Posts Tagged ‘journeys’


Trains and Ammu’s first train ride

May 15, 2016

A couple of weeks back, we attending a family wedding near Mysore, and we were going by train. I was excited at the idea for two reasons – I love train journeys and I was eager for A to get to experience her first real train ride.

There’s something about train journeys that gives me a sense of time slowing down in a very real way. If your agenda for the next few hours is to just gaze out of the window, and occasionally go back to the book on your lap, taking a break every now and then to have tea, coffee, vade, and whatever else the hawkers are bringing around – this is frankly for me, is the life 🙂 Every other frame when you look out the window is a picture postcard when you get out of the city. My fondest memories of train rides from my childhood (we’ve been from Bangalore to Bombay and Calcutta – 3-day journeys!) is that of curling up in the upper berth with a book, and finishing at least one book during the journey.

Yet, as I grew up, the idea of using the train toilets all but killed the romance of train journeys for me. I wonder if as a child I was having too much fun to let the toilets  bother me, or I just didn’t know better. Besides, when we could afford to drive or take a flight, we chose comfort and convenience, obviously. Trips became more about the destination, than the journey. Which was our loss, really.

So how did A enjoy her first train ride? Not too much at first, since we were a bunch of 28 travelling together. She has a high level of stranger anxiety and these were all relatively new people for her. She hated being fussed over in the first one hour and kept wanting to go home. But gradually, as everyone settled down and she settled down and made new friends, she was quite happy to sit on the window ledge and gaze out of the window.

On the return journey we were a smaller bunch and it was a second class sleeper coach, and she seemed to really enjoy the three hour journey that turned into five because of delays. She had her fill of Maddur vade, churmuri and badam milk.  There was a lovely breeze blowing and it seemed like it was going to rain. The window seat was perfect. She fell asleep on my lap, looking out of the window.

When she woke up, I wanted to rest my back for a bit. She quite happily went to my Dad’s lap and I went to the upper berth and curled up with my book (well, the Kindle app on the phone, but hey) and drifted off. Bliss.

When I looked down a couple of times, I saw A sitting with my Dad and Mom quite happily, and the sight melted my heart.

This trip has re-kindled my love for train journeys. I’m keen on taking A on lots of them. We’ll learn to deal with the loos, I’m sure. Window seats, wind in the hair and endless supply of train food, here we come 🙂