Thursday, 3 July 2014

The train journey

I am writing this while on my train journey from Bathinda to Mumbai, a 1700 km long journey covering a large part of India. It's around 11pm.  The first thing i realized on reaching the platform is that i forgot my earphones. Thirty-two hours without music in a train journey... i don't know what it's going to be like.

As it turns out, I am blessed by nice co-passengers. A lady asks me to exchange my lower berth with her upper berth, but i refuse, kindly. This is the first time i have said no for my seat to a person more in need, all because i wanted the window seat badly , as it was a part of the purpose of my journey. To experience how it changed. To experience the changing culture, the scenery, people, architecture every few kilometers. And we all know , India is a diverse country.

It's morning....had a deep sleep, except a bit of disturbance at the New Delhi Station. I go the washroom twice, rinse my mouth, each time being successful in convincing myself that it was okay not to brush my teeth for a day. But after i came back on my seat preparing for breakfast, i went for the third time and brushed and it was good. It felt nice.

Had paranthas, biscuits and tea with a constantly moving beautiful view out of my window. All my bad feelings and negative thoughts seem to run away from me. I am on a journey i really wanted. First time, exploring the hills of the mid-South India. My mom calls me and asks if i am getting bored. I ask her the opposite of boredom. She doesn't remember the word. Whatever it is, that is exactly what i feel. The uncle sitting by my side, around 60, is a great football fan, and a lover of Sudoku puzzles. He is doing Sudoku since a few hours, and doesn't seem at all interested in his wife's talks.

I am in Gwalior. The first thing that comes to my mind is the double century of Sachin Tendulkar. I am feeling sleepy. I sleep for a few hours. After i wake up, i am about to reach the Vidisha Station.  I am reading the Aleph by Paulo Coelho. He writes :
"There are all kind of stories here, and even though they have been told many times, they deserve to be told again" 
And I realise it's true. It's a different story when the story-teller changes or the time changes. So, no story is ever told twice. Its always a different story. Its late evening and i stop reading with this thought in mind. I have dinner , chat with co-passengers, and look outside and in around an hour, the activity in the train calms down , the lights begin to dim and the train falls asleep. But the wheels of the train continue to make a roaring noise as they continuously rub against the rails, without any rest.

It's morning , around 8 am. I look out of the window. We have just crossed the  Igatpuri Station. It is beautiful. It feels like going through a dense forest. Mountains with a green cover on both the sides. I dont want to go back. Long tunnels every few kilometers, it's a scenic and a lovely route. I have tea in the morning with some snacks my Mom had packed. The train is late by three hours. But it doesn't matter. I love train journeys.The next three hours provide a really awesome scenery, forcing me to get down at almost every station, and breathe the fresh air carrying the lovely scent of the monsoons. My friend was waiting for me at the Railway stataion. It's a world heritage site, the Mumbai CST. We walk around a bit, and its time explore Mumbai, the hills and villages for the next 10 days or so.