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Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Train journey by Mysore-Howrah Express

January 16, 2013

The journey started with waiting for the Howrah-mysore express on a chilly night in an open station, with cold wind fluttering our overcoats and mufflers and sending us shivers down our spine. As the mother protected her son wrapping him into an affectionate hug, I couldn’t help but take this photo -

We boarded the train at early morning 3:30 am, 14th jan, 2013, and as soon as we esconsed ourselves in our berths, we fell fast asleep like logs and when we woke up the next day morning it was too late. Day light had broken in through the hazy glass windows and the muffled up engine sound with the occasional long whistles was so enchanting…. Train journeys… oh, how much I love them… and how much I have missed them for such a long time…. Whenever I and my better half have come to escort someone in the railways station, we have longed so dearly to sneak into the long vehicle and get transported to some remote and far off place, away from hustle and bustle of city. And now the time had come. We were going to my native land, liluah.

Now it's 11 pm into the 14th january 2013 cold night and this by no way means bed time for me... i am an owl who will wake up deep into the darkest hours of the nights and drop off to sleep only when it's too late... a bad habit which i have to rectify very soon. however as i write this blog now, the snoring is very prominent from the side berth. most of the passengers are asleep and i am little afraid lest some creepy creature protrudes his head from the screen, 'excuse me can u please switch of the light.' oh boy that would be embarassing , you bet!

but no... i don't think so. coz i had another day of interaction with so many beautiful people in mysore-howrah express. each person has his own opinion, has his own take on everything... and in india we all have a opinion. we all have to say something. that makes us so unique. but we are good at heart. we want to talk - to help - to let the others know if we know something secret and that we believe is good - we are dying to make that known to others. Like this person - who was middle aged, highly spiritual and painfully garrulous was eating a chawanprash-like jelly at the end of dinner. Another curious  fellow passenger asks him about it and he starts giving a long lecture on the potential health benefits it has and a remote place in kerala where it is available. The conversation continues as I shift my attention to some other parallel conversation from another small group.

As i got absorbed in such lively conversations with different people - young and old, time flew and boredom had no chance to creep in... In this long journey... lateral swaying of the coach and gentle engine noise, soft vibration... u know there is something romantic about our train journey. particularly long journeys...when you don't have anything to do and the whole day lies in front of you at your service…. to be used the way u want… . 36 hours unending journey from bangalore to howrah.

gossip, sleep, lie down, have coffee or tea the umpteen times...and no one will say you a thing... read books, or simply look through a window... into the distant green-woods of country side, the pristine waters of villages and the spotless white cranes  fluttering around... the occasional cheerful person waving hands at you....you won't feel bored i bet you.

But then sometimes the hiatuses – that are too many- seem to take a toll on your body and mind… when you start to wonder…gosh…when this goddamn journey will come to an end. As I see the train stopping in some abandoned station, I quickly grab the opportunity to stretch myself, walk a little, loosen my stiff muscles – oh man, sitting and lying down like a buffalo in one place can be so painful. How many times do you feel tired of sitting in one place? Not many – because the moment you feel so you can take a break and walk and then come back again and sit…and this happens automatically that you don’t realize; but travelling in a long distant train is different… you are forced to sit there no matter what!!!

No doubt, there are these positive sides you see… like I get raw materials for my blog. I capture photos and videos. Try to cook up some story out of nothing for the next post. And this is a huge opportunity. Looking out for positive side in any circumstance is a great quality isn’t it!

Some good scenic views are shown below.

Country Road

Country Road

Man polluting nature - 

Man polluting nature

Calm and serene - 

Calm and serene

Kharagpur station is famous for luchi aloor tarakari as shown below. Looking at it the mouth watered but somehow something held me back … fear of contamination may be… don’t know. When I was a kid I used to die for such road side and platform side fast food but not any more now…. Times have changed… I have changed.

The below photo was taken from a railway station that comes after kharagpur (station name something like haor or something). Here you see people carrying some milk product (chhana they call in bengali) and the workers are actually breaking blocks of ice on the dirty platform and mixing  the broken pieces with the chhana that are wrapped inside white cotton cloth. Now the sweet delicacies in sweet-shops will be prepared from this chhana and guess what…the end product will look good and appreciated by many… but that which happened behind the screen is somewhat unpleasant –

Around 4:45 pm on 15th jan, 2013, mysore-howrah express lazily enters into the howrah station. The trolley below takes our luggage to the prepaid taxi counter. 

howrah station trolley

 

A taxi brings me to liluah… a bill comes to almost 240 Rs. The road was circumvented and the over-enthusiastic passerby’s acted as a error-free-gps. I am finally home. My birth place. My native land. 

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