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Love train travelling and love writing? You can combine your two loves with this special E-book!
  • Category: Reward Programs

    The Christmas Holiday Train - E-book contest

    We now begin our special E-book with those who registered for it writing one chapter each. In earlier e-books, we've had the story unfolding over a span of time, sometimes over some years. This time, the challenge for the authors is different. The story must be confined to a span of 48 hours and guess where…on a train!

    Story theme: The Christmas Holiday Train.

    What you have to do: Each author must submit their chapter within 25 hours of the time I give an element for you to include in the chapter. Everyone, including the first author, should be patient till I come online and put in my response. You can include conversations, interesting characters and objects, etc but no slang, short forms of words, or inappropriate language. The challenge is to allow the story to develop within the setting of a train over two days, ensuring that you get names of characters already mentioned correctly, and skillfully get the characters/story back on track. An author may even include something that may turn out to be a challenge to the next author.

    The Rules
    1. Each chapter should be submitted in English only, including within it the element assigned to the author. This element can be incorporated in any manner and not necessarily exactly as it is. For example, if you are told to include a desk, it could be a desktop of a computer and not literally a work desk.

    2. Minimum number of words: 300. Maximum number of words: 500.

    3. Give a title of not more than five words to the chapter.

    4. You are permitted to use the edit button to correct general English errors and typo but do not change the title or the core of the text.

    The Instructions
    1. Please submit the chapter in the exact order of the chapter numbers assigned to you in the registration thread. Your time of 25 hours will begin once I put a response, assigning the element to be included in your chapter.
    2. Submit the content in such a way that the next author can pick up the story smoothly, and not present it in a manner that the chapter gives an end to the story much before the last author's chapter.
    3. For any clarifications, you may submit a query in the registration thread. However, do not comment on any chapter. Feedback on the contest can be given later, when the winners are announced.

    The Rewards
    A winning chapter will get the author Rs.125/- (up to a maximum of three authors can win this prize). There will be no second prizes, but up to two consolation prizes of Rs.50 each may also be given. Other participants may get points and cc as per the quality of the content. Have a fun trip!

    [Note: please do not consider the current pandemic-related scenario.]
  • #718538
    I am writing a brief backdrop for the story to unfold-

    Inayat was as excited as the 15 teenagers in the group chattering around her on the platform at Caramel station. They were about to board the Christmas holiday train, a special train that had been launched as part of the festive season with huge discounts on the tickets. As soon as the school Principal had been intimated about it by the science teacher Mrs. Goyal, with a request to take her Class 12 students for the trip, the Principal had given her consent once the students got permission from their parents and would be willing to pay for the excursion. The Principal also made it clear that at least three teachers must accompany the students. Inayat, who taught English and was the youngest on the faculty, and the jovial PT instructor Kartik were willing to go along. So there they were, huddled up in warm woollens, taking in the beautifully decorated train with its Christmas stars and buntings. It was not a very large train, just six coaches for passengers and a pantry-cum-dining car. Each coach had comfortable 2-tier berths for 20 passengers. Other passengers, including families with kids, were also waiting to get on board.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718541
    This is how each author will submit their chapters-
    Chapter 1: [Title]
    Text of the chapter.

    Each author will be given one element to include in the chapter. Remember to carefully read the text of all the chapters that precede yours, including the backdrop, as there may be a hidden tricky aspect smartly placed in by the previous author!

    For the first author: you have to introduce new characters who are in the same berth as the school group mentioned.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718578
    Chapter 1: Arrival of the Christmas Holiday Train

    "Have a holly jolly Christmas" song was lifting up the holiday mood of the people waiting in the Caramel Station. Mrs. Goyal checked the tickets; Id proofs and Students count once again. They were all minors but teenagers. Goyal was little nervous about this excursion. Still, this was their last year in the school; she felt this could be the best memory she can give it to her students. So, she was ready to take up this responsibility.

    Mr. Kartik was kidding at "Late comer" Sarat for his unusual punctuality perfection on that day. Even Goyal couldn't believe that he arrived the station at 4pm for the train that departs at 6pm. Kartik already travelled with students for many inter school sports competitions, but this was the first time, he went on an excursion with students.

