic Controller-Pakur, Senior DOM of Howrah Division and many other senior officers. Time started flying. And Kundu-babu's wife continued waiting in their residence with the delicious dinner for her just-retired husband.
After much confusion, cancellation of good trains and passenger trains and stopping the movement of many other trains on that route in different stations, the first ART arrived from Barddhaman at midnight. The on-duty Station Master had never faced such a crisis situation in his working life and he had a nervous breakdown. But frankly speaking, nobody bothered. Kundu-babu was handling the situation like an experienced General on the battlefield. All other staff of the station rose to the occasion. Even the Station Masters of other stations of the route were working taking guidance from Kundu-babu. Other senior officers of Howrah Division and Eastern Railway HQ were immensely relieved that Kundu-babu was handling the crisis situation. Even the off-duty Station Masters and staff immediately came to the Station to manage the complicated movement in the single line which was almost stopped due to the accident. Like Kundu-babu, everyone else forgot that Kundu-babu had retired.
Kundu-babu himself controlled the exceptionally complicated movement of the ART. The ART reached the accident site, took the injured passengers and returned. Thereafter, one after another goods train started arriving carrying engineering equipment to cut open the derailed compartments. Kundu-babu personally took the charge of the movement of those trains carrying important equipment (and senior officers) and also of their return. He forgot to take food and managed with cups of tea.
This routine continued for 72 hours. After 72 hours working at a stretch without proper food, Kundu-babu finally felt that the situation was under complete control. Normal train movement resumed on that route.
Exactly 72 hours after retirement, Kundu-babu, completely exhausted but fully satisfied, returned to his Railway-provided accommodation. He had successfully performed his most strenuous Railway duty after his retirement. But he again failed to take his wife to the place which they had planned to visit the next day after his retirement.
[P.S.: Only two days ago, when the Members of ISC were discussing the leave which the Government employees enjoy, I suddenly remembered Kundu-babu. I also remembered his perpetually-complaining wife, who, in actuality, was immensely proud of her husband. Unfortunately, we never talk about these Government employees and also their family members who suffer, complain but always support the Government employees during the hours of crisis.]