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Friend.Chocoholic.Tantrum-thrower.Child.Woman.Whatever !!!!!!!!

Blogging Challenge: Day 26

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I miss travelling by train. Its been a realllllly long time since I have taken a long train journey. When I was in college, the 40 hour journey every few months from Cal – Pune was absolutely routine. I could tell you which stations would come at what time, and  what food at which station. I would spend hours just gazing out of the window or we’d arm ourselves with some chips & coke and sit at the door (yes I know that’s dangerous). Onetime a friend’s slipper also fell off and she threw the other one away and borrowed another pair from one of us. We’d play never-ending games of antakshari, dumb charades, rummy & catching up on gossip. Train journeys were a great bonding session between seniors & juniors and broke the ice many a time.

When travelling alone, I’d catch up on my reading or sleep (I was famous for sleeping through a good part of the journey and have even had concerned co-passengers wake me up to ask to if I was okay). I’d be-friend my co-passengers and realised that most old uncles & aunties usually traveled with alot of food, so I’d run & fill their bottle or get them some oranges from the station in return for lots of khaana 😛

I miss those carefree days. There is no fun in travelling by air. Its all a rush – make sure  your baggae is within the weight limit, brave the traffic & reach the airport on time at least an hour before the flight, show a photo – id & enter the airport, stand in line & check-in, then again stand in line & clear security check, then kill time till they announce boarding, board the flight, switch off phone, take out a book/magazine/ newspaper & read or work on the laptop. As soon as the flight land, everyone’s already switching on their phones, getting their hand baggage out of the overhead compartment & eagerly waiting (and pushing) to get off the flight. Where’s the charm in the travel?

Train travel is so different. Brave the traffic & reach the station about 15-20 minutes before arrival time, find a coolie & haggle with him, then run to the platform. If it was a 5 minutes stop, there would be a crowd as someone confirms the bogey number, the TT would be poaid 200 bucks to get the seat confirmed,   someone getting off, some getting in, luggage being handed in and out by random people, someone running to fill the bottle. If the train was to start from that point, a scout would get in & scope out the seat & sit down while yelling for the passengers to get in fast. Luggage would be stowed comfortably under the seats (no restrictions on luggage), the bottle would be hung from the hook, food would be kept carefully – in short make it home for the next 24 – 48 hours. We’d be asked to help the old people & they’d b asked to keep an eye on the young college kids. People would get off just as the whistle would sound & everyone would rush to the windows to wave good-bye, a few tears somewhere shed. Then, we’d get down to the business of knowing our co-passengers with whom you would spend the next 24-48 hours, exchanging names, professions, trying to find a common link, making conversation, finding a friend in common somewhere, people would change into shorts & pajamas and take out their slippers. Some hawker will come in yelling ‘Chhhaaiii, cofffeeeee, biskooot’ while the attendant took orders for lunch/ dinner, some co-passengers would carry food from home and very sweetly offer to share (for a hostel kid, ghar ka khana were the magic words & never did we say no). Then after diner would start the business of setting the bags to one side & getting the berths ready, someone will invariable bang their head on the middle berth while kids would scamper across the top berths, then a rush while everyone would visit the loos before sleeping, a few of us would read till late with the reading light on, ghost stations with no names being crossed when the train would stop at some station and some harrassed person would get in and spread his bedding on the floor because he didn’t have a confirmed seat. The mornings with the day stretched ahead of you endlessly while you have breakfast, the halla & the gaalis when the person in the middle berth woke up late, the fights for the window seat, the ludo & chess being taken out, the counting of hours & the anticipation to reach the destination – be it Pune or Cal, both were home. Numbers & addresses would be hurriedly exchanged between new-found friends and promises made to stay in touch as we reached the destination.


Now that’s what I call travel. Where’s the charm in the lifeless automated air-travel where?


Written by SupMM

May 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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4 Responses

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  1. hey…a perfect post for train journeys..:) i so so love travelling by train, righlt u said, air travel is NO fun….i wrote a similar post here..http://forgottogrowup.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/journeys-by-train-day-3/



    May 30, 2011 at 12:06 am

    • What a coincidence? I read your post – we’r both echoing such similar sentiments 🙂

      I think we all miss the lesiurely train travel in this days of hustle-bustle


      May 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

  2. I love train journeyrs too did one with ojas after a long time and all of us enjoyed it


    May 31, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    • I love train journeys. Ojas must have had a wonderful time I’m sure. Train travel actually feels like travel unlike air travel


      June 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

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