    Many students were busy taking selfies and usies in front of the decorated Christmas tree, giant snowman and cute elves. Ms. Inayat happily joined them for the pictures. She helped a family to take a family photo in front of the nativity scene. Everybody gave a second look at them for the identical twins in that family. Inayat and many others already noticed them, when their dad put them on the sledge and made them hold Reindeer's leash for a picture.

    When the train arrival sound was heard from a distance, everybody came to an attention and took hold of their luggage. As per Goyal's instructions, all 15 students were equally separated into 3 groups and each group went to their respective in-charge teachers. Kartik and his students walked away from their team to board the train from a different coach as per the ticket reservation.

    Inayat's students mimicked train's various sounds. Inayat said, "Hasini, your train onomatopoeia is perfect". When girls gave a puzzled look, Inayat gave her usual smile and said, "Girls! Can we start our English class now?". All laughed loud, but it soon got faded with the nearing train's sound.

    The Black shiny engine with golden color edges showed up with a glow star on top of it; "CHRISTMAS" was put on with light letters and twinkling on the face of the engine. It was followed by red and green coaches. Silver and golden color stars were sticked randomly on it. Windows were decorated with lights. Doors were so welcoming with wreaths decorated with different color balls. On top of the last coach, a well decorated mini-Christmas tree was placed.

    When the train completely stopped, men dressed as Santa claus opened the door from inside and got down from each coach. Everybody got excited and cheered. All shook hands with Santa and accepted a candy bag from him before entering to the train. When Kartik wished for a cup of coffee from him, Santa winked at him and said, "the wish will be granted at the train's pantry area". Goyal and Inayat with 10 students and Kartik with 5 students boarded in coach 3 and coach 4 respectively.

    Students and teachers were amazed at the interior decoration of the coach. All are bright and clean. After getting seated, Inayat was the first one to notice the same twin brothers smiling at them with a candy cane in their hand.

    Sri Vetri
    Spread Positivism

  • #718586
    Element to be added in Chapter 2: Black & White

    [A note- Sorry, I seem to have overlooked an error in the text I put for the element of Chapter 1. I put the word 'berth' instead of the word 'coach'. Luckily, the first author has incorporated it properly, so we will move on, ]

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718588
    For a quick reference for the authors, I am mentioning the order in which you will write the chapters-
    1. Malini
    2. Dr Deepali
    3. Sun
    4. Dr Rao
    5. Sanjeev Gupta
    6. Neeru Bhatt
    7. Swati Sharma
    8. Shampa Sadhya
    9. Umesh
    10. Sneha Utkarsha
    11. Reena Upadhya
    12. Divya Bajaj

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718705
    Chapter 2: Secret Santa on board

    Inayat also smiled and told the children, "What's your name?" Tom and James, they said. She said that's great. Can we be friends? Children Said, Yes, with great pleasure.

    Around 8 o'clock they heard some announcement on the train. The announcement was to gather in the pantry-cum-dining car. They all gathered in the dining car that was neat and clean and beautifully decorated. They saw that a special Christmas cake cutting event on the occasion of Christmas eve was planned. All the passengers were delighted by the lightworks on the Christmas holiday train. Then, Santa entered there making the "ho ho hoing" and distributed Christmas goodies to all. Hope your Coffee wish gets fulfilled, Santa asked Kartik. Kartik smiled. A music band was there to entertain the passengers on board by their live performance. Besides, some cultural performances were also organised to make the Christmas Eve special. Everybody enjoyed a lot. After that, all the passengers introduce themselves. Then, Mrs Goyal told Inayat and Kartik to play some interesting game so that all can indulge with each other and enjoy their journey. Inayat said, Ma'am can we play 'Secret Santa Game'? I think in the Secret Santa Game everybody can join us. Mrs Goyal said, Great. Kartik said, Ma'am, let me announce the rules of the game. "No, let it be secret", Mrs Goyal interrupts Kartik. We will play this game with all the passengers secretly and make this Christmas special for each of us. The trio keeps their plan secret. Thereafter, a wonderful extravagant gala dinner party was arranged that was full of entertainment. The passengers enjoyed the party a lot, danced together and exchanged warm wishes.

