Friday, August 18, 2017

Few memories from the railway tracks

Yesterday  I was getting back home after work on a local train. I was standing next to the door and for a second, leaned against it and closed my tired  eyes. I became conscious of the rhythmic noise of the train wheels moving on the tracks. Nostalgia and memories aplenty filled my mind and it was kind of soothing and familiar. Like a home turf!

Every trip to my grandparents place in Chennai would be on the Mangalore Mail from Kozikode. We would start at around 5 in the evening and reach at around 6 next morning.

Air pillows and blankets were common things most of us carried apart from chapathis or idly neatly wrapped in newspaper parcels. For a kid of 7 or 8 being able to fully inflate an air pillow and securing it properly was a huge milestone. So was removing the plug , deflating it and rolling it properly. In a time when there were no mobile phones, one had no choice but to engage in some discussions with the co-passengers. It was common to see two neighboring cabins getting engrossed in a vehement debate about some topic of interest to all.

When it was time to sleep, someone would politely ask if we can hoist the middle berth. I was fascinated by the way we used to attach them using those iron chains. Of course there would be exchanges of the seats for those unable to climb that ladder. Again being tall and strong enough to put up the middle berth was an achievement in itself.

Once we were supposed to catch a train at Salem junction. We both i.e. my brother and I were small kids. It was raining heavily and there was a kind of chill in the air. The station tea stall was open and they served ice cream. For us kids no matter what the time or the weather ice cream was ice cream.

Our dad merrily joined our childish craze and got us chocobars , a favorite before the Cornettos came in. We may have caught a cold after that but none of us cared. At that point our worlds had only one source of joy - icecream and we fully indulged in it. We often reminisce that night and how we happily munched on our vanilla and chocolate mix while it was raining cats and dogs on that small railway station. End of the day it is little joys that matter in the long run I guess.

As a parent I often wonder and assess whether I am able to give such little joys to my own kids. I guess that just happens in ways we don't realize but our children may remember.


  1. Yeah. Train journeys bring back so many memories, don't they.I still travel by train many times and at times we take the second class sitting just to feel the air and see the passing scenery..

  2. You made me home sick. Brought back fond memories of our travel to New Delhi from Central via GT in the 3 tier sleeper. Nowadays, when visiting India, we travel by AC First Class (when available). But nothing will compare our 3 tier sleeper travels by GT for 2 full days.

  3. Thank you Jaishree for this trip down the memory lane!

  4. Hey Jaish nice post and did bring out memories of our travel from Delhi to Chennai long before the diesel engines were introduced and it used to take around 3 nights and 2 days of chugging along !!!

  5. I am travelling from Madurai to Bangalore in a train as I write this comment ! Everything is still the same as you described in the post :)

  6. That's a lovely post that brought back some beautiful memories. I believe every generation has their share of joyful moments and memories. Our kids would also feel nostalgic about their childhood just as us. It's just that their 'little joys' would be markedly different from ours :)

  7. Talking of the ice cream at Salem junction, I was reminded of the Rose Milk that we got at Arkonam Junction (that time it was 25ps per glass)