MidReal Story

The story begins with Shikhar, who was always fascinated

Apr 2
Scenario: The story begins with Shikhar, who was always fascinated by his father’s job. His father was a Railway TTE, posted on the railway route of Goa, known for its beautiful scenery. Shikhar's childhood was filled with railway journeys, and he was determined to follow in his father's footsteps and become a TTE in the Indian Railways. He worked hard for three years to secure his job and passed his railway recruitment exam. However, little did he know that his life was about to take a different turn. From a beautiful existence, his life would soon plunge into the most haunted adventure he had ever experienced. He was posted to the North East, known for its beautiful forests, but his journey route was not limited to just beautiful scenery. Instead, it traversed the most dangerous railway track ever encountered by human beings. From the most dangerous tribes to Naxalites, deadly ghosts, and tantrics involved in black magic, every station posed less of a passenger presence and more of a life-threatening situation. Shikhar, once considered the luckiest guy since childhood, now found himself cursing his luck for falling into such a situation. He began searching for the backstory behind all the mysteries and became involved in every little detail. His responsibilities increased in his job as he had to save all the passengers on the train from these deadly incidents on a daily basis. Now, he is determined to take this as a challenge and work as a full-time TTE in the Indian Railways. He also aims to work as a Mystery Buster, compiling every danger and busting ghosts. He calls himself the Mystery Buster, dedicated to saving the lives of people and making this railway route once again safe.
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The story begins with Shikhar, who was always fascinated by his father’s job. His father was a Railway TTE, posted on the railway route of Goa, known for its beautiful scenery. Shikhar's childhood was filled with railway journeys, and he was determined to follow in his father's footsteps and become a TTE in the Indian Railways. He worked hard for three years to secure his job and passed his railway recruitment exam. However, little did he know that his life was about to take a different turn. From a beautiful existence, his life would soon plunge into the most haunted adventure he had ever experienced. He was posted to the North East, known for its beautiful forests, but his journey route was not limited to just beautiful scenery. Instead, it traversed the most dangerous railway track ever encountered by human beings. From the most dangerous tribes to Naxalites, deadly ghosts, and tantrics involved in black magic, every station posed less of a passenger presence and more of a life-threatening situation. Shikhar, once considered the luckiest guy since childhood, now found himself cursing his luck for falling into such a situation. He began searching for the backstory behind all the mysteries and became involved in every little detail. His responsibilities increased in his job as he had to save all the passengers on the train from these deadly incidents on a daily basis. Now, he is determined to take this as a challenge and work as a full-time TTE in the Indian Railways. He also aims to work as a Mystery Buster, compiling every danger and busting ghosts. He calls himself the Mystery Buster, dedicated to saving the lives of people and making this railway route once again safe.
I was always fascinated by my father’s job.
I used to pester him with questions about his work.
“What does your office look like?
How do you manage to travel so much?”
He was a Railway TTE.
His job was to check the tickets of passengers on trains.
And he had visited most of the places in India as a part of his job.
But the only route I wanted to hear about was the one that passed through Goa.
It was a picturesque route, with the railway line skirting the sandy beaches and dotted with coconut trees.
It was almost like you were traveling through a painting.
And I begged him to take me with him on this route, but he never did.
He did take me on other routes, though, and we traveled by train quite often when I was young.
I used to love it.
The train journey was a special thing for me, and I enjoyed it thoroughly every time I traveled.
As I grew up, I realized how big and incredible this world of railways really was.
I became even more obsessed with my father’s job.
I wanted to be a part of this world.
The idea of working in an office, confined within four walls, repulsed me; the thought of spending hours with my head buried in files and attending endless meetings made my stomach churn in disgust.
I wanted my life to be different, exciting, and full of new experiences.
And for that, I needed to be out there, not restricted by any boundaries.
The only job that suited my needs was that of a TTE in the Indian Railways.
So, that’s what I decided to do.
The journey wasn’t an easy one but it was worth all the hard work in the end.
There were only two things I wanted from my life – to be like my father and to be a part of the Indian Railways.
I achieved both of my dreams together when I became a Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) in the Indian Railways at the age of twenty-five.
As a child, I used to think that the Indian Railways was the world’s largest employer.
There were so many people working in this organization in so many categories that it seemed like everybody in India was either employed by the Railways or had a close relative who was.
So, it was understandable that so many people had so many expectations from this examination.
I was one of them.
And when the results were declared, the only thing that could put an end to their nail-biting tension was the sound of joyous shouts.
As for me, well, I had begun to dream about being selected and joining the academy.
I had been preparing for the examination for three years.
And now, after all those years, it was finally time for me to take the first steps in this grand world.
I was about to start on this journey, but before that, there was something that needed to be done.
