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Travelling India - Experiencing The Indian Railways


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The Travelogue


Actually, I 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 play.

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 your family.

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 [email protected]

I'm 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.

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