A few weeks back after a very long time I had the opportunity to travel to Pune by train. As soon as I reached my seat and as the train gave a loud whistle indicating it was time to leave the station, it brought back old memories, of around 20 years ago when I used to travel on a regular basis to Pune from Mumbai during my Post Graduation. Well, those were the days which I really cherish and will never forget.
Waking up during wee hours of the morning and leaving in a hurry from home to catch the early morning train to Pune. This was my routine at the start of every week for about a year. I made many friends who also had a similar schedule and travelled to Pune by the same train. I recollect that I had got a monthly train pass and how we used to meet up at a designated spot to catch the train (as during those days there were no mobiles).
For this trip, I got my seat reserved and was more at ease as compared to my earlier travel days. So here started another mesmerizing journey to Pune. Sitting by the window, watching the greenery, the hill-tops, blue sky passing by as the train sped up and the parallel railway track which are always running with me irrespective of the train speed took me 2 decades back.
I still recollect that we (including my friends) used to catch a fixed coach and mostly a fixed seat. It was like we owned that coach J As soon as the train started we used to chit chat, pulling each other’s legs and sharing our snack boxes. Then it was time for a small nap as the train passed through the hills of Khandala (Mumbaikar’s favorite hill station to visit) with cool breeze hitting you. This had become our routine schedule during our to & fro journey to Pune.
Now I was travelling alone and I did miss my friends. I made a mental note to get intouch with all of them and plan for a revisit to Pune the same way which we all used to do before. But alas! I wish we all could do that as most of my friends (the Pune train friends) are working out of the country and hence it is next to impossible to make all of them come together.
A little jerk from the train brought me back to into the present. There was hustle and bustle in the coach with people pulling their bags from the side stand. The train had slowed as it was entering the station. Old memories are always sweet and I never realized that it was time for me to get down at my destination.