I was consumed with thoughts of her, the model on the magazine laying in front of me reminded me of her smile. I remember everything about her, the way she moved her hands while explaining something, the way she tilted her head while laughing, and the endless conversations we had while traveling in the train. I slipped into this imaginary world, where only the both of us existed, I’d take her on coffee dates where we’d share one cup and then hold hands while watching the sunset. My train of thoughts abruptly stopped as I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder, my heart skipped a beat and with butterflies in my stomach I turned hoping to see her beautiful face with honey like eyes and dimples that complemented her smile. Unfortunately the face I saw after turning was my manager’s, he stood there with his hands on his hips – his favorite stance when he’s angry – I looked around and realized I was in a tech meeting and by the looks of it my clients and colleagues were waiting for me to snap out of my dreams for a while.
Two months back my manager decided to start work earlier; hence I have started taking the earlier train. Since my station is the starting point for the train, I get to choose my seat , which is generally the window seat, but a few weeks back I was late and I was pretty sure that my preferred seat would be taken.
As expected there was a handkerchief laying on my seat, in suburban trains there’s no pre-booking of seats hence people keep their handkerchief to indicate that the seat has been taken. I turned to find another seat and suddenly heard a voice saying “the seat is reserved for you” surprised and unsure if the pleasant voice was addressing me, I turned realizing that the woman had in fact saved the seat for me.
As I sat down she explained how she noticed that I occupied the same seat everyday and saved the seat realizing I was probably late for work. The truth be told is I sat opposite this beautiful lady everyday and I tried finding ways to start up a conversation but I never had the courage to do so.
Ever since that interaction I’ve been thinking about her, hence I drifted into space during the meeting. All I can think about is when will i get to see her ……..
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.
As the name says Indian Railway – strong and deeply penetrated across the country.My journey started last friday morning from Borivali to Jammu (only one direct train from Mumbai to reach Jammu) and I had my reservation in 3 tier AC coach. I have a train phobia in the sense I am worried and tensed before my journey starts. Don’t know whether I will be able to get into the train in the stipulated time halt, whether I will get my reserved seat empty and hoping no one has pre occupied it. By overcoming all this phobias I hopped into the train and what a relief …. My seat was empty and my journey started.
So again getting back on track… Indian railway has improved a lot. Train was on schedule at borivali and even coaches were neat and clean. And to add to it bed sheets, pillows and also blanket were all neatly kept. And not to forget Bed sheets were washed in surf excel (daag dundhte reh jaoge). There were house keeping guys who use to come after every few hours for cleaning the floor and toilet too. All in all Indian railways has maintain cleanliness. Only improvement they need as per me is communication system in all the bogies. Wherein the driver or the guard of the train can reach all passengers in case of any emergency. All in all I need to mention that Indian railways has really improved a lot over the past years.
However my train was delayed for 3 hours due to some technical issue.Hope you all also have must seen the improvement or maybe you can try traveling once in Indian Railways.