(The rhythmic sound of the train)
Here I was, on yet another train journey, but on a new route this time. I was on my way to Mumbai from Yeshwantpur (Bangalore). The reason for the trip – Mood Indigo at IIT Bombay (Read Mood Indigo). It was a 24 hour journey. So I pick up my Nokia 2700 and start writing. A lot of thoughts rush into my head looking at the landscape rushing by. I decide to pen them down (or in this case, type ‘em down!).
The green fields bring memories of home. Home is indeed a confusing yet simple concept for me – the word “home” doesn’t refer to a specific place as such (keeps changing from time to time) but simply put, home is where family is. On this occasion, I’m referring to the place of my birth – Kerala. The greenery of God’s own country captivates me every time I visit there. There is a cool breeze blowing, caressing one as it goes along, with the sun smiling down, quite mildly. I wish that such wonderful weather would always last. That the green beauty be there always. The way we are headed, it does not look very sustainable – the world is increasing power hungry.
Then there’s the other power. The power of authority. For which people do unimaginable things. It leads to the thought of the world around us. A smiling face looks up at me from the newspaper of a fellow traveller – Anna Hazare, the anti-corruption crusader. Anna has declared to go on a fast from the 27th(this was written in December when the Lokpal issue was hot) if the Jan Lokpal Bill isn’t passed. It looks like we’re in for some major change. Or maybe, it’ll just fizzle out. Everyone is hoping that things end well.
Hope. And trust. These things keep the world going. Hope – that tomorrow will be brighter. Trust – in a higher power and humanity that we’d come through unscathed in this world full of uncertainty. Terrorism, diseases, fall of economies, insatiable hunger for power. Still we go on. Some with purpose. Others just keep going.
People are sleeping peacefully rocked by the swaying motion of the train. The weather is friendly, quite strange for a non-AC sleeper coach. I’m looking forward to Mumbai. My home for 5 years. We meet after a gap of 3 years. I try to form a mental schedule of the things that I want to do once I’m there. A mental schedule usually works worse than a written list. I end up forgetting half the things. So I make another mental note to make an actual schedule once we get there. I hope I remember at least this one.
The train horn keeps blaring. It brings my attention back to the journey. I’ve travelled by trains a lot. And each time it is different and you get to see a wide variety of people and places. It amuses me every time. That is, when I’m not sleeping. I usually sleep through most of the journey while travelling alone. Sleep – the easiest way to pass time without getting bored.
There are lots of different kinds of sounds all around. The ruffle of newspapers, crackling of plastic, each coffee vendor shouting out in his own unique way, the crying kid in the hands of a lady passing by, the occasional bursts of song from the school team going to represent their state at some sport. All together, it makes up the quintessential Indian train journey experience.
It’s 4.10pm and we move out of Dharwad. I make a note (a mental one 😉 ) to buy pedas on the return journey.
I look at my watch again. It’s 5:15pm. It seems I dozed off. The train is passing by a forest. My phone is beeping and crying, begging for charge. So I walk down to the end of the compartment and plug it in. At 5.25pm, I finally manage to get one extra dandi (the magical stick of charge).
As the cold sets in, I return to my seat. The train chugs on towards its destination.