Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trains rock!

There's something about standing at the door of a train bogie and watching the world go by which fascinates me to no end. I don't need stunning vistas or incredible landscapes to be passing by - just the mere act of watching the world go by somehow is enough.

I was traveling to Chennai, and after a long nap, I was at door, watching the evening sun turn the world a golden yellow, lighting up paddy fields and coconut trees. The air played with my air, and a sense of peace engulfed me. It felt good. Life was, as it often tends to be currently, a bit of a mess, but this was good. And then it occurred to me, how much I love train travel. And it made me wonder - why am I flying down to Pune at the end of the term. Flying, while fascinating in terms of the effects of the joyride - especially the g forces during take-off and landing - is a rather boring way to travel. Traveling is an activity to be enjoyed for me and air travel makes it to mechanical and mundane. I really believe in the adage that travel is all about the journey rather than the destination and air travel pretty much sucks out all the joy out of that.

I looked at the outside world, and I realized why I'd always chosen to take the train, and specifically, the non AC compartment. And I wished I could always do this. But I knew I couldn't. In a job, time was going to be too short - for both me and the company - to allow me the luxury of traveling by train. Then, there was going to be no alternative to those depressingly boring, cooped-up-like-cattle air journeys. These journeys were ones to be savoured, savoured for a time when life would be a series of mad dashes from one place to another, without the time or opportunity to stop back and smell the fresh mountain air whooshing past or the loud clatter of the train passing over a bridge, with the swirling waters of some beautiful, lazily meandering river underneath. Oh, how I would miss these simple pleasures of life...

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