July 31, 2010 Leave a comment
It is always an interesting experience to travel in a train. The thought of it is fascinating. You are trapped in the iron box with a large glass window separating the natural from the artificial.
There is light music in ears – I wonder why I don’t like to hear rock or an upbeat number while travelling. It is always slow & soothing. May be it is the overall lazy setting. Eyes oscillate between the passing scenery and a book in the lap.
There is a blanket over the legs as you see half clad villagers sweating it out in their fields (or may be calling it ‘their’ field is wrong). And the smells…Ah…the smells, specially after the lunch or dinners. At that time you wish you were in a non-AC compartment where you can just turn your face towards the window. But it is also a plac where you see the similarities of the nation. A family always has food along – unless you are travelling in a Rajdhani. Punjabis prefer dry aaloo sabji along with plain paranthas and pickle. My mother used to pack the same thing and I have had this menu in trains, buses and airports. And interestingly seen many people have the exact same thing in all these places. So I am used to the before and after smells – don’t know how many people suffered at my hands.
At night, it is pitch dark outside but still you keep looking. Such darkness, a rare sight in cities, seems fascinating. Sometimes there is a solitary light standing out somewhere far and its tough not to think about it. Is it a solitary light in perhaps a whole village or a solitary home in the wanderness. May be its none of it. Who knows?
In a train, places like these become ephemeral and so do the thoughts. We call ourselves travellers. But may be the real traveller is one who finds the story behind that solitary light, places are not ephmeral and the associated thoughts are documented.