    Late-night all the passengers went for sleep in their coaches. But some students are talking with each other and telling their stories. One student shared the story of his mother's hard work and describes how his mother raised him after his father left and he wants to gift something to his mother. Another student also shared that he belongs to a poor family and he has a keen interest in music and he wants to buy a guitar. Other students also shared their stories. Mrs Goyal and Inayat are listening to the whole talk. After listening to their stories, Mrs Goyal went into her black & white memories of old hard days and she decided to do some memorable on this Christmas as this was her last year in the school. In the morning, when all the students awaken, they become surprised.

    [This entry wins a consolation prize.]

  • #718708
    The Element to be included in Chapter 3: Getting off for an unexpected halt at a station on the route.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718728
    A gap in the journey with surprises

    The clock struck six. Yet no one was ready to take out their blankets and come down from their berths. Vanita from Mrs. Goyal's group went to the pantry and brought the tea kettle and cups. She made everyone take their cup of tea. Suddenly, Mamata shouted and said, "Hey, look, I have found an envelope." Other students also echoed that they too have found an envelope on their berth. All those envelopes were marked "Don't open until instructed". All started discussing who could have placed those envelopes. Everyone suspected Santa. And no one dared to open the envelope, but were curious to know the content of it.

    The train was scheduled to reach the next station at 8 a.m. Unexpectedly, at 7 O'clock, the train came to an unscheduled halt in a small station en route. Mr. Kartik got down from the coach and reached the engine to know the reason for the halt. The engine driver explained that an agitating group has blocked the railway track ahead, and they are expected to continue their blocking until 0800 hrs. The train would move only after the track is cleared.

    Mr. Kartik returned and conveyed the reason for the stoppage of the train. The students were happy and unhappy. Right at 8 O'clock, the teams had their breakfast. Then a student Sarita came up and said, "Let us discuss for an hour." Manjula asked, 'On what subject?" Sarita said, "The ongoing hot subject is Farm's law. Will the new farm laws help the farmers or ruin the farmers? Let us discuss."

    Mrs. Goyal was not in favour of discussion on that subject and wanted to have a different topic for discussion. At this time, Santa came in, sat with them, and asked, "What's going on my children? Goyal said," We want to pass time with some group discussion. We are searching for a topic to discuss. Dear Santa, Why don't you suggest a topic for us to discuss?" Santa smiled and replied, "Discuss 'What came first, an egg or a hen?' The winning team would get a gift from me." And Shanta left for the next coach.

    The teams were happy to discuss the topic, and the discussion went on till 0900 hrs when the train started moving. Mrs. Goyal moderated the discussion. She was to submit the result of the discussion to Santa for the award of prizes.

    The train picked up speed and reached the next station at 1000 hrs, late by one hour. All were served cakes and tea. After the tea break, the trio wanted to play the secret Santa game. But the students were curious to know the contents of the envelopes.

    What was the secret Santa game? What were the contents of the envelopes? Who won the discussion on the topic suggested by Santa?

    No life without Sun

  • #718738
    Element to be included in Chapter 4: Quick trip to a place within walking distance of the station.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718820
    A visit to a Nursery

    As soon as the train stopped in the station there is an announcement on the train. All are informed that the train will halt in the station for about 2 hours. They informed that there is a beautiful nursery nearby. The place is just walkable distance only and interested can visit and come back. It was also mentioned that the train will start back 12 noon and all should come back by that time. All are expecting some announcement about the covers but nothing has been mentioned.

    Mrs Goyal, Inayat and Kartik decided to go and visit the nursery with all the 15 students and enjoy the beautiful nursery. Mrs Goyal is very much fond of plants and plantation. All the students are very happy and they started after getting ready quickly. Tom and James with their parents also wanted to go and see the nursery and the students felt happy so that they can spend some time with these twins. The nurseries in that area are very famous and they will be supplying the saplings to all over the country.

    They walked down to the nursery. The nursery is very well maintained. There are many types of plants. The nursery is very attractive. The supervisor there informed them that many movies were picturised in those nurseries. The teachers advised the students not to pluck any flowers and see them from a distance.

