Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ah Rail...

Everyone of us have some tale to tell when it comes to the great Indian railways.

Right from the days when we use to uggle and guggle and when a train journey in itself was a holiday, we have had fond memories of the black circle engine that pulled the red boggies.

When we use to travel with out parents to far off destinations we would wonder when we would graduate from staring out of the coveted window seat to the much exciting standing at the pedestals of the door.

The Giant bridges that stood on surging gigantic rivers,the dark long tunnels that appeared to be a gateway to the other world, the urge to stick out the neck so as to witness the breathtaking sight of the train in curve, all have left an indelible mark on our mind.

The long hours of the blissful journey gave ample opportunity to develop relations and friends. It was not very uncommon to share numbers and address of co-passengers and part with promises to keep in touch. Rarely were those promises broken.

The Majumdars,the Pandeys, the Singh, all would become part of one family as right from toothpaste, water, lunch,seats and even towels were shared.

Love stories too flourished in those not so small compartments. Eyes met,glances exchanged and a love story was all yours to talk, experience and write about. In winters of 1991 I was fortunate enough to be a part of one such tale. The fifteen hours journey was too small to even think of talking to her. But as we sat and waited for the inevitable to happen, love did flourish. And the epic love story ended sweetly with the colorful 'James choclate ' acting as the parting gift.

The urge to get down at stations, the craving to have tea from the station vendor, and the expectation of getting window seat, all added to the already jumping excitement. Those days the neighbor hood would know one month in advance that one of the near by family is going off for a hoilday. And 3 days before the actual journey, people would flock at homes, offering advice, giving eatables and clothes that was to be given to someone who would be waiting at one of the the station.

People come and moments go...some of them are remembered some of them are missed.

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