Boarding a Trip to Tranquility

9th Jan 2015
Photo of Boarding a Trip to Tranquility by Rhucha Kulkarni


Flurry with anticipation, arrived at the station with my load of backpack and shooting artillery ( read photography equipment  ). Located my seat, plopped my backpack , exchanged my lower side berth for an upper side berth and climbed into the cocoon, my abode for the next 1.5 days. Many would say I was alone, but hey, I felt more than accompanied with 3 fat books to read, a pen and diary to scribble away my thoughts and my ipod to tune into if the going got bad (read irritating and interfering co passengers :P) [serves as a great mechanism to pretend you are not listening even though you can hang onto every word they speak] So I spent the mid-morning and afternoon dozing off between reading bursts to the tunes of John Grisham and “On the Road”. So much so for choosing the apt book! Then around late evening I decided to avail the free window to view the Indian countryside. I spent time on the lower berth with a Kashmiri family and a couple from Mumbai going to their hometown. It is indeed amazing how you bump into people with similar interests / professions and 2-3 minutes of casual talk propels you to learn so much ! So I happened to meet an independent trainer and we exchanged notes on “HR Gyaan”. So much so for talking about your profession during vacation breaks – Maybe this very inclination talks so much about Indian society where your occupation gets extrapolated with your entire identity and you think of yourself uni-directionally as HR/doctor/engineer etc. Isn’t “YOU” a conglomeration of so much more!!! 
Well maybe let’s leave that though aside, some food for thought for later on. The couple was going home for a month long vacation (Oh I had the strong urge to ask them about their leaves system) and in fact a useful source of guidance for my plans ahead. We made small talk over common topics and the interaction left me with an air of positivity about this whole endeavour !! 
On train travails…
Train journeys have always been something close to my heart – curling up on the upper berth with an intriguing book in hand, the gentle rocking of the coach lulling you to a deep slumber, cuisines from all over the country being sold under one moving roof – a haven for foodies,, some whimsical traveller who carries a transistor from a decade old and plays melodious songs from the 90s – inducing a nostalgic stupor ! So much so that just standing by the doorway, wind running in your hair as you watch cities, villages , tiny people and vast farmlands pass by in fleeting glimpses. It is a feeling of freedom, of not having a care in the world. While some may die for an S class Merc ride or the poshest of flying experiences, for me a simple long train journey is something that tosses me into the realms of delight! 

And so after a deep sleep at night I saw the light of day at 9 am. And that’s why I love trains that reach their destination late – 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep, like a baby, who wouldn’t want that !! Day 2 thus stood before me – the day when I would leave the comfort of a railway couch and venture out!