    The atmosphere is pleasant. The Sun is rising and trying to warm the atmosphere. All the students are enjoying their visit. There are many rose saplings there. Different colours and different varieties of flowers. A feast to eyes. Mrs Goyal is getting philosophical. She is thinking that life is like a rose plant. There will be green leaves and flowers. Equally, thorns will also be there and for the people who look from outside the flowers appear very beautiful but when they go and try to touch, they will feel the pain with the thorns. In our lives also we will have both happiness and pains. The beauty of life is in handling pains carefully and enjoying life.

    Madam, please come for a selfie, Karthik called her and she came out of her thoughts. All the students took selfies with all the students and teachers in different places. They took photos with the twins and their family members also. Mrs Goyal purchased 3 rose saplings for her kitchen garden. After spending a good time there, all of them started back and reached the station. In another 15 minutes, the train has to move from the station.

    All the students and teachers got into their respective places and again their looks went on to the envelopes. They are eager to know what is there inside. Meanwhile, there was an announcement on the train.

    [This entry is the joint co-winner of the first prize.]

    always confident

  • #718833
    Element to be included in Chapter 5: A funny incident just before the train is about to re-start its journey.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718893
    Chapter 5: Envelope with surprise

    An announcement was made that the train is going to restart soon. Tom and James were smiling as they had plucked flowers from the nursery inspite of the instructions. They were hiding the flowers in their Tshirts. They thought that no one will notice it but they were mistaken as everyone could easily judge that they had hidden something in their tshirt. Manjula asked Tom "What's there in your tshirt?" . Tom shocked and said nothing my stomach is bulging because I have eaten alot today. Hearing this everyone laughed at him. His mother scolded them both for why they had plucked the flowers even after telling them not to do.

    Meanwhile the train restarted and picked up its speed. Now all the kids were curious to know what's there in the envelope. Finally the time came and Mrs Goyal asked the kids to open their envelope one by one.

    Mr Kartik asked Sarita to open her envelope first and read what's there in it. Sarita hurriedly picked the envelope but Mrs Goyal asked her not to be in so hurry first listen to the instructions.

    She said all the members will have to perform an activity as per written on the slip and judges (Inayat, Mrs Goyal, Kartik) will assign points as per the performance and first 3 winners will be given the prizes.

    Sarita opened the envelope and her activity is to sing a patriotic song. She is very shy girl so she refused but after persuaded by her friends she started singing " Ae mere vatan ke logon" and she sang it beautifully and was applauded by all. Even Tom said " Didi your voice is too melodious".

    Ankit who was anxiously waiting to open his envelope was asked to open it by Madam Goyal. Ankit opened his envelope. He is very talented in playing guitar and he had brought his guitar along with him so was asked to play it and upto the expectation he played it nicely even Santa too was listening it keenly while sitting besides Tom and was distributing cookies to all.

    Soon the train gained speed. It was passing through the green fields. The farmers were seen working in their fields. They were ploughing the fields. Shepherds were grazing cattle. Little children were grazing their cows and buffaloes. They shouted with joy and waving their hand to us.

    Then came a man putting on a black coat. The man in black coat was the ticket checker. Kartik got all the tickets checked.

    Inayat was sitting calmly. She was thinking about her mother Amina who was not well when she left the home. In an excitement she didn't think of her leaving her alone at home. Suddenly her phone rang. It was of her mother who was crying while speaking as she was diagnosed with cancer. Inayat was also crying. The environment of the party suddenly changed and everyone were upset for her and were discussing what to do now.

    [This entry wins a consolation prize.]


    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

  • #718920
    Element to be included in Chapter 6: Introduce a new character who is a passenger from another coach.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718941
    Chapter 6 : Meeting a doctor on board

    Inayat was worried with the news of her mother diagnosed with cancer. Her mind was now diverted. Mrs Goyal tried to console her that many types of cancers are curable nowadays and she should not worry and once they return back she can go to the doctor and discuss the matter in detail as how to go ahead with the treatment. Mrs Goyal also told that it is only a matter of one more day and we all will be back and then Inayat can take stock of the situation. Inayat got the point and phoned to her uncle who was in the same city and intimated about this development. Her uncle told her not to worry and he will be going to meet her mother in the evening.

