Friday, March 18, 2011

The World On Wheels


A moment here..a moment there...
Sitting by the window I looked at this desolated bench and wondered about the people who would have spent time on it while expecting their train to arrive,looking at the others pass by,bidding good bye to  their dear ones or waiting for that someone special.And before I could imagine more,my train whooshed away!Every journey on a train is like making a new movie for ourselves,of the world and its people with nothing but our eyes.When we look through the rails of the window,in minutes a hundred frames pass by and each one of them is like a painter’s masterpiece.But very annoyingly before we can store them as beautiful memories,they apparate!

Kids waving their hands,thatched huts,coconut trees,smiling sunflowers,tall sugarcanes,dancing peacocks,mango grooves,egrets in paddy fields,ponds and lakes,forest fires during the nights,countless yellow boards with names of the towns beaming in bold black,red and green flags,restless platforms,fleeting trains from the opposite direction were a few pleasant and vivid sights which kept me occupied for most of the time.

The fires that lasted all night...
The interiors of the train were not any less appealing.A mind boggling number of people from diverse backgrounds in the general,sleeper and air conditioned compartments were travelling in the same route to the same destination,this kind of amused me.A train is so much like life is what it made me feel.The chaiwallahs and food vendors crying out aloud,the stinking toilets,the blind beggars,the red shirted porters rushing near the doors as the train stopped at a station,special cusines at every junction,the expectedly tastless pantry food,the cockroaches,the bed bugs,the rats,the fear of losing luggage,the ticket collector,the cold,silent,funny,intrusive,over friendly and staring strangers and an intense desire to pull the red chain to try something adventurous were a few things that made my journey as chaotic as possible.

The old man rubbing his wrinkled forehead,the child crying for a chocolate,the woman serving dinner to her husband,the vendor selling water and biscuits,the uncle reading a newspaper,the boy listening to music and me the girl watching them;we all were fellow travellers.Each one of us in the train were with a problem of our own,a happiness of our own,a life of our own,a destination of our own but a journey that belonged to everyone.This thought gave me an amazingly weird feeling.

The best moment was while I was standing at the door and swaying in every ellipse and parabola possible.The air rushed in like a breather when I peeped outside to see the length of the train.It was nice to see a line of boggies trail ahead and behind mine.How wonderful it will be if all of us can see our past and future with such clear vision and perspective I thought.Life will then turn out to be a blessed ride for sure!

I have never found myself observing others and introspecting so much at the same time together.I felt this for the first time,that internalizing strain and stress from outside gives us a strange peace and harmony from within.There is so much to learn,to see and to feel while travelling in a train.And when we do that and alight at our station,this bizzarely out of the world experience brings us back to our real world,the world on wheels... with the right thing to take back home.



-R.

16 comments:

Nandhini said...

Beautiful insight Raksha! Makes me feel too that every passing-by moment in life does tell us something important that we didn't realize before - if only we keep our hearts and minds open enough to introspect.

Nice post. Loved how you've translated those inner voices so beautifully in to words.

Good wishes :)

ajay said...

There's so much common between a train journey and our life. It gives a detailed glimpse of the world around us.

Raghu said...

Good one, luved it till th end.. I agree with wht Nandhini says about how u hav translated those inner voices..!!! Keep writing..

- Raghu
http://arewetrulyhumans.blogspot.com/

Raksha Bhat said...

@Nandhini: Yeah...there is something serene about these journeys:)Thank you for liking the post!

@ajay: A beautiful glimpse that too:)

@Raghu: I will:)Thank you:)

Deguide said...

Remember Life is a journey, enjoy the drive....or the ride announces the Mercedes advt.....good musings of train journey

Raksha Bhat said...

@Deguide: Thank you so much:)

Maitreyee Chowdhury said...

Wow..thats different thonowught

Beyond Horizon said...

What an insight!
Trains are definitely a lifeline.

and I can sense some notorious thing Doc...to pull the red chain!!! Hmm...hmm ;)

mentioned it rightly...introspection! a lot of it

the quote about catching the train...is SO WOW!!! to miss a train :)

Raksha Bhat said...

@MC: Thank you lady:)

@BH:Haha I really wanted to Poo,couldn't bear an irritating stranger:P

Deepa said...

Hi. First time at your blog - came in from Indiblogger. Good write up. I've always felt a train is a metaphor for life. As you say, each passenger has a unique story to tell, and yet we are all making the same journey.

S.R.Ayyangar said...

I don't know why people now want to travel by air rather than train which
is where India is. You come across a spectrum of people across a length & breadth of India, get to know them and their culture.

hitesh rawat said...

haven't had much of luck with trains but yea, everything you said.... were the stereotypes i have seen......

though i have had one good journey in train... and will cherish tht always if won't get a better one....

:)

you're good....

Raksha Bhat said...

@Deepa: Yeah:)I am glad that you connected to the essence of this post:)

@S.R.Ayyangar: I wonder too and am glad to have you here Sir:)

@hitesh rawat: Thank you so much:)

sajeevkmenon said...

You have brought the train journey to life by your vivid imagery! Personally I love to travel by train in India. The shrill, nasal cry of the chai wallah; people playing card games, people singing in compartments makes travelling so much fun!

Raksha Bhat said...

@sajeevkmenon: Thank you for reading sajeev:)

Rajendra Raikwar said...

I will surely come back for more