On the way back from Rajasthan by train, I woke up just as the train (Aravali Express) pulled in to Ahmedabad a few minutes behind schedule at 10:15 pm. I got down from the upper berth and walked out on the platform. And as I looked around, I was transported back in time to when I was in my early teens.
Ahmedabad station was a station I knew well then – this was where we could change from the broad gauge Bombay line to the metre gauge train that would us through part of Gujarat and into Rajasthan. We could spend a couple hours at the station on each leg of our journey. And it was a journey I did with my parents and sister once a year.
My father had set up a marble factory in Abu Road and later an edible oil factory in Sheoganj (near Falna). During the late 1970s and early 1980s, we would make an obligatory annual week-long trip to Rajasthan by train. I could accompany my father to some of the marble mines, and we would mix in some temple visits also.
Now, of course the metre gauge has also become broad gauge, so the Ahmedabad interchange has been eliminated.
For about 15 minutes that night, I wandered around the platform re-living childhood memories, and marveling at the ecosystem at the platform that was so alive with food stalls and passengers.