“It is the journey that matters more than the destination.”
Being a philosophical line among the travellers, it rings so perfectly and is genuine. Because each trip you take is different from the other. Because every journey brings with it something new, offering us beautiful and memorable experiences.
While any form of a travel is an enthralling experience, train journeys in India elevate to a whole new level of bliss. It is a way of travel that leaves us rejuvenated. Whenever I take a train in India, the above words runs in my mind, and I smile. Because to me, trains are a wonderful means of traveling.
That feeling of happiness in your heart when you sit across the seat by the window and the gaze the world outside passing through like films of a frame – its different hues, patterns, colours and people is simply beyond words. That sense of a calming experience the cool breeze imposes is a surreal experience in itself.
If you are someone like me who craves to sit by the window of the trains and love listening to your favourite music or reading your favourite book, then you would instantly understand what I mean.
The train journey is an exquisite experience in India that has to be experienced first hand. By large, trains are the standard means of transport of a common man in India. And, you get a brief of the common man’s life – his daily errands, his commute, his responsibilities, his fears, happiness, likes and what not!
Here are the reasons why train journeys in India are amazing –
1. You make new friends
Now, you would ask me – Do we not make friends while going on a bus or a plane? Yes, we do.But really, do we socialise on that level as we do in a local train? Do you strike a conversation with the person next to you on a bus? It seems weird or improbable right? You may even face a stern look from them sometimes.But, think of a train and instantly an image of that some aunt or uncle smiling and offering you something to eat would pop up in your mind! or Don’t you remember being drawn to most random chats by uncles around so often! Be it lamenting about work or discussing the most happening things in politics, you are in for a ride there!
How many times have we ended up making friends with people who were total strangers in the first place when they sat across us!
The process of getting acquainted begins, and it ends up with people becoming good friends. If you are a socialising animal, then it would be a delightful journey for sure!
2. You get a glimpse of the lives of the people from different parts of the country
When people start opening themselves, stories flow, and the conversations bring out details of their lives. Being a country of diversity with numerous languages and culture, we get introduced to different things during the journey. You may get to know about places that you didn’t even know those existed!
If you are lucky enough, you could even get to taste a local dish or hear folklore of local places. You would be enriched with experiences which would give a hindsight and makes us wonder about our nation!
3. Train Journeys are Pocket-Friendly!
For budget travelers like me who don’t wish to splurge on transport, trains are our saviours. Although it’s hard to get tickets for short notice trips and random unplanned travels, it is every budget traveler’s default choice of a commute. More so when the distance is too long and hectic, as you get a comfortable place for sleeping compared to sleeper buses!
4. Train journeys teach a lesson or two
Travel is in itself a lesson to be learnt, with each journey offering us some lessons. And train travel in India is an extraordinary teacher because it teaches some everlasting and profound things. It teaches us patience to hold onto ourselves when people on all sides clog us.
It shows us how to adjust when 6 people are made to sit on a 3 seat coach and the sleeper bogey becomes a full house coach. It makes us travel sans our ‘privacy’ and let us be one among the others. Train journeys help us to be grounded and makes us feel thankful for what we’ve got.
In the end, the train journey would have altered a part of our soul, even if it is a minuscule – change is always better and is the only constant!
So, how do you think about traveling by train in India? what are your thoughts? How many of you feel something similar to what I feel?