A train journey and some childhood memories..

I waited in anticipation as my mother searched through her purse. The elderly lady sitting beside watched in amusement.

“What do you want ?” the lady asked.

“A coin”.

“What for?”

I smiled. “To make a wish”

I placed myself near the window seat with the coin clutched in my hand. I saw fields and empty spaces go past as the train chugged along.

I felt the wind blowing across my face. I loved it.

And in a little while I could see what I was waiting for. The mighty river flowing in its glory. Narmada.

I closed my eyes, said my prayers and dropped the coin into the river.

One more coin, one more wish, one more journey.

I have fond remembrances of the train journeys from my childhood.

The excitement of seeing the train changing tracks and shouting our hearts out when it passed through a tunnel. And in the night watch the moon travel with us. It was magical.

Waking up to the sounds of “Chai Chai” and plead with Amma for buying vegetable cutlets (it was more for the tomato ketchup)

Stealing a glance at the “Detective” novels while buying a Champak or Chacha Chaudhari in the Newspaper / Magazine stall at the platform.

Waving to children as the train crossed villages.

Share a meal. Make friends. Create memories.

I take flights now. I don’t look to make friends, but search for Wi-fi connections. I don’t connect to people, but only to available networks.

A two hour flight seems eternity today. Journeys are no longer about the joy of discovering life’s little pleasures.

I need to make the train journey again. Feel the wind on my face and the excitement in my heart as we approach the bridge over Narmada.

Close my eyes, drop the coin and make a wish.

“I want to be a child again”.