The moment the result was published, I picked up the phone receiver and dialed my father’s number.
“Hello,” he said as he answered the phone.
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“We made it, Dad,” I said gleefully.
“I got through the examination!”
A moment later, there was deafening silence on the other end.
He didn’t say anything; he didn’t even sigh.
The only thing he said was: “Son, which division have they assigned you to?”
“North East, Dad,” I replied.
“That’s where you are going to be posted?”
he asked in surprise.
“Dad, is there any problem with that division?”
I asked him, puzzled by his tone.
“Son, there is no problem with that division,” he said slowly.
“But you know how dangerous it is, right?
Why don’t you ask them to assign you to some other division?”
he asked gently.
“Dad, what are you talking about?
Why is North East so dangerous?”
I asked him in shock.
“You know what?
If you can change your posting, do it today itself,” he said hastily.
“Dad, what’s wrong?”
I demanded anxiously.
“Listen to me.
Don’t go there, okay?”
“Dad, I don’t understand why you are saying this.
What’s so dangerous about the North East?”
I asked him in confusion.
“I can’t tell you the reason.
You’ll understand when the time comes.
Please, ask them to change your posting,” he begged.
“Okay, Dad, as you say,” I agreed reluctantly.
I didn’t know what was wrong with the North East, but I loved my father and didn’t want him to worry about me.
So, I decided to follow his advice.
And that’s how I ended up with this posting.
I was happy because I got my dream job.
But at the same time, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of uneasiness that I felt in my heart.
I was assigned to the North East Railway division.
Out of all the routes, this was the one that I wanted the most, because it was considered to be the most dangerous route in India.
It was also one of the most beautiful routes.
This route went through deep forests, crossed rivers, and ran alongside mountains.
Therefore, it was full of tunnels and bridges, making it one of the most scenic railway routes in India.
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But at the same time, it was also one of the most dangerous routes, because it was known to be haunted.
As a TTE, I had to change my train at a station that was considered to be haunted—Rani station.
In fact, almost every station on this route was considered to be haunted.
And some stations were considered to be less haunted by spirits and more haunted by human entities like Naxalites, rebels, etc.
This route even passed through countries like Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh, making it one of the most dangerous railway routes in the world.
I remember my first day on this route.
As soon as I got down from my train at Rani station, I could feel the presence of something around me—something sinister, something malicious.
At that moment, my heart trembled with fear.
I had never felt this way before, not even when I ventured into dark forests at night during my training days.
It felt as if some invisible force was trying to suck out my soul from my body.
That’s when I realized there was something really wrong with this place!
For a moment, I felt like running away from there.
But I didn’t run away.
Instead, I took a deep breath and prepared myself to face whatever was waiting for me on this dangerous railway route.
At that moment, I felt like a soldier who was standing at the border with his gun and ready to fight for his country against the enemy.
But instead of fighting for my country, I was there to fight against something that was unknown and unseen.
But I didn’t know what I was fighting against and how to fight it.
All I knew was that I was going to face some dangers on this railway route and I had to be prepared for it!
As I stepped out of the train at Rani station, I was not alone; there were other TTEs with me.
But just like every other time, they decided to quit as soon as they heard about the dangers that awaited them on this route.
They said that they didn’t sign up for this and that they were going to resign from their jobs.
At that time, I felt like quitting as well.
But then a thought came to my mind: what about those passengers who were traveling on this route?
They also deserved to travel in peace and be with their families just like other passengers who traveled on different routes.
And what about those who lost their lives due to these dangers?
Would I just let them die and not do anything about it?
That’s when I decided that I was not going to quit or run away from this route!
Instead, I told them that I was ready to face whatever dangers awaited me on this route!
After listening to me, they all looked at me in surprise.
They had never seen anyone so desperate to go on this route before.
I don’t know if they thought that I was brave or stupid.
But it didn’t matter to me because I was determined to make this railway route safe again!
And the only way to do that was by first getting rid of all the dangers that were present on this railway route!
That’s when an idea came to my mind.
I decided that after becoming a full-time TTE, instead of just checking tickets, I would also take up another job!
A job that would help me in saving passengers’ lives and make this railway route safe again!
A job that would help me in fighting against dangers and busting ghosts!
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As I boarded the train, I felt a whirlwind of emotions inside me; excitement, nervousness, and sadness all at once.
I was excited because it was my first day as a full-time TTE in the Indian Railways, and I was going to start a new chapter of my life—a chapter that I had been waiting for so long!
I was nervous because it was going to be a tough journey, and I didn't know what awaited me on this mysterious route of the North East.
And I was sad because I was leaving Goa, the place where I was born and brought up, and it held so many memories for me—some good and some bad.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so did my time in Goa.
