Travelling in train now is as common as riding a bicycle., specially in India where train is the most convenient mode of transport offering comfortable and cheap Journey. Matter of fact: India has the fourth largest railway network in the world
I would say that the train journey in India is part of the culture as well. Right from the bye byes and tears, with the farewell said to the friends and families to the ‘Samosa’ vendors strolling through the Train. How can an Indian train journey could be complete without hearing the ‘Chai,Chai’ humming at least once?
As a kid, I was also very much fascinated by these massive big machines that run on rails. While waiting at level cross for train to pass, I wondered about the time, when I will be travelling in this gigantic vehicle. And when I was 10 years old, I had the first taste what it feels like travelling in train. I still can remember the shine in my eyes and the fascination with which I glared at the platform, when the train started moving slowly.
I was travelling with my Father and Mother, and my little brother who was then 4 year old. We were in first class compartment, which was indeed a luxury for us in those times, but attainable because of the fact that my father was a army man then. It was a locked room compartment us, just for us. We enjoyed the little family privacy for the 3 days and 2 nights of journey.
But the real dream got fulfilled even after one year. The time when my father’s regiment moved to another state. The entire unit was packed into a single private train was we moved out as a chartered train. It was a fun filled journey lasted for 7 days. Since it was a kind of chartered train, the other trains had the priority and we moved on when the track was free. Though the actual distance was just for a 3 days journey, I would never complain those days spend in the train. I still could remember the early morning when the slowly crossed the bridge over the Krishna river and entered the ‘Vijayawada station. The station is situated between 3 mountains and the river flows through the mountains. The misty morning in that station is an unforgettable experience ever in my life.
Still I didn’t mention about the dream that got fulfilled in this long journey. During this epic train travel in my life, I got to be in engines of both electric and diesel trains. It was a rare opportunity to have while the train is running. May be a once in a life time opportunity that just got consumed in that early age of mine. But the memories as I always cherish stay on and on with me.
Coming to present, I don’t have the same excitement to travel in train as I used to have in that age. Now, I travel in train occasionally to travel to my home town and back. If the budget allows me, I would prefer to travel in bus than train as I feel a night bus to my home city is less time consuming and comfortable than those extra hours in the train.
Still memories linger around me with each train journey reminding me of those days when I watched the train with excitement and then screaming out loud when I was speeding away in that engine compartment. Quite a memorable memory.