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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Train Journal

Train journeys are always fascinating,The sight that you get to see through the rusted windows of the of the Indian trains are unparalled.Be it the frenzic ambiance of the city that greets you in the electric train or the rural landscapes that calms you in those distant journeys, trains have something new to offer everytime. Unlike the busses which go through defined roads, the Indian train travels through the middle of nowhere, it takes you into a safari of the real india far away from the hustles of the city.The old farm house atop of the green fields, the rural kid who defecates in the dry land, the grooves of coconut tress, the majestic old man who walks away with his cow, the cattle which gazes it share of grass, the distant village which is getting ready for the night, the sun that adds its mystic yellow to the land, it gives you the same alluring vision of the land with which our forefathers have lived and died with. An unadulterated vision that iterates the fact "you belong here, not to the confined spaces of city". You feel like breaking free and getting lost into the land. But as always there is the rusted window between the dreams and reality.

Travelling in the middle of the day has happened only a very few times. It happened yesterday. I was about to travel to Madurai after a very long time, i was lucky enough to get the window, sans the usual business today and outlook there was another guy who travelled with me "Piscine molitor patel"*!!And then there were the usual co-passengers of all sorts.The lady who i suppose was a Manager in some IT company, She had phone calls all the time and spoke about client meetings and resource allocation and the usual IT stuff. She was too loud and i started to doubt her motives, Then there was the typical business man of TN who has a huge belly and a copy of nakeeran handy, a family of four with a newborn, and the middle aged villager who always tried to maintain a distance from everyone. We were an hour into the journey and people started to to get acquainted, they spoke about politics, growing land rates, and all the general stuff.. No one cared to watch out of the window.I never spoke. I was obsseed with the window this was when i saw all those beautiful imagery's mentioned above.May be i looked stern and "different" to them.But in a way they all looked "indifferent" to me. I am not sure about who was correct!!

It was a journey to remember, the sun joining hands with winds from the fissures of heaven together give that magical touch to the journey, And there was Yann Martel who writes to stop your breath in awe. All these seclude you from the chaos of daily life , and finally you find peace setting in. Adding with this, the best time in the train always comes in the early mornings, when the train travels like a whisper in the dream of the still sleeping landscape. and in the midnight when find find there is another lonely traveller coming all along with you...namely the moon.Not to forget the electric train journey in the sunset from velachery to beach. It is in the high mounted train you explore the beauty of delicate city called Madras from a birds eye view. From the richness and niche buildings of south madras, to the slums and poverty of north madras it takes you through the length and breadth of the city. At the end of which you will discover that madras is not a single city as we suppose it to be. It actually has a number of invisible cities each with its own shades of black white and grey.This is a journey which makes me fall in love with the city all over again.

There is a lot more to speak about trains and journeys but i think i am running out of words now. But the next time you travel in train, be it in rain, or sun, or the gusty wind, try to sit by the rusted window, open up you mind , and start observing things that you have missed all the time and you will find travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living#.

* - Piscine molitor patel is a character in Life of pi by Yann Martel.
# - Inspired by Miriam Beard.


vijay said...

Staying in Hyderabad it takes me around 20 hours by train to reach my native.. Though i prefer a flight journey back and fourth my fiscal status allows me one way by flight and other by train. On my next journey by train i will try to sit by one of those rusted-windows and let my imagination take over me. But 20 hours by the window side - can i manage? what do u say about this?

Vignesh.r(edux) said...

"But 20 hours by the window side - can i manage? "

ROFL:)...I can manage a trip like that but the desination would be kilpauk :)..

My Musings said...

Train Journal
Loved it simply. It just takes one train journey to slow down life. Get into a train, put life in a rewind mode and what NEXT !!!! heavens…… Nothing is as warm as an Indian train, leaving to hyd on 20th, Coimbatore-Nizamuddin express. 17 hrs, one fime morning!!!!! Can’t wait buddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

uma kumar said...

hi vignesh,
I have read this post
really a nice one...
MRTS journey from velachery to beach is very interesting...

And my long journeys to the capital and back....n number of times...
in those trips i have seen what all u have narrated in the beginning of the post and more..

I ll post abt it someday

Anonymous said...

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Alphonsa said...

//"you belong here, not to the confined spaces of city".// these lines were so good!
and yeah, i am in the same league as you, love to literally turn my face towards the window and observe everything... while going by train and why not by bus, buddy?! i could write so many posts about travels by bus.. unfortunately i dont! :D

loved this post! :)

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