(17th April’15. Chetak express. Udaipur to Gurgaon.)
“It’s not about reaching the destination, but about enjoying the journey…” Going home is always a pleasure. A certain satisfaction that keeps buzzing the subconscious mind, that urge for the known smell, the craving for mother’s touch and moving after Pishi, following her everywhere. In the last one year, I have traveled home for quite a few times, but every time I was lucky enough to get a company, as someone or the other was always up to travel to Delhi, until this time. Probably because this time I’m luckier, to travel with myself.
The compartment, S2, is almost empty. Having the capacity to provide space to 72 folks, it is carrying maximum 15 people… And in my coupe of 8, it’s just me, all by myself. Traveling alone has a charm of its own, it gives you the chance to see everything and feel everything more closely, which you can’t do in the presence of others, for there remains a constant distraction. As the train left Udaipur, I had a talk with Maa and Pishi who were worried about the fact that am traveling alone, that too in a sleeper, because they wanted me to get tickets for 3 Tier-AC. But I believe it’s another journey to learn, to experience, and enjoy.
I look out of the window to see the barren fields, dried by the scorching summer heat. Farmers here and there, with their cattle, feeding fodder. The small huts at a distance pass by quickly, before I can even observe them properly. The sun has still some time to disappear in the horizon. I imagine how all these will change its attire and wear the greens when monsoon will bring the magical showers! There was a little boy in the field next to the track, who waved at the train with gleeful eyes, God knows who he was waving at, but I had a smile as I waved back. I felt as if he was bidding me goodbye…
So strange, this thought never occurred to me, how it feels when a stranger whom we don’t even know waves to bid goodbye.
So many thoughts keep coming and going. I feel so good to be here, now. It’s so blissful. I wonder about these villages that are passing by, no one would ever think to travel to these villages and explore, neither the villagers would ever move out from here to see the bigger world. Might be this much is enough to keep them satisfied, that they don’t tempt to see anything beyond this. The Aravallis are giving me constant company, from a distance. I wonder if there are houses on the hills, probably I can’t see them because the train is moving faster than the wind. The hawkers come and go every now and then, breaking the silence and the peace of mind, more so because every time they call, “Pakoda, samosa”, they make me realize that I am not allowed to have those. I sip the lassi Pramit bought me. I scribbled in my diary because I wanted this moment to be there on the pages.
I’m crossing Chittorgarh now. As the train stopped, I gazed at the board for a few minutes, remembering my trip to Chittor. And slowly, my focus shifted to the people on the platform, some sleeping on the floor, some hogging the deep fried samosas, and some running around to catch some other train. So strange, while some people have the time to relax, some are stuck in the movement. May be they also want to relax, who knows? I wonder if some would join me, but I guess I still have some more time to enjoy with myself, to let my thoughts fly, to recollect old memories, to make castles in the air, and to feel the music that’s playing in my ears…