Is postponing expensive?


When I was invited to speak in a Seminar on ‘IT for Healthcare’ at Bangalore,  I accepted and then looked at the availability of train tickets. I planned to leave by the early morning Shatabdi from Chennai to Bangalore and there were about 149 tickets available for the date I was looking for.  Although I could have and should have made the booking immediately, I chose to do it later.  That proved to be quite an expensive decision.

And the next time I looked at the ticket availability, it had gone to Wait List @ 43. Panic set in. I looked at other trains the previous night and all of them were showing quite similar wait-listed status.  Left with little choice, I made a booking in Shatabdi and hoped for a quick confirmation.  I was quite happy to see a rapid improvement to 23 within a few hours but then it was a slow descent.  The day before the journey, the status was still WL 11.  What if I don’t get a confirmation?

Then I did a quick check on the Tatkal availability and made a confirmed booking.  And then i cancelled the previous ticket.

In this process, I lost Rs.35 + Rs.22 (ICRTC Charges on booking) on cancellation and paid Rs.150 more for Tatkal.  In money terms, it amounted to Rs.207 but in terms of the time I wasted hours doing 2 bookings and 1 cancellation besides the unnecessary stress and tension.

Moral of the lesson: If you can do something, do it NOW.



  1. September 4, 2013 at 6:43 am

    i cant agree more… you are lucky you ended up paying a small amout. I lost 15K in 1 day. Read this –

    • badrirag said,

      September 4, 2013 at 6:46 am


      Not only did you lose money, you also suffered from a severe diarrhea!!! (Going by the number of shits in ur post). Thanks for sharing.


      PS: Btw, how did you find my post?

  2. Ramesh Raghuraman said,

    September 4, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Hi Badri,

    Thanks for the post.

    You had 3 options.
    1. Book at planning stage (avbl 149)
    2. Book at panic stage (wl 43)
    3. Book using tatkal at last minute.

    By doing at 1, you would not have lost much money. By doing at 3, you would not have lost much time. Its because of 2, you lost both money and time.

    This is similar to half-well principle (paadhi kinaru gnayam). Either you jump full or dont jump. Doing a half jump will end up in the well.

    Therefore the second moral should be if you want to postpone, do it only at the flag end.


    • badrirag said,

      September 4, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Hey Ramesh,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. in fact, i could have waited longer for the waiting list to move to confirmation but that was a risk that I felt wasn’t worth taking. Hence the third decision.

      Given IRCTC tardiness, i was surprised that i could get the tatkal confirmation even though i saw seats were available. my waitlisted ticket was my insurance, in case the tatkal didnt come through.

      ‘padhi kinaro’ ‘muzhu kinaro’ I do not know!


  3. N Ramesh said,

    September 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

    And that is the peril of having a formal high end education and not to mention possessing a string of professional qualifications, including MBA, for it invariably corrupts and deludes proper human thinking faculty and perception combine (the so-called Human Intelligence and the Sixth Sense !), about which I have already spoken to you umpteen number of times in the past and hence this one other experience in your life which is no major surprise to me as it is business as usual for you !

    Thus Spake the New Age Sage !

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