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Posts Tagged ‘train’

The train ride

March 23, 2012 13 comments

The little girl looks at her reflection
In  the train window
She begins play acting
oblivious to those around her

The old man in the corner seat
cannot suppress a smile
Suddenly their eyes meet
And she takes cover

The crowd  swells in  as people jostle for space
The intercom resonates
Train door is closing..
Please mind the platform gap

She  turns to her mother
Pleading to play a game with her
She recites the names of the stations
Novena, Newton, Orchard, Somerset..

The young lad sways to and fro
Unable to control his sleep
He is shaken from his dream
By the lady beside him

Suddenly it turns dark
The train passes a tunnel
The little girl hugs her mother
And eagerly awaits the light

All around people tapping
smartphones and  tablets
Checking out social media and games
Absorbed, riveted and focussed

The girl runs to the window
Amazed by sight of boats in a row
serene waters and blue clouds
Skirted by green trees

Events change along the train ride
one after another like patterns
Of a kaleidoscope
Surprises waiting to unfold

 

© copyright skm, 23rd March 2012

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Categories: Poetry Tags: , , , ,

India – by rail

January 6, 2012 3 comments

Indian Railways has 114,500 kilometres of total track over a route of 65,000 kilometres and 7,500 stations. The railways carry over 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily

Travelling by train in India is a memorable experience.  It is remarkable how people get to know each other and enjoy so much on the journey that it is great fun.  I remember travelling by train during my school  holidays when we would go to Kerala.

In Mumbai, I travelled by crowded suburban trains from Vasai to Churchgate.  Even in this crowded train there was so much of activity going on that you almost forgot you were travelling in such a crowd.  People playing card games, antakshari going on in the train, ladies cutting vegetables for dinner, people offering seats, keeping briefcases on the rack..

Recently on my India trip, we travelled from Bangalore to Alwaye by train – The Intercity Express.  It was a great experience travelling by train in India after a long long time


The intercity express crosses 3 states – Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala.  It starts at Bangalore Cantonment and passes through Carmelaram, Hosur, Dharmapuri, Salem Junction, Sankaridurg, Erode Junction, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Alwaye and Ernakulam. (I remember when young – we would play the game of guessing the next station).  The ticket collector comes in to check our tickets.  The advantage of travelling by train is that you can stretch your legs once a while.

People were reading, playing with their iphones , ipads and laptops.  I like to stand at the door to drink in the sights and sounds of the stations that we pass.  I also get to take some pictures of the landscape (see the two pictures above).

There is just a 2-3 minute stop at the station and you have to be ready to load/unload all your luggage in this time when boarding/alighting.

Another  wonderful  joy of travelling by train is the nasal calls of the vendors – chaiiii, kapi, param-pori, vadai, veg biryani, cutlet, sambaram, tomato soup etc.  One is tempted to try out the food.

We talk to people on the journey and when it is time to alight we can make some good friends.

I am reminded of the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson – “ Life is a journey not a destination”.

Categories: General Tags: , , ,
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