Train to Payangadi

Train to Payangadi

There are thousands of daily train commuters around the world who use the train to reach their workplace. I was one of them for almost one full year. In this article, I share my train and work experiences and I dedicate this article to all the train lovers.

My job as the Assistant Surgeon was very simple – just manage the OP at the hospital. And I was doing it without much problem either. The OP time started at 9am and extended till 1pm. By OP I mean ‘Out Patients’. On some days the consultation would even extend to 2pm. The problem was that the hospital was around 120 kms  from my home !!!

Most of the express trains and some of the superfast trains running the length of Kerala has a one minute halt at Payangadi Railway station. I have to wake up at 5am.

Get ready by 5.30am and then run to the bus stop near my house to catch the bus at 5.40am. I’ll reach the Kozhikode railway station at 6am and by 6.15am the Trivandrum-Mangalore express will arrive on the fouth platform. On the first few days I had to get into the General compartment. If you are living in Kerala, you’ll know what it is like to travel in a General compartment.

The train will reach Payangadi at 8.30am and from there I’ll have to either go by bus or an auto-rickshaw to Muttam hospital. My poor mother prepares the breakfast for me which I’ll have after reaching the hospital. You would be wondering as to why I am not staying there? Well the answer is simple…. I am homesick ! I was a person who didn’t like to travel, especially in a train. This job taught me two things : to wake up early, and the supreme skill of sitting and sleeping 😉

On my very first day at the PHC (Primary Health Centre) I met the Medical Officer there, a lady doctor who has been serving the area for more than three years, the Health Inspector, another lady who like me was commuting daily to Vadakkara. The female dominated hospital also had one Clerk, whom I thought was partially deaf because she was shouting instead of talking, and the Office assistant (previously known as the Peon). The hospital was well maintained, with clean floors, seating facility for patients and by-standers, a television, and even Inter-locking bricks laid from the gate to the entrance. I was impressed to be honest.

Payangadi is a Muslim populated area. Every house in Payangadi and particularly Muttam has NRI money running in its veins. Like my home place, it is also a coastal area. The major illness in the population is ‘Non Communicable Diseases’ which includes Hypertension, Diabetes, Coronary artery disease, Dyslipidemia etc. After finishing the OP I went to Payangadi in search for lunch. I found three hotels there which served only non-veg meals. My return train to Kozhikode was only at 3.15pm and so I had sufficient time to explore the little town.

The Mangalore-Chennai Mail would reach Kozhikode at 5.15pm and from there it took me 30 minutes to reach home. After the very first day itself I knew that this was going to be tough. But the travel and the tiredness associated with it was nothing compared to what I had to experience after two months. So the next day when I reached the hospital, the Medical Officer (MO) gave me another big news which I’ll share on my next post.

P.S : all the train timings mentioned are just theoretical and hugely susceptible to unimaginable changes 😛

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