Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Train Times

Today ,I am travelling by train after quite some time . Off late I have switched on to road and air travel- mostly due to time compulsions . But I always believed that I am very much a train-person. I feel totally at home in trains . This time however, I found myself bit nervous while dealing with the crowd and chaos that prevailed on the platform. I was kind of relived when I was alone in my coupe and the train left station . The familiarity of sounds and sight returned soon afterwards. While reading a wonderful book by Joanne Harris I found my mind was going back remembering – my train times . The time spent during my train journeys . I am surprised how we always felt comfortable travelling in ordinary class . The questions of security and hygiene never bothered us much in those days. Striking conversation with strangers was never difficult. The alertness , the guarded behavior or the fear of getting cheated somehow was not this much. I was remembering the heated debates on politics, cricket and all other general subjects with the co-passengers. It seems everyone was interested in talking . Today of course I find almost everyone either playing with his/her mobile, laptop, mp3 player or sleeping . I cannot complaint because I too am doing the same. People are curt and businesslike in talking with co-passengers . In my university days , it was difficult for me to catch a train from Allahabad and not to find someone or the other from the university in it. Instantly the conversation will start about comparing different departments, professors, hostels etc . Looking back I think it was quite funny . It was somehow so important to prove our point . People would not mind sharing food or magazines, Even the railways staff would at times take part in these regular train discussions. I was never a card player …so my favorite way to spent time was to look out of window . My mind can still visualize those scenes. Later while travelling to Bengal, I realized how dry and barren those fields were in comparison to the green Bengal land. Thankfully this years monsoon was very good and even in north India the fields are full of crops – green and prosperous. A happy sign to witness from the train window.
Incidentally the train experience is also never uniform. Its different while you travel in the toy train from shimla and different when you travel in Konkan railways. I cannot help remembering the happy days of my two Bharat Darshans when we had spent a lot of time(usually nights) in the trains. It is great fun to travel in a group. The continuous singing , teasing, dumb charade and chatting is unforgettable. I still remember when from my university- we were taken on a study tour. What fun we had in train journey to and fro. Of course it must be a nuisance for the fellow passengers. A bunch of noisy college goers are hardly ideal travel companions and we really behaved like brats. So much so our HOD had to get up in the night and shout at us. The giggling and pillow chats continued despite that . Travelling is always interesting, but the flood of memories most of us face while travelling by trains is incomparable . Each one of us has his/her own unforgettable train times.

1 comment:

Satish Kumar said...

Great again!
Gone through all these starting from Failure------- to ----Train Memories --through University. Feel that these have nearly touched all parts of life. Train time has reminded the old memories of Prof. Barthwal. Especially, when we could not get welcome P from the seniors and Prof. has intervened. Any way all the write-ups are excellent, emphasise clear picture of subject chosen.