Trains and Indian railways have been an integral part of my life. For as long as I remember, I have spent many of my early years travelling in trains.
Being an army child I have been fortunate to travel and see large parts of India. I remember the days when we lived in Shillong and undertook 36 hr train journeys from New Delhi to Guwahati in the legendary Brahmaputra Express, or the memorable Mumbai – Chennai journey in the famous Chennai Express.
I share a love – hate relationship with trains. I enjoy these travels and yet I dread them in many ways.
This year I have travelled alone quite frequently, so I decided to pen down a few thoughts about travelling by the Indian Railways:
- I find myself extremely anxious and nervous at the onset of every journey.
- I have secretly prayed for a lower berth in all my travels so I can have the window seat.
- My thoughts wander about my co-passengers’ perceptions on seeing a single girl travelling.
- I am always worried about how am I going to spend my time alone.
- There have been travels where I have spent the entire journey chatting and playing cards with absolute strangers whom I have met only for a couple of hours before. J
- There have been travels, where I have been horrified by my co-passengers and their “looks” and hoped that I reach my destination soon.
- The best way to pass my time has been reading, listening to music and sometimes, the best option-sleeping.
- The landscapes across the country enrich the journey and give me time to relax and rejuvenate.
- I have had the rather unpleasant company of cockroaches and even rats on a journey or two.
- The views of sunrise and sunset, and the feelings they invoke just cannot be put down in words. Every time I travel, I am left longing for more.
I’m sure many of you will have your own take on travelling by Indian trains; it would be great to hear your travelling tales … please do comment and share your experiences!