Another journey begins ...

Swarnajayanti Express sounded very fancy but knowing Indian Railways as I did, there was no expectation of gold plated furnishings, cutlery et al.  Of course being a magician and an acrobat helps in any train journey in the subcontinent. I didn’t want here to get started on the toilet first but it’s an integral part of long distance travel even though the actual time you might be spending there might be small, God willing. But let’s get the dirty part over with first. I don’t think the railway official who decided how long the chain has to be that ties the steel mug has ever travelled on a train or washed his ass for that matter. You have to be a magician to know how to use it. Being a yogi is also helpful if by your will power you can add several meters to the length of the contraption for it to be of any practical purpose. Previous experience of acrobatics and gymnastics is absolutely essential. It’s like passing motion in a washing machine in spin mode. But to give credit where it’s due, the toilets were cleaned twice during the 3 days trip. 

I travelled III A.C, putting the reality that is the heat and dust of India at arm’s length. There’s always romance in a journey, the romance of the voyage into the unknown, the unseen and a million other things even if your journey is preplanned to the minutest detail. Anything is possible including meeting a beautiful witty stranger as depicted in ‘Before Sunset’.  But as I survey the scene these days, all I see are people obsessed over their cell phones and laptops. How do you start a conversation?  But then I would have to remind people what exactly a conversation is…

  A family of three gave me company on this journey. The dad, mom and daughter all lost in their respective mobile world. I’m still fascinated by India speeding along outside a train window but it seems very few people are. They talked in monosyllables and occasionally glanced in my direction as well. There were so many kids in the compartment that we could have started preschool but they were surprisingly silent and well behaved.  

The trip to Delhi from Thiruvananthapuram took 50 hours most of it spent in deep sushupti. There’s something deeply relaxing at being rocked to sleep in the AC compartment in a train. Quite a few fellow travelers spent a considerable time curled up under the blankets. Alluring as this is, it is always a good idea to step outside once in a while to smell the ‘fresh’ air outside. In India the possibilities are endless.

On the outskirts of Vijayawada, the train stopped on top of the bridge over the river Krishna. It was fascinating to look down from the door of the train into steps and then a sheer drop into the green waters swirling below. The gentle lapping of the water could be heard clearly , and one could see fishermen struggling with their catch on a boat not far away.

In Bina jn, I saw that somebody had come to see their family off. She was so arresting in her appearance that I had to click some pictures…



  1. Hi, M..very old acquaintance here..found you 'cos I was stalking you..

  2. Yesssss! This is the moment I've been waiting for my entire I'm now so famous that I've got a stalker even though I'm anonymous. Isn't that cool ? Got to get in touch with the nearest police station now for having an escort...( the police ├ęscort',not the other kind, I know what you dirty people are thinking !) ;)

  3. Dear Mr Vagabond,

    You may disappear for months altogether but the charm in your writing remains the same.


  4. @SEPO, This has to be the best compliment I've got in a decade of blogging. Thank you Sneha. :)


Thanks for taking the time to write :)