A journey by train has always fascinated me since my childhood. It was something that I always looked forward to. Apart from being a comfortable and cheap option to reach your destination, trains also offered a chance of social bonding-that too with complete strangers.
Today I read an article in a magazine about how a journey via train remains special to the older generation (yeah, I too belong to this category now!) against GenY's fascination for cheap air travel. That made me nostalgic as images of many enjoyable train journeys came rushing back to me.
I have always loved traveling long distances by train, especially the ones that gave me a chance to spend a night or two in the train compartments. I loved the lower bunks (I still do) during the daylight as the scenic and rustic beauty of India always vowed me (after so many years, it still does...). The seemingly endless fields with their lush greenery, distant huts breezing by, the farmers toiling in their fields with bullocks, brick kilns...the list will go on. Each of these charmed me in my childhood days. Though I don't get to travel long distances much now a days, these and some other scenic views still hold an unspoken charm to me, a charm that's hard to describe and should be felt to know what I mean.
Though the window seat was something to die for during the day, I preferred the upper bunk as daylight gave way to dusk. I loved climbing the 3 steps to reach the bunk, made my cozy little space and settled with comics or books (in the initial phases, these were mainly Amar Chitra Kathas, Chacha Chaudhary, Nandan and Champak though they gradually gave way to more serious novels as I grew up) that I would pick up from the railway book stalls. The dinner served by the railways in packed aluminium foils was another thing that I loved very much though my family often preferred to carry cooked food items from home or chucked the rail-food for some delicacies picked from the bigger junctions.
I was so much in love with these journeys via train that I felt sad every time we were about to de-board. In fact, my love for the Indian railways hasn't diminished till date and I still look forward to the same whenever an opportunity comes my way.