Of Indian Railways and Train Journeys
by Sneha Subramanian Kanta
Train journey in Indian Railways
I’ve always been fascinated by train journeys and train platforms, railway stations and the like. That said, I have a fondness for Indian Railways; part of it because I feel there is something so earthy, bucolic, rustic and real about them. There are many train journeys that I’ve been a part of.
Also, train journeys to me are synonymous of the windows and a plethora of little stories unfolding through the small outlet. Each time the train passes by of a rural station, sights of narrow lanes and a farmer or ladies carrying a pot of water on their heads fascinate me. While often passing by small, unknown stations, I’ve seen groups of young children waiting to catch a glimpse of the train. If you are traveling by the Sleeper class, many a times; you can wave back to these unknown friends.
A two-three day train journey need not essentially be boring. Sometimes, just hearing conversations of your co-passengers may provide you with a really enthralling experience. For instance, I’ve had an encounter with a lady who was a school principal. Apologies for the stereotype, but she had huge glasses, a prudent facial expression all throughout the journey. What amazed me was how she could manage to keep such a straight face all the time. However, that said, I must here mention that when she purchased some juice for herself, I did catch a glimpse of smile on the corners of her lips. This childlike ecstasy on the face of even the strictest person one knows comes when there’s a sense of being unplugged.
For most of the times, we’re all so occupied with lives, that there is no time to relax. Another thing I like about train journeys is passing through sights of mountains, hills, plateaus and the like. When one has company, it can be so beautiful doing nothing; but keeping your eyes gazed on the passing sights of wonderful delights of nature. Just the fact that you can wear plain cotton trousers and a comfortable tee shirt and stare outside the windows can sometimes be a striker for your dwindling creativity.
Getting down at train junctions, looking at the people on the platforms, buying various kinds of foodstuffs at all stations; all are little pleasures of life that a train journey gives. It is also a good place to see how many different kinds of creatures; and when I say different, I mean distinctively different human beings exist. Some are quiet, some outspoken, and some are happy; going to meet their near and dear ones and the others, sadly returning back from the meeting.
Beautiful it can be; the simple joys of life. A train journey is one of them…and I simply love them!
…Except when a loved one leaves you and goes far away, miles apart…I’d like to give a suggestion here: always go with your loved ones and sit up and talk the evening and enjoy the light evening shadows falling and dissolving into nightfall.
I always look forward to having a train journey with a loved one in tow. They never fail to fascinate me.The End