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Timeless Train Travel

Life is like a train track, full of possibilities and happiness!    

In the times of jet speed traveling by flight with our noses dived into our phone, Slow experiential traveling by Train has lapsed. Train Travel in India is by far the experience of a lifetime. The whole adventure of a train journey, from boarding until you alight is a deluge of experiences it can be extremely overbearing, thrilling, dusty, smelly, astonishing, and a revelation of sorts!

You may find a railway station chaotic with hoards of people, scampering for their train schedules or just whiling away their time waiting for their delayed train to arrive. The noises from all corners are intemperate and amidst all the chaos, you will find some people sleeping blissfully and fatigued after endless hours of waiting. Just sitting on a platform and watching the world go by, each person different from the other, the buzz and cacophony is a different level altogether without a second of boredom passing in your head.

Train travel is starkly opposite to flying, unlike flying where you can be bored within minutes, a train ride can keep you beguiled for hours on end.

Families share food with other passengers, children warm up to each other playing games and making a monkey ladder of the upper berth by climbing up and down, strangers become friends sharing life’s anecdotes, there is music playing from far end corners of the boogie, and endless banter, food vendors traversing the corridors nonstop, and disparate landscapes stirring past like a film.

Mornings being as early as 5 am on a train journey, with the chai vendor starting his day with loud shrills “Chai Chai”. Food tales on a train ride are never-ending. It is a foodie’s paradise, in terms of experimenting and learning about the varied cuisines and specialties of each region savoring distinctive flavors. Each station is a frenzy of activities, from soft drink vendors piercing clamoring to local food stalls each one selling their hot fresh goodies for passengers to buy and savor, passengers alighting the train for some fresh air on the platform and to experience the fizz of each station. It is chaotic but it is an experience for sure!

Long train journeys can be a good way to spend quality time with oneself or the family and the spouse too. Surprised!!

Reading a book with no one to disturb you, feeling the fresh air in your face of serene landscapes, having undisturbed conversations with a loved one, sitting close to each other, holding hands, sharing a quiet moment, or just listening to music and humming the songs together smiling at each other. Isn’t this romantic! Old world romance I’d say 😉

I do know a few people who still prefer train journeys vis a vis flights for the sheer pleasure of its charm and Me Time!

Train journeys can invade your privacy, make you edgy, can be boisterous too. The charging points may not work, the light may be insufficient, the loo can be extremely smelly, food may not be upto the mark, delayed trains, all that and more! It can be baffling but it leaves a great after taste of beautiful memories to cherish and even recite some interesting stories of co-passengers and incidents to your family at home.

Ironically it has a similarity to life as well…

Life may not always be picture perfect and may not always go as we plan it, but as we traverse along the journey of life, creating memories with strangers who turn to friends and warmth in our hearts as we reminisce about the good times leaving a big smile on our faces, stating the troubles were all worthwhile!

What is your fondest train memory, share with us in comments? 😊

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