    Meanwhile, Kartik was with the students and wanted to progress ahead with the opening of envelopes with the remaining students. Mrs Goyal also joined them and slowly the mood in the group came to normalcy.

    Inayat was still disturbed and something was in her mind and she told Mrs Goyal that she will be back in a moment and left the coach and proceeded to coach 4, then 5 and finally 6, where she found the train conductor. Inayat wished him good morning and he asked her if he could do anything for her. Inayat told that she wanted to talk to some doctor if at all someone was available in the train. The conductor told her that he will find out from the passenger list and then he started to scan the list available with him. He found one doctor couple along with their son in coach number 5 and took Inayat there.

    The doctor was a middle aged person and when Inayat introduced herself and told about the school group she was travelling, doctor became happy to note that. Doctor told his name as Ravi Rathore. Inayat asked him if she could talk to him about a patient. Doctor smiled and allowed her to do so. When she finished telling about her mother, doctor told her that she should not at all worry and just leave the things in the hands of the doctors who will be treating her mother. He also told that with a proper treatment and diet management cancer can be managed and many patients survive for quite some time. Hearing this Inayat felt relieved and thanked the doctor and his wife and then came back to her coach. Everyone was waiting for her and she just smiled back to them and told them to continue with envelope opening one by one.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #718961
    Element to be included in Chapter 7: One empty envelope.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #718996
    Chapter 7 - An emotional turn during the journey.

    For some time the atmosphere of the journey had become a bit sad, everyone was sad for Inayat's mother. But as soon as the children and other teachers saw Inayat coming back to the coach, everyone became happy. Inayat too was much relaxed and calm now. With this, Karthik said, "Let's move the process of our envelope opening program forward" and the game of opening the envelopes has resumed.

    On the other hand, Mrs. Goyal asked Inayat - "Is she feeling better now than before." Inayat told the entire conversation with the doctor to Goyal Madam.

    Here, envelopes were being opened one by one by the children and all the children were giving their performance. After opening the final envelope, all the children cheered loudly after the final performance. The children felt that now that the game was over, they started talking among themselves.

    All of sudden a voice of Mrs. Goyal - Students, May I have your attention, please!

    All the children started listening carefully to Mrs. Goyal, meanwhile, Sarita saw an envelope in hand with Mrs. Goyal and she wondered who left the envelope, then Mrs. Goyal said - "Students, I have one empty envelope, and now I will give a blank paper to all you children, the paper in which you have to write your wish and then that wish will be given to your Santa so that your wish would be fulfilled.

    All the children started discussing with each other what their wish should be, after discussing for some time, they wrote their wish on that paper and put it in that empty envelope, and give it to Mrs. Goyal. After this, all the children sat down.

    As soon as Mrs. Goyal opened the envelope and took out the paper and read their wish, she surprised and amazed about it, then Karthik and Inayat came to her and saw the paper of wish of the children, there is a proudly smile on Karthik's face and tears in Inayat's eyes after reading it.

    Actually, the children prayed for Inayat mother's and wish to God for a healthy long life for her mother as soon as possible. Inayat was thinking that such innocent children they are and their thinking and heart is so big. Inayat blessed all students with her smile.

    Suddenly Ankit got some light outside the window and he asked all the friends to come to him soon. Everyone including Tom and James looked outside and saw some beautiful beautiful different colored lights. It seemed that a new small station was coming, the speed of the train was also reduced slightly. The curiosity of the children was increasing which place is coming now.

    All the children were having some such questions in their mind -
    Will the train stop at this station?
    Will we be able to go to that place and see these different colored lights more closely?

    Swati Sharma

    Keep your Face to the SunShine

  • #719014
    Element to be included in Chapter 8: A sudden noise.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #719081
    Chapter 8: Reaching the Holy City Bethlehem

    After visiting the nursery at noon when the train restarted, it did not stop at any other station, but it seems a station is about to come as Ankit could see colourful lights from the window. The speed of the train is gradually getting slower and slower. Ankit, his friends and the twins are busy watching outside the train's window because of the colourful lights.

