More than half the world is practicing social distancing and so am I.
In these tough times, we are running out of ideas to kill time. It almost feels like summer vacation minus the daily chores, what if the circumstances were not so?
We all would be busy in our daily life; adults would be busy in their office, kids would be either prepping for their exams or would have been planning their vacation ahead.
Speaking of vacations, have you ever been excited about commuting on trains?
The answer might be a resonating, NO.
I would have answered no myself. However, almost a year back I had traveled to Delhi to attend my cousin’s wedding. I realized how I used to be excited to travel on trains during my childhood when summer vacation meant visiting your grandparents who were living in a different city.
This realization is what got me on to a train to nostalgia.
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Commuting, in general, has been so undermined nowadays that we simply consider it as a part of reaching the destination only. Whereas, the essence of it has been lost in this fast track world.
During my childhood, we used to live in the southern region of the country and my native place was in the north. So basically, it took us more than a day to reach and we had to switch trains in between too!
So to kill time, we used to carry all the essentials with us, such as food for every meal (breakfast, lunch, etc.), a pack of cards to play with family, novels & pocket radio. And when we had nothing to do, we would play “antakshri” (a game where we sing songs), where your fellow passengers would tag along.
As kids, we would be so excited to buy junk food & cold drinks from local vendors, trying our best to get our elders to give in to our tantrums!
The most interesting thing was the various kinds of people we meet during this journey. How we would connect with them by sharing opinions (mostly political) & food (if you were lucky!). Still, the most memorable travels would be with extended families; you almost occupy a whole compartment to yourself, like a mini home on wheels.
It’s all about those little things which we looked forward to during these travels- watching the countryside slide by, going through the tunnel, sitting by the window seat, fighting for the window seat with your sibling. It easily transported us into a different world, a break from our day to day routine.
No matter how much we dread traveling on trains now as adults, we do enjoy it. Even if we have to join work the next day, with all the jetlag, or go through all the packing and unpacking.
We love the fact that we bring some souvenirs at the end of the journey along with bittersweet memories. That’s what makes the journey even more memorable wishing it would never end.
Surely, you might recall one such journey in your life too- your train to nostalgia.