Memories of the golden days of train journey beckon, reminiscing the relaxing pace and breathtaking hospitality presented by the great train journeys of the modern era. The vacation sets in the moment we step on board. As the train gets on track, we before long become conscious that no hotel on world can present with the kaleidoscope of colours and scenery which flash past our cabin windows.
A train journey is by and large defined by intrigue, chance, possibility, camaraderie, romance, and travelling rather than arriving and we all think how amorous it all is, but wouldn't enlighten another living being that we think so. There's an anecdote to the train journey that has certainly not been fully captured by any other means of transport.
Trains are theaters, cafes, bazaars. The only talk show that knows no crisis is the one that replicates everyday on the rails. Trains help thinking. All great journeys from pilgrimages to the the first ride with friends to the honeymoon, they are, after all, a self-discovery with the view that interests us is within us. The train exempts from liability, allows you to remain passive without feeling lazy. We can work and rest. We can talk, when we are tired of reading. And dream, when we are tired of talking.
Travelling by train is a touch which is worth its experience traversing from city to city all the way through the mountains, the interiors of the forests crossing the small water bodies inside the woods and those intermittent trenches between the hills.
A one and the same enticement is also to observe populace of different parts of the country and spend time trying to work out traits and way of life that classified the diaspora into the places of their basis.
Travelling by rail is part of the escapade which gets going the very moment you step into the station watching who comes, who goes, what they carry, what they utter, how they move with tête-à-têtes in different lingo’s.
Train journeys are a sort of milieu. Every family has train chronicles to recount where marriages get fixed, strangers become friends, or long-lost friends find each other by chance.
When you spend two days with a group of people, one tends to exchange so much delicate information that everyone is soon on gracious terms where meals and snacks are started to be generously shared.
Delicious food and train journeys are part of each other. Sometimes it gives the impression of a pursuit between the food and the journey - which would end first. At every station, lads selling tea or coffee would pass by, with each station the train passes through having its own food specialties as well.
Train journeys have always been an enthralling experience. There is beyond doubt something soothing about the movement of a train and the din of the wheels on the track. The swaying movement of the train is the gentle rocking of the cradle when we lay down to sleep.
Going from one bogie to another through the coupling area is another quest and excitement in itself with the swaying action always seem to intensifying there, with the sound level multiplied and an interesting obstacle course when we want to stroll through the train.
We look forward to each bridge the train passes over, count each tunnel and hang out of the windows to see the whole length of the train whenever it goes on a curving track, gradually running through the meadows and the mountains staring on either side and as they came closer and enter the foothills, the train slows.
Crossing the colossal luxuriant mélange farmlands of the countryside with sheep and cattle abounding in the fields and as the autumn sun decants down on the landscape, abundant streams and small rivers glisten.
The train winds its way over gigantic lakes through spectacular gorges and river dales before tracking across the mountain ranges, following brooks and skirting lochs, descends through lush rainforests and numerous mysterious settlements.
It’s impressive to watch the vast expanse of nature taking myriad forms of splendour with a little drizzle here and a little sunshine there and airstreams whizzes by giving rise to a wilful wish to take a plunge in that loch or to occupy yourself with the breeze.
An elegant countrified splendour about it as the striking weather shows it off at its finest with a few steely grey clouds creep athwart the skies, hills and rivers clad in the reds, yellows and gold’s of the autumn and splash of foliage far and wide, lofty coconut trees, massive plantations, flocks of birds, meadows and shallow lakes, vast lagoons with charming water shrubbery, bustling small towns, kids playing by the train tracks, with the wavering harvests.
Travelling through the countryside from farmers in fields with petite red-roofed huts to small swarming towns where whole families precariously alight onto one small luna, jungles - baffling and desolate, streams rushing zealously from one place to the other, small, simple little temples and mosques, you could see the topography changing as you go from one prefecture to another which all became our associates in the course of crossing them to reach our destination.
As we wind our way up one side of a mountain and down the next we would all of a sudden find moving at a pace that is almost snail like and this is when you become conscious that, yes, there is something romantic about train journeys.
Not in the time-honoured sense of two strangers getting together or anything like that, but all of a sudden being transported to a time where folks aren't dashing around trying to shove too much into a day that is already too full.
It is absolute ecstasy until a big shot points out that it is a long way down and that the track appears to be floating on emaciated space!
The saga of rail journey never fades. Waking on board a sleeper and looking out at misty sidings in the depths of countryside, hugging knees with barely containable exhilaration of what more is to come.
An early daybreak train rattling through the summer sun-kissed fields, a bewildered dialogue with an unknown being, a late night feast on a train, the promise of a passionate long weekend and a life-changing declaration of love in the door alley...
The tune of the songs with the darkness adjacent brings back to the instance the whisper of uniting souls riding the wind in the rising dawn gradually revealing frost and snow-capped peaks and the promise of more snow…
When you travel by train, the journey itself is part of the pleasure.