What is fascinating about the railways in a country like India is that overnight you could end up in a place with very different characteristics. You hop on to a train, have the obligatory chat with your fellow passengers, perhaps have a watered down tea, or the food that magically appears in the hands of enterprising hawkers.
Its amazing how much life revolves around the railways. Each railway station has its peculiar characteristics, and getting on a train means immersing yourself in the heaving humanity that traverses the length and breadth of India looking for jobs, visiting relatives or with no specific intent.
When you emerge from your slumber groggily rubbing your eyes, you find yourself in a different state… like in states of India. People who are going to get off, with their expectant faces, freshly washed and an eerie sense of calm. And when people get off at various stations you get a sense of things being done, decisions made, onward and onward… And at the end of the line the heaving behemoth trundles into the yard to await its next tryst with the humanity that created it.
The sun blazes, the monsoon pours down and cold winds blow, but the railways are always there, working, moving,… In my opinion, no other form of transport engages you with this rich sense of propulsion which helps the body engage in the travel, helping mind and body travel together.