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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    A train journey now and a train journey then

    There 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".
  • #617169
    By posting this thread the author took me to the childhood days of mine when we used to travel in a meter gauge six coach steam engine train. We used to know the train coming from the far off as the smoke would emanate from the steam engine. Its a pleasure and also very interest to watch the steam coming out of all the directions of the engine. And the sound it gives was still ringing in my ears. As as the train stops, people from nearby would bring their buckets to fill the hot water coming out of engine. And the three drivers were having taxing time inside as they have to spend their running time in the vicinity of furnace which cannot be imagined by modern electric and diesel engine drivers. Now a days the drivers are having more comfort , more gadgets in their hand that makes their life and journey more conformable and smooth. And each train had two guards and without their commands the train wont move.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #617173
    By the time I have seen this posting, I was travelling in 2nd AC comportment of Nagpur- Secunderabad train. I had been to Nagapore on Friday night and coming back on Saturday night. As on now, there is no flight running between these two cites. After seeing your post, I am also trying to compare my childhood days travel by train and these days train journey. Those days we were travelling in sleeper coaches. We travelled many places. We used to have a discussion among ourselves or with the fellow passengers. We used to carry some books or newspapers and read. Those days neighbouring people used to take our books to read and discuss the book. It is altogether a different experience. In this journey, I am alone. The other three who are sitting in the same couple are not known to me. Two of them are having their smartphones in their hands. I and the other gentleman are with laptops. We don't even wish each other. I tried to say hallow to the person sitting in the same seat. But he has not even seen my face. Another one hour we may reach the destination. What an experience travelling on the train, posting about a train journey. Nice experience
    always confident

  • #617174
    Nice nostalgic experience with relevant comparison. I remember as kids, train journey would be much anticipated for travel between two states for our holidays, we used to see large patches of green cover, slow speeds and thick black smoke and the rhythmic tatac-tatac noise that is much less now. We used to eat what people around us offered. What we have lost is trust and faith in the fellow human being. Now there is a risk of being doped to be duped or robbed, a conversation stuck in a friendly manner would be looked suspicious or an attempt for asking a favour or to divert our attention. Now when someone sits next to us, we think before we smile or strike a conversation. Often we come upon people who are dumb enough not to reserve a seat and rude enough to literally force you to give up your seat that you've reserved for your family. This is not an elderly person or lady, it's would be an ill mannered chap who would be talking endlessly over the phone, resting his legs on the opposite seat between seated people.

  • #617400
    I really love this beautiful thread. Nowadays the charm of train-journey has been lost. I can no longer see the coal engine, dark black smoke. I miss the journey in second class sleeper, constant interaction with fellow-passengers, sharing meal (especially vegetarian meal of 'puri-sabji' and 'achar'), stations with different products including books and periodicals, watching the activities of people and young children in the villages just beside the railway line.

    Nowadays I enter the train, go to my reserved seat, put one luggage under the seat, open the laptop or book which I read, eat the packed meal and sleep. No interaction with fellow-passengers. Nothing to hear (the cross-conversations)!

    I miss those old days!

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

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