A Journey to the Heaven...

Friday, November 04, 2011 0 Comments

My frequency of traveling is usually high as I like exploring new places, people, culture... But no journey seems more exciting to me than the one which takes me to a rather old place, my home. Got a pleasure to experience one such a journey recently. All the hurdles of the way are acceptable this time. Running across the town like hell to catch the train where I luckily have a seat reserved. Thanks to Indian Railway, where booking is over before people actually realize this fact!
After reaching railway station, I started looking for the platform number from where this journey to Heaven would start. Earlier there was no display of the trains that were late by an hour or more, and when there was, it didn't give the confirmed platform number. Now, if you hire the coolie and reach at some platform, you may need to carry the luggage on your own, when in the last moment, train changes the platform. So, I find it better to wait on the first platform only to hear the correct broadcasts.
  After a series of announcements of expected arrival of my train, it finally arrived at the station. It seemed full packed already, and a hoarde of people still waiting outside to fill it with more! I took a long breathe and leaving every horrible thought behind, started looking for my bogie. Again, passengers got a treat from Indian Railway. It played a game of Hide & Seek with them, i.e. 'Find Your Bogie', as bogies were attached in the exact reverse order of its expected digital-display positions at the platform. Imagine the stampede thenafter as it was a mere 5-minute stoppage at this station!
After passing through all this hell, I boarded into my compartment and searched for my seat. Just as the train left the station, passengers started occupying each & every corner of the train. Right from the base ground to the toilet doors (So if you need to get fresh, do it before the signal is passed). If there are two or more passengers together, they would start discussing all the national problems then and there only. Be it Anna Hazare movement, cricket gossip, movie masala or some other topic at the top of their head. Slowly, they would start receiving comments from co-passengers too, just like a facebook post gets. Some would like their idea and others would join the discussion to express their disconsentment regarding it and soon the compartment would become a parliament session.
I was unperturbed from all this stuff. As the train was approaching toward the darkness of night, as the lights of all the compartments were being switched off, as everyone around was preparing to catch a nap, I was getting a feeling to have come closer and closer to my hometown... Lost in making plans of things to do after reaching home, I too dozed off. And then the noise of the hawkers disturbed my sleep when the train was at just one station away from my hometown. It didn't annoy me this time and I woke up happily to pack my luggage up. All the noise coming from outside now seemed like a kookoo's chatter of the morning. Seeing from the window outside gave me such a pleasure. The smell of own soil was so tasty. Smile embraced me to the fullest when the train reached my destination. I was standing with my luggage near the door to just land as it would stop. That feeling is just inexpressible. It only reminded me of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir's words that he once used for the beautiful land of Jammu & Kashmir, "Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin asto" (If there is a heaven on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here).

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.