Traveling by trains in India is a unique experience, when you compare it with in Europe or US. With all the vendors in the train and on the platform, we travel in the middle of hustle. During my early employment days in a bank, I used to travel every week from my mom’s place to the place of my work almost 100 miles. On Saturdays’ after the bank hours I would take a train around 4PM, it usually never comes on time. As I used to travel, I would pretty much know the exact spot where the particular compartment stops, and which one would usually have reserved seats but still empty. That being a weekend there would be many passengers like me, like weekend travelers.
Normally, few train mates with whom I would travel to the same destination would all board into the same compartment. The journey would not last more than three hours, if no unknown delays like waiting for the crossing of the trains. Most of my co-travelers would be employees of bank, insurance agents or medical representatives. We used to exchange about the issues happening in our offices or something directly pertained to us. As we were all grown up and busy talking about our offices or about our lives, unlike a child we did not bother about window seats or enjoying the views.
Festival season would increase the number of travelers and sometimes, I even had to travel by standing in the train. This particular train would not have reservations for short distance travel nor could I venture into an unreserved compartment. Due to some reasons if my co-travelers would not come and if I was lucky to get a window seat, that is the time I would be like a child and just see through the windows and enjoy the breeze on to my face. The three hours journey would just pass by so quickly, even before I realize my dad would be in the station waiting to pick me up. Monday mornings are my return to work travel time. My mom used to wake me up by 5AM, I always had to rush to the station and catch the train on time. There were times where in I had to cross the train tracks and catch the train. Literally, I could not catch my breath and some how made it into the train. That is the time I would think, why would I wake up early, next time this should not be repeated. I often used to think what if I miss the train, for the record I never missed my train in my 30 months of my weekend travel routine. With all the hassles, I have been through, even today I love train journeys.
"The only way of catching a train I ever discovered is to miss the train before."
“A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”
- George Moore