So my mom wanted to book train tickets for some of our relatives, from Chennai to Bombay. She calls up the Indian Railways helpline, but their servers are down and a recorded message asks you to check back later.
Never fear, the internet is here. Or so we thought. Mom wants to check ticket availability. Since I'm not sure of their URL, I do a quick google search. I take the nearest link, the FAQs at IndianRail.gov.in (which incidentally has this helpful suggestion for optimum viewing - "Best viewed at 1024X768 resolution with Internet Explorer (default settings) and Other browsers"). They have a link to internet ticket reservations, which takes me to the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation site. Sure enough, they have an option to check availability. I click on it, looking forward to quick check, when a login page opens up. Must have clicked the wrong link, I think. I try again. Same page. Damn, so i have to register just to check for ticket availability. Nevermind, i say, it'll take me about five minutes. So i go through the motions, fill up a standard form, and submit it. There, that's done. Let me check the ticket availability now. I click on the link, and it takes me to a different website.
Let me recap that. I register on the site by filling out a form, login again, and when i try to check availability, it TAKES ME TO A WHOLE NEW SITE ACCESSIBLE DIRECTLY BY IT'S URL! SO WHAT THE BLOODY HELL DID I NEED TO REGISTER FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE??
So onto this suckass new site, I enter the train number. Then the page reloads and i have to select the exact train, from a list containing all of one choices. And then when it refreshes again, i have a wide choice of three days to check, today, tomorrow and the day after. Great, I wanted to check for next month.
God bless the Indian railways, cuz I sure as hell aint gonna.