Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Lazy Railway Musings.

Travelling in trains, has always been somehow so emotionally and psychologically nourishing to my mind, that I prefer to travel by a train, more than by flight or by a bus. In a bus there are several disadvantages, like it is more strenuous, and you just dont have an happy way of answering nature`s calls, and it also doesn`t help that I easily vomit. I have never travelled through air as of now, but to admit the truth, I am quite scared about it. Before you start to laugh at me, let me tell you, I am truly happy going by train, and that`s what matters, because travelling is also a pastime I like, which it wouldn`t be if I do not enjoy it.
I recently travelled on a train to my home and I couldn`t help reminiscing about all those journeys I had made as a child for the summer vacations to Kerala, and the sad journeys back home to school. Those have been prominent memories completely etched in my mind that I easily get nostalgic at the sight of a train. Perhaps I should save this part for a tag I have to complete, but the most important thing is that I like this concept of a journey and like to have a metaphorical outlook as I see Life as it is in all journeys, more so when the journey is on a train.
As the train slowly moves, I see a train going in the opposite direction, and both trains seem to be slow enough to give us a good view of the people in the other train. I look at them through the window, and they look back at me. They are different, they have a different life, and yet for those few moments, we look at each other, wondering what the other person is thinking, with genuine interest to know and learn of their stories, their struggles. There is a sudden passion, which fills my veins as I try to craft stories of their lives with my otherwise lazy imagination. This is such a common happening and yet it is so similar to Life as such. The trains are like any two people, whose paths may criss-cross, they will share and care, but they will have to eventually separate because their destinations might not be the same. The temporary glimpse at each other`s lives is filled with a happiness that resonates in both of their souls and the painful parting with a memory treasured or despised and yet with a tranquil sadness of heart.
The train keeps moving slowly and I look outside and then see lots of vehicles and people waiting at a signal, with a look of restlessness, waiting for the train to pass as soon as possible. Our lives in itself seem so free flowing to us at times, and yet we fail to realize that we may be unknowingly causing a temporary delay for many others who are following their aspirations and dreams with equal passion. They may not be visible to us, but they are there and the quicker we move on, the easier we make it for these people to continue their lives meaningfully.
I continue my journey and look at the people sitting beside me. They all have been looking at me gloomily dreaming with eyes wide open and as I look at them, they look elsewhere, while a smile crosses my lips and they relax. "Where are you going to ?", asks the person next to me, and then it continued, a long conversation starting about his married life up to American Politics. As we break for dinner, I wonder where it all started and realize that we both have a common destination, and that we therefore strike a chord unconsciously. I immediately think about friends who bond like none other, because they have common dreams, common interests, or even if they don`t have these things in common, they have a striking similarity in their mindset as to where they are headed.
The train finally pulls in to the station and I get down and walk along the platform while a few of my co-travellers get down and wait to see a familiar face. The destination seems to be the same for all, but what we expect when we reach it ultimately is different and unique for each one of us. We do not know what, but we are travelling and we will discover when we reach.
As I walk and then look back at the train, I feel i`ve learnt a lot of lessons, but they might not be right, there may be more to learn, and life is not understood from just one compartment. The journey never seems to end.


priya said...

Unni: I agree a train journey ends when we get off the station, but the talks and peopel we met will never fade away. When I was in India, I remember taking long journey for 2 days and those days were wonderfulw ith people full of strangers till the trains goes few miles.
Later when it comes to lunch/ snacks peopel share their food and enjoy the best. I can never forget those good memories.
In flight it typical business and by the time you land, you forget the faces coz its more of short period and not much time to share. Not many ppl' share theri personal things when they travel and when few share, it stays.

Sreejith Kumar said...

Well compiled... I have never been on a train in my life...... But your narration made me feel that I was also a passenger.... Hope to get the experience somewhere down the road....

passerby55 said...

hi Srijith,

hmmm ... i don't know what mood this post is written in.

But I sense some melancholy to it.
I hope everything is ok.

Maybe, a lot of thinking is not really necessary, some things we ought to leave to our imaginations.

Life is a journey itself,

Day to day life seems to reach u to a destination because we have our goals and resposibilities. But the fact is there is no end, always a new begining to everything.

Wishing You a long detailed life(journey) and a well lived one.
exactly like the posts you write, to make your readers Travel with you.(without Tickets) haha.


Deepak said...

There's a lot of truth in your post. But I think I befriend people even in flights. (Myabe because of my outspoken nature.) But surely people are more open in trains.

(PS: I guess you haven't travelled in Bangalore trains. It's hell)

Srijith Unni said...

@Priya: Yes we always remember our encounters and at times keep in touch too. It`s almost supernatural.! I haven`t been on a flight, but I sure would like to have that experience too.

@Sreejith: Yeah. I had you in mind, while writing this. Hope the experience is nearer down the road.:)

@Passerby55: Melancholy.. yes..! There was. It has been getting lonelier as I grow. There is a sudden realization, that there might be a weakening of the bond with my roots. Never will I ask for a ticket do not worry.. :)!!

@Deepak:Of course deepak!.. I`ve realized atleast that much on reading your posts. I did travel from bangalore to chennai once or twice.. bangalore to coimbatore etc.. Don`t remember much of a difference. Are you talking about the local trains.??

Keshi said...

I travel by train daily to work and I hardly speak to anyone. Im such a friendly person and I smile alot etc but I dunno why strangers dun talk much on trains in Sydney.

Nice write-up.

Kamalesh said...

"Our lives in itself seem so free flowing to us at times, and yet we fail to realize that we may be unknowingly causing a temporary delay for many others who are following their aspirations and dreams with equal passion. They may not be visible to us, but they are there and the quicker we move on, the easier we make it for these people to continue their lives meaningfully."

makes me think.........

Srijith Unni said...

@Keshi : Hi Keshi. I must tell you.. I myself am not really the talkative kind, but still there have been these times, when a conversation just happened. No one smiles in Sydney..! Now that`s a revelation. I always thought Australia was a fun-loving country!

@Kamalesh: Thanks a lot, for dropping by.. Do think and let me know your thoughts brought forth.

Reshmi said...

heyy..so true..!! thatz the first comment that comes to my mind.. made me go back to my frequent kayamkulam trips in school dayz.. n the new template is cool..:))

Srijith Unni said...

@Reshmi: thanks a lot..! yeah I too felt that many people might share this kind of experience. Nice to know that you liked the template.