    Kindly pay attention! Passengers. All of a sudden, the announcement in a screaming voice makes the coach pin-drop silent. Everyone seems a little worried when the announcer switches to a soothing voice but enthusiastically announces that the train is about to reach the Bethlehem station within thirty minutes. The students and the teachers take a few seconds to come to terms from the earlier screeching tone and instantly look at their watches. It's 5:30 in the evening, the teachers and their students realize that fun activities and Inayat's sadness made them completely forget how much time has passed.

    Enthusiastically the announcer continues that the passengers will get some good time to check the stalls set up on the platform. All types of Christmas gifts and goodies will be available for sale in the stalls. Then sharp at 6:45 P.M, all the passengers must gather near the entrance gate of the platform. From there, we will go for dinner to a newly set up restaurant which is on the first floor of the station. After finishing dinner by 8:30 P.M, we all would go to St. James's Church which is just beside the station to attend the Mass. The announcer conveys that the restaurant's first diners will be the passengers of the Christmas Holiday Train, then it will open for the others. By the time announcement comes to an end, the train enters the Bethlehem station.

    The passengers could see from the windows of the coaches the beautifully lit up platform. Everything seems so decked up, and the teachers with their students and the rest of the passengers look so happy. They are all eager to get down at the station and take a full view of the platform. Gradually, everyone gets down, and the look of the platform mesmerizes each one of them.


  • #719213
    Element to be included in Chapter 9: An unexpected new passenger in Coach 4 on the return route back to the boarding station.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #719284
    Chapter 9: Surprise meeting with Kartik's classmate

    Mrs Goyal told that as there is some time in hand before they go for dinner on the first floor restaurant it would be nice to make three groups of students and explore the stalls and see if someone wanted to buy anything as a token of memory of this place. So they divided in three groups led by Mrs Goyal, Inayat, and Kartik respectively.

    The students were fascinated with the collection of the gift items and Christmas goodies which were showcased in the various stalls and were at their wits end to select a particular item. They were told that they had to finish here by 07:30 PM and then have to proceed to restaurant for dinner after which they would attend the mass in the Church and then come back and board the train which was scheduled to depart at 09:50 PM for the return journey.

    Around 07:30 PM, teachers reminded the students and moved to the restaurant. They climbed the stairs and a few minutes later they were in the big restaurant which was well decorated and the staff was welcoming the passengers of the Christmas train for the dinner. It was a part of the train fare package. They found some fellow passengers there and some students found the twins with their parents waving hands to them. It was a very nice buffet dinner and they took whatever they liked. After dinner they had some sweets which were placed on the next table along with a big Christmas cake from which everyone was taking out a piece to enjoy it.

    By 08:15 PM, their dinner was over and they proceeded to Church. Christmas mass was under progress and they took their seats in the successive rows. There was pin drop silence and the preachings were being delivered in a calm and serene environment. Mrs Goyal whispered that around 09:20 PM, all of them would leave the mass and go to the platform for boarding the train. At 09:20 PM teachers signalled the students to sneak out and proceed to the platform. They all reached there and started to board in their respective coaches. All were feeling a bit exhausted and some students were already having pangs of sleeps. The students were told to change and go to sleep.

    It was about 09:35 PM when Kartik just saw through the window one couple coming towards and entering his coach. He recognised them and after a while proceeded to the seats where they were settling in. He just stood there and when the person glimpsed towards him then there was a big surprise on his face. They were Raghav and Veena. He was the classmate of Kartik. They wanted to talk and Kartik told him that he would come back in five minutes.

    The train whistled and started to move.

    [This entry is the joint co-winner of the 1st prize.]

    Knowledge is power.

  • #719287
    Element to be included in Chapter 10: A whispering sound.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #719396
    Since Sneha has failed to submit her chapter, Reena is requested to take the story forward, submitting Chapter 10 with the same element that was assigned for the chapter - a whispering sound. Your 25 hours will begin from the time of posting this response.

    Divya will be closing the e-book with the final chapter after I have mentioned the element to be included.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #719512
    Chapter 9: Vibrancy towards journey end

    Kartik after reassuring that everyone is seated comfortably has returned to have a chat with his old school friend Raghav. Both of them are joyous and surprised to see each other. Raghav introduced Veena, who is his newlywed wife. Both of them had come to Bethlehem to visit the church. They are now going to Caramel to visit their relatives where they will be spending their new year. Since two passengers alighted on Bethlehem, two seats got vacant. Thus, the couple was permitted to board it. Kartik told them everything about the school trip.

