Stories abound about train travel in India; people virtually live on the tracks … 65,000 Kms of railway lines where we come face to face with life and cultural heritage, where eyes meet and where new bonds are created.
We GRAB it and set off for an adventure… We join the waltz of the 21 million passengers travelling on the rail network every day. We slip in through doors, windows, climb on to the roofs. We make a place for ourselves in this train of life. We brush against each other; we breathe the same heat-laden air. Most importantly, we meet.
But before boarding the train, one must be ready to take up the challenge … the long queue for a train ticket; dig out the railway Bible “Train at a Glance” and above all, have faith. To avoid the hellish bureaucracy, you better know exactly your stations of departure and destination. A Sesame! Your distracted ear will not pay attention to ads and will remain focused on the ultimate goal, so that you are not shunted out from your place in the long queue.
Once at the ticket window, you better not hesitate…….you choose the right platform, the general compartment for all accompanying children to school, men and women travelling between home and work.
The experience is unique…. children are playing or doing their home-work, women wanting to get ahead with their evening meal, peel vegetables or mend garments, men chat, sleep … and we especially admire this life, the scenery fleeting past with the speed of the train and the sound of horns.
A pinch of hope, a nudge here and there, a few mistakes, some amount of hesitation before getting a ticket to the adventure but it was well worth it. Definitely.
Image 1: verycoolphotoblog-com
Image 2: fubiz-net
Image 3: Danielle Sanson