Monday, May 31, 2010

Travelling by Train

I am travelling once again, but hopefully on a very short trip. It was quite hectic for me for the past one week preparing for this trip and organising every thing in my home so that it runs smoothly during my absence.

I enjoy travelling by trains. Its some how romantic. As a child I always was fascinated by trains and still am. India has one of the largest network of routes connected by trains. There are coaches with AC and those without AC. It is so difficult to travel in the hot summer months without the AC. But many people do so who cannot afford it, or who could not get the tickets booked in time or those who have to travel on any emergencies.

There are the general or unreserved coaches, where the people just buy the tickets an hour or two before the train leaves and travel. Such unreserved coaches are packed tightly, many squeezing in on the seats, many standing, or squatting on the floor of the train or sitting near the doorway, mothers with little children or the senior citizens and travelling for long distances. One has to fight and struggle to find place for standing on at least one feet. Yes it sounds so horrifying. Its difficult even to imagine such a travel, let alone endure one that too in hot summer. But sadly, most who cannot afford travel that way.

In summer months,  most students across India have two months holidays. So families go out for sightseeing or visiting near and dear ones. This is an auspicious time for marriages and other ceremonies. So families travel foe these ceremonies. This is also the right time for visiting many temples and shrines in northern India especially situated in Himalayas which reels under cold waves and snow falls in winter months and severe rains and landslides in rainy season. So many embark on these pilgrimages. One can see huge groups of senior citizens on pilgrimages conducted by Tours N Travels.

So it is interesting to meet people from various backgrounds and traveling for various reasons. Each coach is a mini India carrying people from different cultures and regions, talking different languages. I love to interact with them and every time I do so, I am further educated. I learn a lot about their life styles, their way of living, their culture and so on. Sometimes we become friends and keep in touch. Its exciting and fascinating. It is also fun to watch the villages and towns, people going about their daily lives, the changing landscapes and the scenic beauty. So I don't miss an opportunity to travel in trains.

I want to share with you some of those moments when ever I can....

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