A train journey now and a train journey thenThere was a train journey which we used to do with our parents during our childhood and alone as youngsters in college days. Similarly, there are train journeys we do now as adults with our family and kids. Is there any noticeable difference between the journey now and the journey then? Let us try to figure out.
I remember myself traveling in a 3 Tier Sleeper Class coach which was a standard at that time for budget travelers. AC coaches with tinted black windows was a mystery to me and made me wonder how comfortable and cozy it would be from inside but it was a costly option for me. I remember people entering AC coaches of the empty train standing on a platform just like a museum out of eagerness to see how it looked from inside.
Now a little bit about the journey in a Sleeper Class coach. Many of us might have traveled from east to west and from north to south of India where the journey is pretty long and about 1.5 to 2 days. Spending that long time on the train without feeling bored was always a challenge but good thing was that in most of the cases time passed comfortably. After boarding the train and while occupying the respective seats I remember what was the first dialogue between the fellow passengers having seat in the same compartment. It was "Sir, what is your seat no?" After settling down a bit conversations between the passengers continued to " Where are you going?" and "What do you do?" It went on and on. In a short time atmosphere in a compartment having different passengers became like a family traveling and enjoying together. They shared their food helped each other in all possible ways. The journey passed like a breeze and at the end of journey people exchanged their contact details and bid a warm farewell.
As years have passed by much has changed in our train journeys today. With increasing income level of people and deteriorating condition of 3 Tier Sleeper class coaches budget travelers have now shifted from Sleeper to AC coaches in the train. The journey has grown more comfortable inside AC coaches but still rather boring. Thanks to the world of gadgets. People now instead of looking for fellow passengers look more for laptop and mobile charging points. Rather than talking to fellow passengers they prefer talking over mobile and seeing Facebook and Whatsapp. I see passengers watching a movie on their laptops or playing games on mobiles. Nobody now needs the company of the fellow passengers as they have the virtual company of the gadgets. Well, there are still some passengers who socialize but in majority cases, the trend has changed. When people are bored rather than talking to the fellow passengers they talk over the phone to their relatives about trivial things like "I have reached Pune now" or "I just had Idly in breakfast".
I keep on getting puzzled regarding this drastic change between the two kinds of train journeys but then I console myself saying "This is an era of gadgets, so you better get adjusted to it".