Before you start reading this post, keep one thing in your mind: I. Love. Trains. I love travelling in them. I even like to just stand in one place and watch the railway station do its thing.
I had to go to Baroda [Vadodara] yesterday for some work. It was a one day trip. Train to Baroda in the morning and train back to Ahmedabad in the evening.
I woke up at 5am. I usually don't get up early easily but then it was for a train journey, I was not complaining. Armed with a backpack, Kane and Able- Jeffery Archer, a packet of chips and a bottle of water I left home. The level of energy at the railway station so early in the morning is always inspiring. The feeling that you are a very small part of the world and that very few things will be affected by your actions and/or living/dying might be scary to others but I like it. It reassures me that I can do whatever I want to without worrying about the consequences it will have to the world. It's a liberating feeling.
Yea so I sat in my train. Gujarat Express. Summer vacations are on so the train was jam packed. I had a reserved seat but while I was going to my compartment I saw that even at 7am, lots of people had already picked up small fights with people around them. Uncles fighting, Aunties arguing and children jumping here and there. Ah, India!
I had taken Kane and Able with me. It turned out to be a great idea. The sight of fields, the breeze and the book turned out to be the perfect combination. My journey to Baroda lasted for 2 hours. The day had started well. I had reached Baroda by 9am. The beauty of a relatively smaller city is that the mornings are more peaceful. The city had still not woken up.
I completed my work by 5pm and then headed back to the railway station for my return journey. Inter-city. Yes that what the train was called. I had to outrun a kid to get the window seat. Yes I am bit obsessive about a window seat. Call me a kid but I should tell you, its worth it and hence it is a big deal. If you ever want to enjoy a sunset, you should either be on a beach or in a train's window seat. Music in my ears, wind blowing on my face and the sunset, I calmed down after a long day's work. It's the best feeling in the world.
Another kid sitting opposite to me was looking down when the train stopped at the station. He saw black mucky water below in the drain and asked his mom,"Is that petrol? If they waste so much then the prices are bound to go up." Kids sometimes say the most amazing things.
I finally gave the first kid my window seat. Yes it was only because my station had come. Is there any other why you give away a perfectly good window seat? So instead of Ahmedabad Jn. I got off at Maninagar. BRTS bus service zindabad! It was going to take me within walking distance of my house. I was famished. I cold close my eyes and see mom's pulav.
So I got into a HUGE line for the BRTS bus. People don't understand simple things. If two buses going to the same destination come together then all you have to do is let the mad crowd get into the first bus and then enjoy the extra space in the second bus. Dinner was postponed by 5 minutes but atleast I got a place to sit. Yes, window seat one more time.
The bus started getting crowded really quickly. I offered my seat to a relatively elderly uncle. He asked me to give the seat to the 'ladies'. Who says Chivalry is dead? An old grandmother was unanimously chosen for the seat by the people around my seat. She smiled after sitting. The entrance was choc-a-block. This was when I decided that I needed to start moving towards the exit gate 3-4 stops before my stop to have any realistic chance of getting out. It was madness. People kept pushing. I pity girls who got sandwiched between guys. The guys had no intention. It was the effect of the brute force exerted by the people who wanted to get in. I somehow managed to squeeze out at my station. A small walk and I was home. Exhausted but smiling. It was 9pm. I had a bath, had pulav and decided to sleep early.
As I lay on my bed. I thought about the day I had just experienced. It made me think about India as a country. We are good people. We are fun people. We fight. We quarrel. We care. We travel. We live.
I never thought a to and fro train journey could make me feel patriotic.
Feelings sometimes are inexplicable. It's their best feature.
Keep Smiling :)