Since class 2, we all have had our encounters with the boring books explaining the various modes if transport, namely road, water and air transpo,rt. As a child, I travelled had travelled a lot by train with my parents and found the rail journey extremely boring. But as I grew up and began to understand things better, I gradually realized how a journey through train can be made ‘damn’ exciting. This claim is not being made after a single experience but scores of train travels have made me arrive at the conclusion that if you are confused between whether to board a train or go by car or even by air for the matter, train is the best choice.
Many people are of the opinion that journeys by train are very boring, especially when you are travelling alone. The births are not very comfortable, the snacks are overpriced. All around you are people whom you call ‘strangers’ and as mothers have taught us, “don’t talk to strangers”, you don’t have anyone to talk to. If by luck you have the window seat, you try to search for beauty and hills and meadows (as shown in movies), but all that you see is either barren and deserted fields or houses. The only true companion you have is your mobile which also betrays you once its battery goes down and to add to the troubles there is one charging point in the compartment with 8 people want to charge their mobile sets. To top it all, if you are a girl, you have to deal with the whole issue of dangers involved in travelling alone and thus have to be careful all the time, suspecting each and every person around you. Thus the conclusion is that one should avoid travelling via train. It is not an experience worth cherishing.
But this is not the case with me. I have taken up this issue in a totally different manner. For me, journey through train is the most interesting thing you can ever come across. It just excites me so much, I don’t know why. Actually it also depends upon the person’s interests, his likes and dislikes. If you are passionate about culture and its diversity, you can never get bored in a train. If you are passionate about natural beauty, you can never get bored in a train. If you are a keen observer, you can never ever be a person who would advice people to not to travel by train. Living in India and saying that train travel is not fun, how is it possible? I understand that our stations are not well maintained. I agree that we find beggars and pick pockets all around. But why not see the other side of it. As soon as I reach the station, keeping in mind the well known fact that India is the 2nd most populous country in the world,it seems as if the whole nation has come and assembled at the station. Be it Gujarati, Bengali or Punjabi, you can find anyone and everyone around. At once you are reminded of your Gk books that talked about the cultural diversity of our own ‘India’. I see some impatient people around fretting at the fact that they are not able to find their seat no. or their name on the list. In the same family, will be some young boys and girls, extremely chilled out and not at all concerned about what’s going around. With their headphones, they will pretend as if they are in some other world, an attempt to avoid doing work and keeping the luggage. Then when everything is finally settled, people begin to talk to other people in the coach and as their conversation progresses; they reveal their entire family history. Sitting in the birth opposite to them, I get to hear everything about their husbands and wives, their children, their sisters-in law, the brothers of their sisters-in law, so on and so forth. You may think that I am a very inquisitive person and have a habit of overhearing personal talks, but believe me, sitting alone in the train when you have no other work to do; this is the most exciting pastime. In a few minutes you get to know how the other person is. If the person is going on and on about his achievements, his huge property and flourishing business, you understand that he is obsessed with his own self and loves to flaunt. Once travelling from Delhi to Jammu, I got the opportunity to have my birth against a women who was travelling to Pathankot alone. As both of us had no one to interact with, she made me her target. She asked me what I was doing and where I was travelling to. Being an introvert, I answered her questions in the shortest possible manner. I thought that after the little inquiries she made, the conversation would come to an end. But I was wrong. Without me even asking her about her whereabouts, she kept telling me everything on her own.This way I got to know that her name was Mrs. Anjali and she was a teacher by profession, that she had 2 children, a son (studying abroad) and a daughter who was in the 9th grade. Her husband worked in a private firm and was posted at Pathankot, so she was going to meet her. I just had nothing to tell her about myself, neither she asked. She just went on telling me about her family and I did nothing instead of smiling and nodding my head. There are people around discussing the same age old cliché topics of politics and that ‘change is necessary’. There is the next compartment is a huge family with lots of children who are playing with balls, considering the train to be a park. There are lots of infants also who are wailing and shouting at the top of their voices, pissing off everyone around them. Fret not, you also find sensible people around, who are either engrossed in their novels or our talking to their dear ones softly so that no one gets disturbed. If you are not interested in people around you, you have another option. You can look out of the window and enjoy the beauty around. Obviously you will not find snow clad mountains or sea, but you will surely find barren lands, cropped fields or villages, which have a beauty of their own. Once travelling towards Bhopal, 2′o clock in the night suddenly I got up and what I see outside the glass pane is a large, unending area of large conical structures made of sand. It was so beautiful and I felt as if I have reached the sand dune rich desert of Jaisalmer. The sight was so fascinating that for the next 20 minutes I kept gazing out of the window. It was later that I realised that those that looked like sand dunes were actually the mud houses of ants! So beauty is everywhere. You just need to search for it.
One thing that each one of us needs to learn is to find happiness in everything around. Find beauty in everything around. Find pleasure in everything around. If we become over demanding and behave like ‘pampered spoilt brats’, we can never enjoy life. Life is all about adjustment. Everywhere and every time we will not get what we aspire for. Every birth can’t be a bed with silk bed sheets. Every place can’t be Switzerland. Every person can’t be the person you want to talk to. But that doesn’t mean that life will stop. Life doesn’t come to end. Either you crib about things and have a bad experience. Or you try to find happiness and interest in everything around. The choice is yours.