Have you ever wondered what lies behind the walls of those small railway stations that we come across on long journeys? As I sit travelling from New Delhi to Jaisalmer by train, I am reminded of a story- ” Time stops at Shamili” -written by Ruskin Bond, in which he expresses his curiosity about how life would be outside the railway station.
My train traversed through bigger known cities -Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur. And some towns I had never really heard off- Marwar Mathanya, Phalodi,Ashapura Gomat…
A ghost station it seemed, for not a single vendor I spotted, just a couple of turbaned lone travellers. The station master sat in a small little room, peeping occassionaly to check if all was right around. Behind the single structure of the station, I spotted women in coulourful sarees with veiled faces. In those few minutes before the train could chug along once again, it seemed to me the town was veiled by the station building.
I chanced upon the remote station of Pokran where India did its nuclear test. I got down to soak in a bit of sun and stretch my muscles a bit. I munched on hot pakodas that was packed in newspapers and sold at the station. Not sure if it was because i was hungry, but they were the tastiest pakodas I have ever eaten.
You know the best way to feel, see and experience India is by doing a long distance rail journey. Its an amazing feeling.
When was the last time you did a long train journey? What were your observations? Would love to hear about it.