For as long as I could remember, Goa had been a constant backdrop to my life with its serene beaches, lush greenery, and beautiful churches and temples; it had always been there when I needed it, and it had shaped me into who I was today.
As I stood on the platform, waiting for the train to depart, I couldn't help but feel nostalgic as memories of all the good times I had spent here flashed before me.
I had spent all my childhood here, playing on the beaches, riding my bicycle along the narrow lanes, and celebrating festivals with my family.
I remembered those carefree days when I would come here with my friends and we would play football on the beaches for hours until the sun went down.
And I remembered those happy days when I would come here with my family and we would celebrate festivals at home, sharing sweets, and having a good time.
As I stood there, lost in my thoughts, someone called me.
It was one of the TTEs who was going with me on this train.
“Shikhar, what are you doing here?The train is about to leave,” he said.
I snapped back to reality.
“Sorry,” I said.
I picked up my bag, adjusted my cap, and followed him into the train.
Just as we were about to enter our compartment, he stopped me and looked around to make sure no one was listening to us.
“Hey, Shikhar,” he whispered.
“I have heard that this route is not safe, and that people here are dangerous.
And also, that there are many haunted places on this route.
I think we made a mistake by choosing this route.
I heard that we have to change the train at a haunted station called Rani station.
It’s very scary there!
And not just that, I also heard that people from the North East are not good; they are very rude, and they don’t like outsiders.
And they also eat weird things like snakes, frogs, etc.
And they don’t even speak Hindi properly; they speak some other language called Assamese, which is very difficult to understand.
They look like Chinese people.
I don’t know how we are going to survive on this route!
He said all of this in a single breath, as if he had just seen a ghost right in front of him.
I looked at his face; he was sweating profusely and his eyes were wide open with fear in them.
I wanted to tell him that he was overreacting and that he shouldn’t believe in all these rumors.
But I didn’t say anything because I knew he wouldn’t believe me anyway.
Instead, I just smiled at him and shook my head in disbelief.
After listening to him, I felt like punching him in the face for being so negative!
But I didn’t do it.
Instead, I just ignored him and walked away from there.
The train departed on time; as soon as it left Goa, I knew my life was about to change forever!
As I stood in front of the compartment assigned to me, a man approached me from behind.
“Hey, Shikhar!” he said.
I turned around; it was another TTE who was going with me on this train.
“Hey!” I replied.
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“I’m Aarav Singh,” he said as he extended his hand towards me for a handshake.
He was tall and lean, with a calm and composed demeanor.
He had a fair complexion and deep-set eyes with a mysterious look in them that made him look even more handsome!
I shook hands with him.
“Shikhar Sharma,” I said as I introduced myself.
“Are you new here?”
he asked as we walked towards the compartment assigned to us by the senior TTE Mr.Ravi who was standing there with a key in his hand.
“I have been working as a TTE for almost 3 years,” I said.
“Oh cool!” he replied as he looked out of the window for a moment before turning towards me again.
“I’m new here,” he said with a smile on his face.
It looked like he too was lost in his thoughts just like I was before I met him!
I wanted to ask him what he was thinking about but before I could say anything, the senior TTE Mr.Ravi interrupted us.
“Alright boys; pay attention,” Mr.Ravi said as he looked at us.
“We have to attend to the A1 compartment today.
I’m giving this key to you,” he said as he handed me the key which we would use later to unlock the A1 compartment door for our duties.
“Don’t lose it!”
“Okay sir,” I replied as I took the key from his hand and put it inside my pocket.
“Now let’s go and check the tickets of the passengers of B1 and B2 compartments,” he said as he turned around and started walking towards the next compartment where we would meet the passengers of our assigned compartments and check their tickets before we settled down in our respective compartments for our duties in this journey.
The train wasn’t too crowded today; so we could easily check the tickets of all the passengers of both compartments without any problems.
As soon as we entered our reserved compartment (B1 & B2), we were greeted by a group of young college students who seemed very excited about their journey!
One of the girls stood up from her seat and walked towards us.
“Are you guys new here?”
she asked as she looked at us in amazement.
We both smiled at her.
“Yes, we are,” we replied in unison.
“Wow!” she said as she looked at her friends.
“Welcome to our train!”
The other students also stood up from their seats to greet us.
We shook hands with all of them, one by one.
Just then, Mr.Ravi entered the compartment.
We turned around to look at him.
“Hello passengers!” he said as he greeted everyone.
“My name is Mr.Ravi, senior TTE.”
“I’m going to be your TTE in this journey,” he said as he smiled at them.
“I hope everyone is comfortable right now!”
“Yes sir!” they all replied in unison.
“Alright then, I want to tell you guys that as a TTE, our job is not just to check your tickets; but we are also responsible for ensuring your comfort and safety throughout the journey,” he said as he looked at all of them.
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