The first thought that comes to me is that the train is an economic and safe way of travelling than going by road. If we leave the 10 percent of 1.3 billion people of India, then everybody's life is associated with train. Some may have good memories and some may have bad. I too have a melange of both ,and most of them are good.
I remember, in my childhood, going to my maternal grandfather 's place. It was a four hour journey from Bhopal, and it had its own excitement. I would buy chips, always take window seat and stare out for a long long time. I use to imagine a sword pointing away from the train, a big strong sword which I would hold in my hands, and then everything would cut into two pieces as the train would move. I use to wait for mountains whenever there were green fields, and use to wait for caves whenever there were mountains.
My mother sometimes use to chat with the fellow ladies and kids, and they would ask for our home place, my name, my age, my school and everything about me and nothing else. I wonder why everybody of us want to know everthing about another man's kid. My mom as gentle as always would tell them, and in return ask about their lives and kids. She sometimes shared food with them. My grandfather's place was a village of around 500 people. The station only had 2 platforms, and there always were very few people whenever we go there. My grandfather had always come to receive us and we use to cross tracks and go to home. We use to spend one month every year in the village and then return back to my hometown. When I was a kid, I had travelled most in summers because it was the time when every kid goes to different places and travel.
As I grew up, my visits to my grandfather's place reduced, and studies took over prime importance in my life. After schooling, I joined an engineering college in Indore, and sometimes used train to travel to Bhopal. With time, I started loving to travel alone and when you do not have to necessarily indulge in chatting with somebody. I would relish that time, would listen my favorite playlist and read a novel. I always think that a train journey is going to come and I could finish up this novel that time.
It is not that I always disliked talking with people on the train. It sometimes give us good friends or an unforgettable experience. Two of such experiences are worth sharing and one of them was when I met an Italian on a train. I was going to Mathura and we both got side lower and upper birth, so we were there facing each other. Our talks went from his town, which I don't remember as this was almost a 10 year old conversation, his hobbies and why he visited India. He wanted to know my religion, in which part of India did I belong, what did I study and why was I going to Mathura? It was a good conversation, and one can realize that even today I remember bits and pieces of that conversation.
Another experience was of 7 years ago when I was going to Pune for my first job, and I met this guy younger to me by 3 years or so. He was a very enthusiastic guy, crazy and passionate, and what made me happy was that he was interested in talking to me rather than me to him. Even today I am connected with this guy on social media and I see him as a founder of a startup, and I feel that it is good to be connected with such crazy and passionate people.
These experiences in life make you feel contended and happy, and also make you believe in the corner of your heart that you are lucky enough to be born in this generation of transport and communnication.
Today, I am 29 years old and am travelling from Gurgaon to my hometowm, Bhopal. I do feel sometimes that air travel saves time, and if you have frequent travels then that makes you believe in a myth that you are rich. It has its own importance, and a journey by a train has its own. Today is one such travel where my wife is sleeping silently on a lower birth and I on the upper birth have all the time to think, read, ponder and blog that I am doing right now. Haha...
I wish and prey that everybody get such lovely experiences in their lives.