An Experience in Itself

image: tom fisk/ pexels

Looking from the windows of moving trains is an experience in itself. Moving tree, plants, electric and telephone poles, clouds, rail tracks, stations, houses, buildings, and crops of various hues and sizes really make one’s life dynamic, particularly one’s mind.

A lot of memories, ideas and thoughts come across in prospect and retrospect. Despite being inside the train, we feel ourselves a part of the outer world, very close to nature.

Whenever I find an opportunity to travel by train, I pursue this hobby of staring outside from my glass window, and of star gazing during night hours. Sometimes I like to jot down peculiar ideas, that like cool breezes throw themselves into my mind giving enough emotive food.

I’m sure that poets may feel much more creative if they pen down their lyrics in a moving train. Though it may not be easy to use a pen in a moving train, the strokes of pen here and there may result in some interesting hues and angles to one’s thoughts.

But what goes inside the train generates other kinds of creativity. Beggars begging in the name of religion or helplessness, artists showing skills of singing or playing tunes on flute and other musical instruments, pickpockets and cheats inventing and experimenting ways to find their victims, vendors selling tea and snacks, and so on.

New passengers force themselves inside the compartment, while sitting passengers obstruct their ways by hook or by crook. Some intelligent and sophisticated passengers ofย  second sleeper class devise ways to get accommodated in AC coaches by finding friends or acquaintances in those coaches, or just moving around to save themselves from the agony of the mainstream passengers.

Trains play a very important role in joining every nook and corner of the country. They unite millions of hearts. The journey by a train not only helps us reach the places of destination, but also gives an opportunity to meet different kinds of people and to understand their languages, cultures and rich heritage. In any compartment of a train, one may come across a mini-India.

While travelling in a general compartment during a chilly night, I saw a chap boarding the train at a station near Varanasi, while others inside were trying to stop him. Somehow he managed his entry, and finding no seat in the compartment made a room for himself on the floor and started dozing off.

As he had no woollens or blanket, he started shivering, and to my utter surprise, I saw the same fellows, who were not allowing him to enter the compartment a few minutes back, sharing their own blankets and seats with him.

This sort of compassion should be the spirit of not only a train journey, but also of the life journey.

–Kaushal Kishore

37 Comments

  1. A lovely post sir… Enjoyed reading it… Brought back memories of my own train journeys… Though m a bit vary travelling by train but the many incidents we come across makes them joyful.. Especially the chai wala screaming chai chai or watching the different stations passing by and the joy of buying comics and books at the railway books store!! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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    1. You have very well recalled the old memories, Neethu. Purchasing of magazines from AH Wheeler’s stall and other stuff from the platform was unique experience. I also liked sharing of home-cooked food with co-passengers. And chai chai in different tones. I still relish those days’ experience. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ’

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    1. Yes, you are right, Ashley, I have. I try to make even bigger ones short, so that it can be read easily in one go. But I have not yet thought of publishing it. Thanks a lot for your kind words ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’

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  2. I love trains and I loved your story within the train..and train of thoughts..The stars out the window at night and ending with an uncommon act of compassion. You are a wonderful story teller, Kaushal.โค๏ธ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒบ

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    1. Thank you, Karima for your thoughtful comment. Thank you so much, Karima for being so thoughtfully supportive. I appreciate your loving words. Means the world to me.

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  3. I well remember my first train ride in India Kaushal .. its a wonderful kind of travel as you get to be active in those ways while being lulled by the movement and inspired by the scenery not to mention looking at the other passengers. In my minds eye I can still see that train platform in Delhi in 1987.. bought it all back.

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    1. So nice of you, Deb for sharing this piece of information. I was not aware that you had been to India. Anyway, I liked that you loved the experience you had way back in 1987. Things have undergone sea change since then, but the basic essence remains the same. Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’

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      1. It was a little scary at first being a young woman travelling alone. Yes I went in the way home from Europe and was there 2 weeks. Had a very precarious bus ride to Kashmir and stayed in a houseboat there. I remember the porridge with nits and dried fruit they fed us. Nice to share these memories with you Ksusha. Where in India do you live? And you are always welcome

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  4. Train journeys are very special to me, fond memories of traveling to new destinations and holidays, learning of foreign cultures at the age of 7 or 8, seeing lands far and wide, experiencing people and their ways… I think I know what you mean… It is stimulating and relaxing and informative. ๐Ÿ‘

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    1. What an experience! I think all of us have this kind of feeling about train journey. During my earlier days, I used to travel very frequently by train. But not now. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful reflections. I enjoyed.๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ’

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  5. Very nice post ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸŒทTravelling train in India so joyful memories ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸŒทstudying time I traveled so many places in India ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐ŸŒท
    In Malaysia few times only ,here always travelling by car or flight only !! First my travel in train Malaysia after marriage we went
    Hat yai Thailand for honeymoon ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿ˜ŠIndia and here train travel got so deference , but travelling by train so happy only ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐ŸŒทเคฌเคงเคพเค‡เคฏเคพเค ๐Ÿ™๐ŸŒท

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    1. Oh, so many beautiful memories regarding train travel! Earlier train was the most common and easily available conveyance, not now. I had once travelled from Singapore to Kualalumpur, but that was quite different from one in India. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’๐ŸŒน

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    1. Really Priti, this pandemic has snatched so many lovely things from us. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’

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