wish to write a song but I’m doing what I’m best at .Amidst,
this beautiful scenery in the morn, squatting in a moving
train, my hand trembles while I try to write But I have to.
I feel an urge to pen down my feelings. If I raise my head,
I find a crowd. In the train that comprise of many unknown
faces that I have never seen; hundreds of strangers are
bustling through the corridors & few are busy day dreaming
to avoid the feeling of boredom.
If I turn
my head to the right, I find hundreds of trees speeding along
with the train, the farms, the lakes, the cattle, the men
curiously staring, and the stations that come & go by
during our journey. All I have to do is just sit &
watch lifelessly & motionlessly staring blankly at nature’s
The clouds are covering
the sky & probably it is going to rain. But the train unaffected
by this fact, is speeding along finding its way through tunnels,
mountains, rocky terrains to take me to my destination. It’s so
similar to the journey of one’s life.
Life takes us through
our ups & downs, thick & thin in order to complete our journey
to salvation. It is just like this lifeless train; a mere medium
for a journey to eternity .Though this train is lifeless, I trust
it like you trust someone blindly, someone you have immense faith
in. Just when I think of it, I look outside the window again. The
nature is still playing along with the wind that is racing at its
highest speed. Each particle is displaying its hidden talents to
the ‘taken-for-granted’ audience present in the train.
Although the weather is prefect, the
scenery beautiful I still has that persistent feeling of boredom.
Even for that the railway has a solution. It has a pantry car with
workers trying their precious best to cook in the shaky train. There
are several dishes, appetizers, snacks, beverages, & even when
you least expect it, they offer you desserts too! And after
you have had all of it, there are poor sweepers (most of them physically
challenged) & vendors who are also poor but rich at heart.
It’s not necessary
for you to do charity here but you can see their satisfied
smile when you offer a single rupee in kindness. This is
the joy of Indian railway. It speeds & slows, it treats
& pours in a lot of adventure & you get to meet all
kinds of people at one place.
And the best
seat to occupy if you are a teenager like me, in sleeper,
ac one, ac two & ac three tiers, is the side lower berth.
You get a feeling of your own territory in that small seat.
There are two windows, two seats that can be converted into
a single berth & you also get a solitary mood of a poet
that comes free of cost.
Being an Indian &
a frequent traveler, I’m sure you already know this entire but I
am not here to teach you, my only objective is to guide you my friend
through my journey.
Even though you might
feel exhausted sleeping & sitting all the way throughout your
endless journey, you’ll find it more interesting & enjoying
than any flights you board. You must be thinking that I’m getting
paid for this but the truth is that I’m a mere passenger who is
trying to enjoy a one night trip to a pilgrim place. What is most
amazing about this journey is that I’m not bored now even without
my cell phone & Ipod which are both low in battery. The only
reason behind this is that I get to hear this musical tone every
now & then, “paper soap, video game, board games, playing
cards, yes playing cards, madam, sir & kids, my playing cards
for all ages”, sung by a blind vendor who tactfully & melodiously
sings as he moves from one compartment to another.
Then there are workers from the pantry car singing or maybe declaring,
“chai garam (hot tea), madhur vada (a fried delight), dal vada (another
fried delicacy), cold drinks, paani, neer (mineral water), masala
popcorn (salted & spicy popcorn)”. Then there are those workers
who’ll explain you patiently, the whole menu available for breakfast,
lunch & dinner which obviously you get to choose from. Even
at the stations, you’ll find free drinking water (I don’t take the
guarantee of its purity) & the commodities that you wish to
buy as a souvenir of your journey. There are also ice-cream delights
that you get to eat at small cost(if you love ice creams as much
as I do).You can hear ’ vanilla, pista , butterscotch, strawberry’
& if you are lucky you’ll get the most common yet delightful
treat in India ‘the chocobar’!
When you start indulging yourself in it, it appears like a thick
chocolate bar but when you finish that coating, you get a tasty
vanilla bar to gulp in.It is similar to those people who pretend
to be tough ones but are actually quite soft –hearted. And if you
are of my age & are traveling with your family & you happen
to get this seat just for yourself while others sit on the two lower
berths & you also start writing aimlessly about your journey,
you’ll find some caring passengers who’ll remark as they pass by,’
maybe she is preparing for some exam! ’& you get to guffaw after
those kind passengers have passed by & share this joke with
Also, the Indian train is the best place for newly wed couples.
They get to spend some quality time together. Maybe the designer
of this train would have designed the two side berths for couples
only. But people from different age groups travel together in the
train. The railway reminds us of our endless journey of life where
you’ll find memories speeding along with you & you’ll receive
small treats for your happiness.
The railway bonds us together making it the perfect place to be
in while traveling with your family because you learn to be patient,
you learn different things from different people, you share views,
you discuss weather ,gout, family & occupation & who knows
the train from’ dil se’ to ‘jab we met’ might help you find your
soul mate !who knows! It is this suspense & surprise package
that the railway offers for free! it is up to you to decline it
or accept it. While you decide, I’ll travel all those miles again
& I’ll be right back to hear from you soon!
Wish you a happy & safe journey!
Contributing Author: ADITI BAKSHI
a freelance writer currently studying in my 12th std. I've attended
the creative writing workshop conducted by writer & critic VIJAY
NAIR and hence, have got my formal training about article, short
story, novel, screenplay writing & poetry writing from the former.
I pursue great interest in any form of writing & I'm currently
working on my first novel.