I believe and have seen the steam engine locomotive (at Mysore, Rail Museum) pull and chug along the passenger bogies spewing smoke, coke dust leaving your clothes dirty and eyes bloodshot.
Travel by train today has come a long way with the convenience of booking the ticket online and imagine ordering food on the rail. And forget not the high-speed Wifi on few stations.
Travelling by train today is less tedious, thanks to IRCTC and technology you do not need to go to rail station hours before to check if you have confirmed berth or on waitlist.
Travel by train and by AC class is most comfortable and when you have pantry car attached it feels great because you do not need to carry food and can order tea or coffee as and when you need it. Enjoy great scenery outside in the comfort of your seat and thanks to the effort of the present dispensation trains running on time and with importance being given to cleanliness (Swatch Abhiyan et al) .
Train journey means meeting new people and you get to hear a lot of stories and if you are lucky enough you may make good friends too. I must say I don’t get too friendly when I am travelling alone, although the chatterbox in me forces me to. Instead, I observe and the words flow on my Evernote instead of my mouth.
I may sound like a bad person, but when the battery in all my electronic gadgets is dead I enjoy seeing passengers pick a quarrel for a window seat, switch off lights,open/close the windows, the list is endless. A man once woke me up at 3am in the morning and was telling me to get out off my seat and show my ticket. Despite my grogginess and irritation, half sleepy I asked him politely to show his ticket because mine was already checked but this guy just wouldn’t budge in. I did not show my ticket too, instead , went back to sleep. Then this man apologises and shows me his ticket. Wait! What ? Same coach and seat number but he booked it for the next month! It was hilarious but I pitied his condition. Such small incidents make journeys memorable.
The tough part is lady travelling alone and when the train arrives at the destination at unearthly hours and you have to reach home. Ladies, avoid such bookings and prefer the upper berth. Safe and sound.
In one of my recent tweets to the ministry of railways , they called me sir! First of all, I was sitting between standing people,heat,two hefty women pushing me down and cockroaches and tweeted them to get some air and relief from people standing in a reserved bogie and these guys call me sir! After I clarified my gender and another few exchanges of tweets I was intimidated by few railway officials because of my complaint in the next station (The railway minister does take things very seriously and I was super impressed), a temporary relief followed and the lady beside me who occupied half of my seat, gave me some space after the hullabaloo . It was embarrassing and I became popular. I was the girl who complained.
If you have any such interesting stories to share or your experiences to share I am all ears! Anything at all, the comment box is all yours!