Sunday, August 06, 2006

TRAIN of thoughts

There are days which gives a new perspective to certain things around us,which we generally fail to give a thought. One of those days I had this rare opportunity, though not out of choice, of traveling in an unreserved compartment of the train….. Things jus happened that way and as the train approached swimmingly I realized that I needed to search for an empty seat rather than the usual search of coach nos. and ended up in the above-mentioned place….. There unfolds the interesting events of the evening….

The compartment was peculiar, half the compartment was divided for the luggage and so only 2 sub-compartments i.e.16 seats were available .......and as the Indian railway statistics go, there were thrice the capacity, and me entering in only worsened the things…. I stared with a smile …… imagining my plight with barely some place to stand among this cluster of ppl all around.

My eyes wondered around, catching up the various faces of my newfound mates and making assumptions of their varied backgrounds …… surprisingly, eye contact with most of them happened at ease & followed by a smile. Conversations flowed as fast as a shrilling stream and getting to know people happened in place of the usual hostility associated with the “class” travel. Well needto mention the kind souls who squeezed themselves to give enough space to place my ……. watever..

Babbles revolved around interesting topics of lives, food, occupation, politics, travel places,.. railways etc… this set of ppl traveling for about 50 hours is such “admirable” conditions, become a family by now… actually enjoying their journey of life……. they were so open ….dint have to ‘look-gud’ to the world… dint have to be defined by their dress, makeup, shades, cells, attitude, artificiality, pretence …… they were wat their flesh and blood, their crystal clear soul were. …. being themselves…. being human…….

There was this follower of Islam after all the topics he covered, from his cherished meeting with Indira Gandhi, to stories about his younger days, found enough space to kneel and say his prayers!!!! (the admirable thing bout these men) ….silence prevailed to assist the man reach his almighty ….. after all the laughs, views and biscuits passed around and lots of insight bout the various corners these members of the “family” come from…….. thoughts left the train……….. and went to the unknown destination….. jus wondered how little I know bout the grt land which I call mine…… there’s so much……unknown, unexplored……. than the limiting knowledge which the media gives us….. wondered how different we all are…. how we differ in our food, clothing, culture, traditions, language, thoughts, behavior, u name it …. and its different…… and still we stick in oneness…… thoughts went to fantasy of peeping into every household and get the essence of the lives that reside in this grt land of ours………

Got a glimpse of wat Swades talked bout ….. and wat Mr. Gandhi enjoyed traveling in these“Classes” ………..

Thoughts brought me to the “1st Class” of the train, the prevailing silence, the colored books/laptops blocking ppls eyes, the cell phones taking place of the men next to cut a talk, enough space for themselves but not in the hearts ….. the artificiality, the pretence, each person wanting to be everyone else other than themselves’……….. (jus a general statement, not intended to hurt ppls sentiments :) ) This experiance is gonto entangle me for quite some time... so are those wonderful souls whom i may not get to meet again..

felt so looooossssssssst, jus can't describe but felt a sence of happiness, sence of oneness ……… felt like packing the minimal necessities, a cam and sweep the planet on a tour ……………

Well next time I travel ….. its gonto be here … not out of compulsion but out of choice…. For the variety called INDIA.


Anonymous said...


this article/entry was (is) worth its wait (weight) - nicely drafted with crafty choice of words to describe simple (yet elegant) happenings such as travelling in an unreserved compartment.

It's rather funny/strange to see this class of people putting up such a classy act while supposed-to-be-class people don't care to (return the) smile.

Reminds me of the days when I would travel from Mysore (to Bangalore) in an early morning train, filled with worker class people - those who did travelled close to 300 km each day for work. As soon as Maddur startion arrived, pretty much the whole train opened its breakfast box, often sharing it with fellow travellers - who either couldn't afford food and/or their mom/wife couldn't pack their box. If that was the story in the morning, on their way back, it pretty much repeated itself - this time item being shared/eaten together would be (the world famous) Maddur Vada with a cup of kettle-coffee/tea.

Nice write up - brings me back lot of (g)old(en) memories...


Warrior poet said...


Mindblowing stuff, i can relate to it too..i too had this extraordinary exp sometime ago. I had forgotten it , now its like u remind me whatever happened :)

Also one faux pas , its not "rear" but "rare"

Luna said...

Nice poat dude.. I ve been there too many times.. And by the way, Warrior poet, methinks the spelling was intentional.. Rears are never going to be thesame for atleast six hours after travelling in unreserved... ;)

Luna said...

oops.. I meant nice post..

surya said...

public outrage!!!!! had to correct the error :)

Prashanth said...

so very true man... my most memorable days of my childhood, the days when i used to long going to mysore by train... the same excitement missing even on catching flights today. U made me travel back in time.. now i need to come "back to the future"... great piece !!!

Sree said...

nice one! reminds me of my chennai trips:(( train journeys have always fascinated me...forget the class aspect, even if u take a bus journey, where the class bkgrnd would b similar, u will never b able to see this kind of comraderie...something about the space! hmm...

Vathsa, The Ruler of The Rage said...

surya suyra surya,
I have to give it to you
you are the best writer in our group, (sorry rags!)

man, i love the way you write, its just amazing.

i have never travelled in a unreserved compartment. after reading your blog, now i want to :)

just keep the entries flowing.

and update me when you get a chance


Anonymous said...

Awesome!! (kadu 'Awe'full!! ;-) )