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Revelations Of A Train Journey

By Abhishek Namballa

Speak of journeys and the mind will throw at you countless memories to look at and amuse yourself. Every day is a journey, and each journey – a revelation of sorts. It can be as simple as finding a new alley to something more meaningful such as an insight to the bigger question of life itself. It is not a coincidence that great authors, writers and philosophers are also extensive travelers. If not for the daredevilry of the early travelers and adventurers I doubt of any way we could have known for a fact that the world is round or the fact that there exists something or someone beyond the confines of our lives.

Photo credit - Chinmay Maheshwari

No other means of transport comes even close to a long train journey when it comes to the understanding and the wisdom it can impart to a receptive and sensitive human mind. Any person who has traveled by train would have come across people from myriad backgrounds, people with different mindsets and people with diverse tastes and interests. It can be fascinating at times to listen to the animated conversations that break out or rather started on someone’s initiative. And even more enthralling is its power to draw others into it.

One just needs to have an eye out for these things. Look around and you will notice assorted kinds of beings – the serious ones who like indulging themselves in their own world of books or on their laptops and smart phones, quietly doing away their work. Then there are the lazy ones, who prefer idling or sleeping peacefully in their berths often inconveniencing fellow passengers. Sub classification would include those (especially children) who love peeking out of the windows feeling the ruffle (rather gust) of the wind on their faces. Others include the ones a train journey owes all the din and orderly commotion – their talks range from personal discussions to contemporary national issues to sober issues of moral conduct and in some uncommon cases about the greater purpose of life itself!!

Personally, I am a bit of an introvert. Though I do have a knack of befriending people easily, I prefer sitting back and observing things and the people around me. I would most likely be classified along with the first class of people that I described above. This has given me an opportunity to learn new things over the years and augment my database.

The most recent journeys I can recollect of clearly did seem to offer a kaleidoscopic view of life. If on one train journey it was the incessant chatting and jabbering amongst fellow batch mates from another college, on an another occasion it was a disgruntled Gujarati serving what it seemed like a prison sentence in Chennai pouring out his heart to me (few of the occasions when I got chatting with my co-passenger). On yet another occasion I was in company of an amiable old couple. Well I know that some people do get lucky at times(you know what I am talking about), some more often than others, me on the other hand have never once been lucky!!

So next time when you are out traveling on a train try to observe – who knows what you might stumble upon, may be it will end in your book when you eventually decide to write one, or it might etch itself in your memory that you will cherish later. 

About the writer : A 2nd year Electrical Engineering student at IIT Madras who, when not busy devouring the courses at hand loves to write, play keyboard, badminton and cricket and hobble around the internet hoping to stumble upon something that would prevent his brain cells from dying out..


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