A lot of people I know love train journeys. I am one of them, but only if I get to lie flat on my back, when I get inside one. I’ve spent most of my adult life commuting in and around Bombay, and for me local trains were a forced adventure. Many people endure it because roads have too much traffic, and this one of the most economical and quickest mode of transport in the city. As I left the city behind, I heaved a sigh of relief… I was no longer governed by the local train timetable. But soon after moving to Pune, a short three-hour ride to get home needed me to take a passenger train, and I had erratic leaves so I could never book a confirmed ticket. It was in my first short four-month working relationship that I discovered the pains and pleasures of traveling in the general compartment of passenger trains. Almost four years later, I am financially sound and expectedly shorter with free time, so I am now a member of the flight-miles club.
The pictures you see are from a wonderful nugget in Pune called the Joshi’s miniature railway museum. It finds an honorable mention in the Limca Book of records and is fully functional. The child in me cries with glee every time I visit the place.
However, when I plan to travel for pleasure, irrespective of the mode of transport I choose, a book I read (thanks to the local book club) prepares me for the journey of life when the going gets tough. A popular quote in the book goes…
“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ”
― Jerome K. Jerome,
Better safe than sorry, I guess!