- I can keep the tray table down from the moment I board right down to the final minute of de-boarding.
- I can get a plate of oily, greasy, yummy samosas for a mere ₹20/-. And I can promise you that it will satisfy your traveller’s soul absolutely.
- No motion sickness!
- The wide, LCD TV sized windows. And the view outside- it can be anything, from an accidental mooning by someone pooping by the tracks to bright green fields, tantalisingly inviting lakes and trees of every possible shape, size and imagination. Constantly changing, rarely disappointing.
- A ticket collector who doesn’t intimidate you with his efficiency or make you feel bad for not smiling when you’re sleep-deprived and coffee-less.
- A little peak into every place you pass on your way- through the station-sold delicacies, the overheard conversations, and the shameless staring that’s somehow acceptable when it’s through the windows of a train.
- The time that it gives me to finish that book I’ve been reading for the last one month…stealing a few pages in between the interruptions of work and life.
- I can carry as much as I want. Whatever I want. I could bring on a llama and the railways will find a place for it ( before reporting me for smuggling exotic animals).
- That game which my mum used to keep us occupied with: take newspaper, tear into long strips and hold them out through the window until the wind rips it out your hand. The one who hold on to it the longest wins! Though now that I think about it, what we were doing was basically littering… bad mommy!
- Speaking of games- card games! Remembered ones, forgotten ones, made-up ones. They used to make time fly so fast… Also, dumb charades! Sigh…this makes me lose myself in college memories.
- Some of the weirdest people you meet…and some of the nicest friends you make…that you’ll never meet again in your life (probably).
- It’s an experience- every single time. No matter how many times you’ve done it.
- It’s also nostalgia- for a time when packets of lemon rice and yogurt with pickled mango wrapped in dried banana leaves and newspapers heralded train journeysand vacations and grandparents and family friends and holiday trips; for a time when summers were looked forward to and we bought a book in every station we boarded from. So many trains…so many memories…