Train set and match spied under the blind
Shiny and contoured the railway winds
And I've heard the sound from my cousin's bed
The hiss of the train at the railway head
Always the summers are slipping away
A 60 ton angel falls to the earth
A pile of old metal, a radiant blur
Scars in the country, the summer and her
-lyrics of "Trains" song by the band 'Porcupine Tree'
First and foremost, the bystanders- I meant the people, mostly innocent children, who stand and watch the trains with wide open eyes, as the train passes by their village. Particularly, I love those kids who never get tired of waving at trains. Some of them try to run along for some distance. A lot of them are so poor that they would never travel in this wonder vehicle which they see everyday.
2. The 'chaaai, kaaapi' calls- This is irresistible. Although the taste of the coffee and tea served at the railways leave a lot to be desired, the long tuneful calls of 'chaaaai, kaaaappi' is sure to make you drink one. And another amazing thing is, wherever you go in India, they sound the same that I sometimes used to wonder whether it was the same person selling tea in all stations across India.
3. The unknown- The places you see during train journeys are mostly those which are hidden from you when you travel by road. Most of the times, these are uninteresting. But sometimes, I've seen some of the most beautiful sceneries from the train windows.
4. The bridges- When the train travels over long bridges, its an exhilarating feeling. If you look down through the window, you will most probably see only water. You would never feel that the train is travelling on rails. And if it is early morning or late evening, you'll see the sun in all its glory which adds to the 'picture perfect' effect. A lone sailor on his country boat(common sight in Kerala) is an icing on the cake.
5. The people- The ones you meet during the train journeys, the ones that you share the compartment with. I've got some really good friends in these journeys. I've also met some of the most irritating people here. Still, its always a nice mix. Not tobe left out, some really beautiful gals. ;)
6. "aane ki sambhavana"- The famous dialogue that preceeds the arrival of the train. This has gone on to attain a legendary status mainly due to some real horrible PJs.(Keralites would know what am speaking about)
7. the "dhak dhak" beat- The sound of chugging of the train drives me crazy. I can spend long hours on journies just by listening to these rhythmic beats. Sometimes, it breaks into a 'dream theater' like off-beat. Thankfully, I haven't headbanged to it until now.
A small note one of my most special train journeys. A 15 day (almost) half-India trip during engineering with my classmates. Our journey route was Trivandrum-Goa-Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad-Bangalore-Chennai-Trivandrum. We hopped from train to train as we were treated to the richness and diversity of India. Those 15 days will always remain in my memory. Also requiring special mention is the journey me and my friends had from Trivandrum to Guruvayoor on a general compartment filled to the brim. We even didn't have space to sit on the floor. All of us sat together on the floor near the smelly as hell toilet with no space to move. But, still we enjoyed the journey like anything. Same with the train trips with my band. These journeys are priceless when compared to a trip in the executive class of a boeing.
So, thats my list. Do you have such favourite memories associated with trains? Share with me.
PS-checkout the "trains" song by Porcupine Tree. Its awesome.
Pic 1 courtesy-narsapur.net