A Journey and a Conversation – Part 3

I wish they would add digital displays with GPS in the train compartments. They can then provide contextual information on the stations and the states one passes through. (Presumably, a mobile app could do the same thing.) A train ride can be very educational, and adding a bit of history, geography and economy can make us realise the true wonder that India is. Of course, one can read about it on the Net, but the train provides a context that sitting at a desk usually never does.

While we were waiting at Vikramgarh Alot for the train back to Mumbai, Abhishek was excitedly waiting for other trains to come. And as if on cue, a few trains did – during the hour that we spent at the station. (Our train was delayed by 30 minutes.) Trains are to me what daffodils were to Wordsworth! So, imagine the thrill in watching a train race past at high speed, quickly followed by a goods train going in the opposite direction. Then, a passenger train came by and plenty got off and on, followed by the Inter-city from Indore to Delhi, before our train finally arrived.

The only jarring part was with the synthetic announcements announcing the impending arrivals of the trains. The railways have learnt from the airports, and have ‘improvised’ to ensure that every announcement is repeated ad infinitum in English and Hindi n times over.

Continued tomorrow.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.