Friday, January 18, 2008

Rail gadi chuk chuk, chuk chuk!!

The entire gang rushed ahead dragging along their heavy cases, the innumerable bags, overflowing with plans and dreams of a great holiday…a journey by train.
The kids were so excited , it was so contagious. They had never been on a train like this before. It was always air conditioned comforts where there was so much privacy, but a lot less fun. You could look out of the window, but you could not feel the whoosh of the wind, the lingering fragrance of smoke. Now they could hear the many vendors with their assorted wares “chai, kaapi, baLeen , biskit”. This time their parents had made sure the kids traveled and experienced the journey firsthand.


After sleeping through the night on flat plastic beds, high in the carriage, ., talking to their friends through the jaali work on top ,in hushed voices, there could be nothing , that could be more fun
But now there was a silence in the compartment. The journey was stretching and no one knew why. That’s when they heard it.., a soft strumming, and that too a guitar!! Wow!!

There is going to be some singing.”

The tempo picked up. The voices could be heard all over. The small feet dangling from above the heads of the adults suddenly went still and disappeared, only to appear a few seconds later, down, next to them. It was fun. “Uncle, please play “Dardedisco”, "no, lets play, Bhool Bhulaiyya" said another in his singsong tone…..a small plate was fished out from the bags around them, and then the drummer boy took over…..so the band was getting complete, and so were the sounds. ‘Perfectly imperfect’, that was how it sounded, but the energy, the bliss, the fun was being carried over and through their seats.

The little travelers, thought that their adult companions were fun, they were after all singing like them. …the sounds picked up, now it was the “mehbooba” song, then the famous 'dum maro dum', and the songs kept coming…

“ Saarr, can I please join you??. C,mon, start with the gitarr.. Can u play drums for this Saaar?? “ Sheets of papers in hand, a fellow traveler took the only little available space on the lower berth. Lyrics, neatly inked into them, he started singing a song.

Looked around to see 16 dumbstruck faces small and big. They had never seen lyric sheets nor did they want to. And now he wanted to sing a song that they never knew, he goaded them on…the voices became softer, smaller. The little feet went back to the upper berth. The faces went and stuck their noses against the window glass….only the shocked adults were playing host to him…
The tempo was broken, and the enthusiasm never returned…

“ R, the lil one wants to go the loo, can you please take him??”

So out went the drummer, and similarly the guitarist…and slowly the very disappointed, singing traveler thanked the gang and left to go to his seat…



The prompt for Sunday scribblings, got me to post this

20 comments:

sahana said...

that man was such a pain! god!
"come on! neev ellaaa chorus kodriii" i believe.
chach haak bidona annastittu.
and in the middle of all this, the tunnels started.and u were right in front of him trying sooo hard to keep a straight face and A and i were howling away to glory.god! what a glorious incident!

Robin said...

You write such vivid descriptions.

I took an overnight train journey as a child and it is still a magical memory.

keith hillman said...

I took an overnight train ride in India a couple of years ago. Although it was very eventful, I didn't have any fellow travelers like yours! Great read!

Preethi said...

Very nice post.. I was almost singing along when the stupid man interrupted!! Loved it!! :)

tumblewords said...

Wonderful post! My younger brother and I traveled across the country on a train when we were very young. The experiences we had were many and the people we met were incredibly fun. But what did we know? Times were different and fun came in many shapes.

Prats said...

@sahana oh yeah, he was was, wasn't he? But I guess that gave us a few laughs later!!

@robin Thank you, and yeah...somehow journeys can be truly magical most times...

@keith Really? Thats nice to know. It can get really eventful sometimes...thanks

@preethi...aaawww which song did u start, i'm sure we can join in...

@tumblewords...I guess each age brings with it, different expreiences and reactions to it...

gautami tripathy said...

You know I relate to this..Those days..ah..how I miss them..


leveller

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J said...

There's soemthing about train journeys. Despite the time taken to travel there's lots more fun than well flying.

So where did you guys head off to?

Thinking aloud said...

we really meet all kinds of travellers don't we?...train journeys and kids are made for each other even with the stupid loos...

nice one prats...

Prats said...

@gautami Good ole days!!

@barb Will take a look, thanks

@j Yes, the duration will always be drowned under the excitement and fun of a train travel. We were on our way to Goa...and a fantastic journey it was

@thinking aloud...oh yeah....but those toilets are an engineers marvel..lol
thank you

Tys on Ice said...

u meet every kind in a train, eh?

actually i started feeling sorry for tht guy with the lyrics...but hey, it did make a great story..

loved it :)

Prats said...

@tys Lol , oh really, you should have seen his face when he saw us all like deflated balloons...but lyrics?? no way...I feel singing on a journey, should be gibberish, more than lyrical...what say???

Keshi said...

when I was a 6yr old, I used to love overnight train-rides...it was simply magical to me! I rem travelling to granma's place for holidays...and the sleeping bit was the fav part of the train ride :) Cos I was so in awe that we cud spend the night on a train hehehe.

Keshi.

Prats said...

@keshi I think the whole experience of sleeping in a moving object used to be one of the lures...and our kids were so overawed...it was worth all the effort and noise

Guruprasad said...

train journeys, as compared to travelling by road or air, are usually so much more fun and memorable!

and i think its our bounden duty to take all our kids through this experience at least once in their life-time.

and the loos, the snacks at each station, the teas/coffees, the fellow-travellers.... so much like life!

here's a train-related post - http://guruprasad.blogspot.com/2007/08/trains-trains-and-more-trains.html

rayshma said...

u reminded me of my train-ride to goa with some really adorable frenz... :)

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b

Prats said...

@guruprasad Oh yes, train journeys are like a lesson....so wholesome., and kids should see the country through the windows of the train.....its a whole world apart.
I read your post on trains...it was very interesting

@rayshma It must have been real fun, and especially the Goa route is so scenic.

@b Will surely look at that meme...thank you

UL said...

oh you brought it all back for me...i love those chuk chuk trains! Now I am nostagic, thanks to you prats :)