    In the next few minutes, they heard a strange whispering sound, and Kartik joined back his group to know the reason for it. It is the sound coming from outside. Branches of Jerusalem pine trees are embracing the windows of advancing train. Ankit funnily started making whispering sounds mimicking the sound of leaves. Students one by one are joining him. Soon it has become louder every second. Well, it is the end of the splendid day for everyone. Soon, they have taken their berths and fallen asleep.

    It is morning time. This morning is different as it is the last day of their journey. What a journey it has been! The whole group is on the return journey back to their boarding station. Within no time, this adventurous journey of theirs will come to an end. They want to make the most out of the remaining few hours. Thus, they have wished to live and capture every moment.

    Students aren't missing a single opportunity to look out of their windows. They are busy having a look at the hills, valleys and vineyards. They are amazed at the site of distant fortresses. They are enjoying the sight of scanty but different vegetations such as olive trees, red river gum and Mediterranean cypress. Vanita is watching the shadows the branches of trees are casting on the windows. They are identifying wild lives and trying their best to classify them under different categories when asked by their science teacher Mrs Goyal. Ankit is keen on hearing whispers coming from outside. Students aren't missing a single chance to deboard the train and have a little tour of the platforms of every station the train is stopping by. Such is their enthusiasm, and this vibrant energy of theirs is sensed by their teachers too.

    This exploration of hill country has been a treasured one for each of them. There has been up's and down's, but everything got sorted. There has been too much thrill, surprises and adventure. Their time, celebrations on the train, stop at few stations and the visit to the heart of the Holy City on Christmas Eve has been a never forgetting experience. They are so excited that they did not take their afternoon nap after lunch. It is 5:20 p.m. There is an announcement that the train will halt for 10 minutes on the station. It is their last stop before Caramel.

  • #719521
    Element to be included in the last chapter by Divya - Red & Green, but not anything related to Christmas. Keep in mind that the e-book story has to end with the chapter that you submit.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #719678
    Chapter 11: End of a fun-filled journey

    As it's the last stop before the train reaches its ultimate destination, the Caramel station, the children want to get down on the platform. The teachers decide not to allow them to deboard the train for such a short duration as they want to hand over the students to their parents safely. Everyone in the Christmas holiday train has a mixed feeling. The journey finally starts for its ultimate destination to reach the Caramel station at sharp six o'clock in the evening.

    In the meantime, Kartik Sir bring his students to the coach no. 3, where Mrs Goyal and Ms Inayat are sitting with their number of students. It's the last few minutes left, so students are happy to spend a little more time with their friends. Ms Inayat is watching the students minutely and suddenly tells them to think about how to write a creative piece on this recent trip once the school reopens. The students immediately start making faces. It's only fifteen minutes left when all the passengers start checking their belongings and wait for the journey to end. In between, the students and their teachers spot the twins, and all of them excitedly appreciate their look. Both the twins have changed their dresses and are wearing red & green check shirt. The only difference is one's shirt has a red colour in prominence while the other one is wearing a shirt with green colour in dominance. The students decide to take final pics with their friends and teachers, and also with the twins. Everyone obliges each other happily.

    It's only five minutes left to arrive at the last station when all the passengers, including the students and teachers, are busy in recollecting their tour to the holy destination. Finally, it's time to deboard from the train, and the teachers are very cautious in managing the students. They ask the students to be patient and allow other passengers of coach no. 3, including Kartik Sir's friends to get down first then only they will alight from the train. The twins bid goodbye to all, finally when the coach gets empty Kartik Sir and Ms Inayat get down first and stand near the gate, and Mrs Goyal allows students to get off one at a time.

    The parents are waiting for their children, and the teachers hand over the kids one by one to their parents with the utmost care. The journey ends with lots of memories etched in the minds of all of them. Gradually the students get involved with their parents, and teachers also leave the platform with it a joyful forty-eight hours journey come to an end.


  • #719682
    And that's a wrap!
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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