Friday, December 15, 2006

a journey, well-cherished

We had to travel to Davangere, to attend an engagement ceremony. The return journey was to be by train. Father decided that we travel back to Bangalore by train, so that i could save on energy. I had an exam two days later, and i was very specific, that i get good sleep that night.

We had booked tickets in the Jana Shatabdi. he was excited as it was a chair car, and it was long since i had travelled in one. The last time i travelled in a chair car, was to Shimla from i don't where. It remains hazy.

I enjoy train journeys' as i usually find somebody, with whom i chat through the entire length of time. I took the aisle seat, father beside me, and the seat next to the window was occupied by a young man, of about twenty four. And this guy was sleeping. All my hopes flowed down the drain. I took out my Robin Cook, and turned to the page, marked by a book-mark. I was reading Seizure, and flipping through the pages, with disinterest.

A cute young girl was sleeping on the seat across the aisle. I don't know why, but she grabbed my attention. I returned to the book with a sigh, while, tea, coffee, chips, masale-dosa, vada, made their entrance every now and then. As it was about five in the evening, i opened the pack of Parle 'hide and seek' biscuits. Seeing the kid talking with somebody, enticed her with chocolates, in vain. We offered some to our neighbour, who was now awake.

The train sped through green fields, with a blushing sky to provide contrast. Father began small-talk with the guy, and i soon joined him. Later we paused for a while, drinking hot tea, with biscuits accompanying the beverage.

The girl finally, came by me, and asked me, ' akka, ondhu kathe helthira?' I was dumb-struck, and happy at the same time. Me, 'seri, ba illi, ninage yaava kathe beku? ili mathe simha kathe heLlaa?'. The chair in front of me, had a thing, which i could pull out, and use as a table. I made her sit on that, asked her name... and stuff. Vaishnavi reminded me of her request again. I started the age-old 'The Lion and the Rat story'. Later, i wished that i had told a more extravagant one. With dark eyes that seemed to shine with laughter , a smile playing at the corner of her lips', an innocent look on her face.... But nothing really struck my mind that moment!

She listened to me with wonder-struck eyes, with rapt-attention. Stopping me here and there, asking me to repeat a particular scene. There, she sat, opposite me, chewing one end of her frock. The guy slowly, released the frock from her mouth. After having recited the story i stopped, for some time, and asked her name... etc the usual stuff. The girl ran back to her uncle. Father went down memory lane, when i was told a bed-time story. In fact, i pestered Grandma to tell me one, every night.

Father, that guy and me talked about various things, me about college, about our backgrounds, our lifestyle.....

We arrived at Bangalore, wished each other good-luck. Wishing Vaisnavi goodbye, hoping to meet her somewhere, once again, in the near future. I still remember this journey, for it's close to my heart.

Many incidents come and go, making an appearance in oour lives. One moment that i'll cherish my lifetime, is this one. Vaishnavi sitting in front of me, father helping me, while i faltered in my job of story-telling. The guy discussing about our habits, lifestyle, our aims.....

I'm waiting for my niece to grow up. So that, i shall don the robes of a story-teller again. I hope that life provides me with another wonderful oppurtunity.

9 comments:

The 'Ekaangi' said...

i look forward to train journeys too..each one tells a story...and i hav been lucky...to find ppl like u...who give their chocolates and biscuits for me to eat...

When it comes to story telling...i'm pretty much ok...not very good...but somehow i try to make it sound interesting...wherever i go, my cousins look up to me to start off an interesting story...its gettin tougher as their expectations are growing...

But I've got a sis-in-law who's gonna give birth to a baby 3 weeks from now...now I get to start off tellin all kinda stories....life seems so exciting in future with a baby comin to our house

December Stud said...

Ahhh, such a sweet story :)

I love train journeys and I love to tell stories to kids (a trait which came from my mother).

The last time I was on Janashatabdi was not as good as yours. I travelled in Chair Car from Bangalore to Hubli and the entire journey was spent listening to all kinds of cell phone rings and everyone talking on their cellphones. It was just me, my mother and my father who didn't have a cell, believe me.

Parle 'hide and seek' biscuits, huh ? Loved it....

Glad you enjoyed the journey. No plane ever beats a train !!!

mouna said...

suhas,
yes, the arrival of a baby into the house creates a sense of well-being. and u'll have to wait for some years, if u want it to listen to your stories! u have to be grateful to people like me who provide u with snacks during the journey!!

ds,
aha! parle hide and seek biscuits, glad to know we both like it, i can polish a whole pack of those within minutes!

yes, no plane can beat a train!

Shiv said...

Train journey & those collage of images associated with it.Its a different world alltogether..

Last time when I was in India, took a train journey from Kolkata to Bhuvaneshwar.It was interesting though.The kids, the vendors, the ticket collectors, the toilets, the luggages..everything makes the train so memorable..

So next time if somebody's offers 'hide n seek' biscuits, I'll confirm if her name is Mouna :)

December Stud said...

Went to a friend's palce today...and almost finished a whole pack of ParleG that they had......Hardly any left for the rest of the gang :)

Raghu said...

Nice glimpses! Nothing can beat the train experience. That too, I don't like first classes, it is the second class sleeper/chair-car where life is at its fullest. It has been some time really since I made a journey by train. But unlike you, I hardly talk to co-passengers. :) I am happy observing them, though.

mouna said...

shiv,
interesting can be an understatement at times, i don't know why, but thay always seem to be fun-filled, me, offering hide and seek, lemme think... :)

ds,
at times, i am prohibited from consuming them, people at home know, that i can go on eating them, non-stop!

raghu,
second class it is, huh... so u make 'interesting' observations? poor people, they'd have to be dissected by you!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful.
Co-incidentally me too travelled to Davanagere, recently and in Janshatabdi too.
Probably trains doesnt like me or something..that train journey was really bad, and not at all eventful.
As DS said, jsut the ring tones, and that train was late by 90 mins that day. We reached home late and tired.

Well..apart from these, trains teach us so many new things, shows us off so many un-known places and makes us meet many people, good bad and ugly, across the spectrum and across the domain....
It would make a litle sense to travel on vacations in train rather than planes.

Srik
http://srikslib.blogspot.com

mouna said...

srik,
travelling by train is a nice way of observing/learning nothing in particular, but everything in general.

sad that ds and you had an uneventful journey. yes, mobile phones can be annoying!