Life and relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

Ode to Indian Railways – People and Stories

Indian train coverOur Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi said, “The Indian Railways will
become the growth engine of nation’s ‘Vikas Yatra’.

Trains in India carry approximately 22 million passengers a day. Either to meet ends, or for a leisure trip, trains have always been by peoples’ side. Indian railways has gifted us not only a transport but also, a means to understand people coming from different verticals. If one wants to know Indians a little more, he or she should travel by train.

Indian train 4Take a look at the type of people; you come across while doing long distance train journeys.

Railway SME – Have an RAC? In waiting list? Seek his advice, he will have some solution for your plights even if non-applicable. It is worth noticing that these people find special interest in talking about tickets, platforms, duration of a train, etc. This is where these people derive their pleasure from and love talking about all things that go around trains, railways, stations and platforms.

Mr. Geography Honors – If railway SME wasn’t enough, read about his brother here. He seems to be abreast with the map of India, he knows from where the train will change its engine, and where it will change the track. Meet Mr. Geography honors who has strange affinity for figuring out the places, how the train will lead, where it will end up and much more!

That Fidgety Guy – Super restless and round the clock awake kind of a passenger. He is the only one who desperately waits for the TT, waits for the stations, is worried why the train is taking time in starting? is the engine unwell? Is anxious because the train got late…..His tensions could have been leveraged in better place but not on a poor train.

Washerwoman – Many a times, people often forget that there is a thin line of difference between a regular day at home, and a day spent in a train. They continue to spend it like usual. This washerwoman is the one who thinks sitting in a place for more than two minutes is a kind of crime so, she decides to keep shuffling between the bathroom and her seat throughout the journey. You may find her with weapons like steel utensils, her wet hands jerking suddenly on people sitting peacefully and doing some more unnecessary things. Sit quiet madam – what are tissue papers meant for?

indian train 1Nature Lover – They are rare, but, they are real. They love looking outside of the train, squish their nose on the glass window, and admire the nature. They seem to be swoon over by the trees, people at the station, animals, sun and the moon. These are best people out there.

Kumbhkaran’s Fourth Generation – They book tickets only to sleep in the train. They never got sleep otherwise in their lives. Right from the beginning of the journey, they take up the upper birth and surrender themselves to a deep slumber. They get up only to eat. They may look like humans but sound like animals who sleep for most of the year and eat only to survive. But they are good people!

No – Nonsense – He is least concerned with other people traveling in the same bogie. He patiently waits for his station and doesn’t indulge in striking any conversation. There is nothing else to talk about him – seriously, no-nonsense.Indian railway 66

The Annoying Kid – Karma always comes back to you and sometimes in the form of an annoying kind in a long journey. He wants everything from everybody – maybe the snack that you are eating. He may dangle his little feet right on your lap and peep deep inside your mobile. Silly baby! The toddler may have bandwidth of doing a lot of things that you may not even think of but then he is a silly baby. He may want to pee and poop when everything has been settled and he can’t see his mother sitting in peace. The lower birth that you got after a lot of struggle may require your sacrifice because the mother- baby duo needs lower birth and they had middle one on paper.

Food Family – The family that eats together, stays together. They bring their own kitchen, plates, spoons, bowls and inventory of snacks. If you are traveling with them, you will never stay hungry. They don’t believe in getting food from outside. It’s not about just eating. They are highly disciplined in keeping the food neat, tidy and well placed. They will first put the newspaper and cover the entire birth (this is why we publish newspaper), big bowls and hot cases will appear as lead actors, and then will appear all the side actors. Sweets have guest appearance – come and vanish. The food family passes its entire time by wrapping, unwrapping and eating. Happy people on Earth!

Singers – They are college students heading on an excursion with their teachers. They are not a bunch of students in train if they haven’t screamed at the top of their voice when a train passes through a tunnel and definitely, they are also not a bunch of students if they haven’t played Antakshri. They are also a not a bunch of college students if they haven’t eyed the pretty girl in another bogie. These things are part of the itinerary in any college trip. La-lala-lalaala!

Trains in any way are a medium to bond with fellow passengers and a way to know Indian train 5more about them. Of all the brands, Paper Boat (Beverages Company) has significantly contributed by reminding us of our childhood train journeys, the bookshop owner at the stations, passengers, so on and so forth with their advertising campaigns. It is due to their promotional pictures and ads that we connected again with those moments in our life, which we once, spent as a part of our routine existence.

In this fast and Smartphone driven life, when we don’t have enough time to travel, we often forget that we have come far away from that simplicity.

P.S. – Pictures taken from Paper Boat advertisements and Google.

4 Comments

  1. Lucid and enjoyable write-up, covered all the scenarios that one may experience in a Railway journey in India.

  2. I can totally relate to it. We used to take a family train trip to Kerala almost every year for summer break while in school. Made friends on train, exchanged telephone numbers and never really called back… Would have been in touch if mobile phones and whatsapp existed then 🙂
    Thanks for this reminder of the good old days!

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