Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Circar Express a country side train


Most people tend to dislike the Circar express, for it crawls trough the country side stopping at each station long enough to get acquainted with it, taking 17 full hours to reach destination starting from Chennai Egmore, While my other option the Howrah mail is so dutiful and purposeful that it takes a maximum of 10 hours, at a dead of night.


A typical countryside dweller whose nest is linked only through Circar, shows sheer grit when others hold forth on the way Circar goes, though he himself finds it sluggish.

The irksome cruise sets out at scheduled time 17:20 and from the get-go it creeps through all the stations making a familiar incessant rhythmic noise which one will stop taking note after sometime, but a new noise starts, noise of the population inside.

And one checks the time its still 18:00 hours, Ah how to kill the time. Most everyone surrenders to the most common habit among youth, texting to friends. Once you've settled there arrives the coffee which you can't miss, for Indians are known for their ardent love towards coffee.

Then a friend calls and if he/she happens to be of same gender, one speaks for a couple of minutes and say “Ok re, I’ll call you later its too noisy out here.” This call triggers you to call your friend, most of the times friend of opposite gender (And if you are a female you tend to receive call rather than calling yourself). Information transfer is best possible between people of opposite sexes. From the place where you are you run and reach the entrance of train. It’s a strange experience facing strong wind and talking on phone with the one we like.

And for the first time you feel like why this train doesn’t stop anywhere, allowing you to talk without noise. There you are, lost in the call for a long time despite the noise, while perching precariously on the footboard, thanks for the hands free it allows us to talk while clinging to the handles on the either side of the threshold. Then a person shows up and asks to vacate the place for he wants to smoke there as he’s not allowed inside the compartment, this makes you realize you in fact were talking for a very long time and the call ends

And again the solemn issue resurfaces ‘how to boil down rest of the time’. Well now it really differs from person to person, while some people who are interested in reading may take out a book/ novel etc while rotating a pencil or pen between fingers. And some may feel like writing and if one doesn’t have a blank paper the reverse side of IRCTC printed ticket serves a good purpose to put down ones ideas. If you ran out of paper you look for an orthodox looking guy whom you think will definitely have blank paper.

And after sometime everyone succumbs to the famous habit of listening to the music, and this habit is time limited, coz you fear that you may drain the battery unless u have a music player or an iPod.

Suddenly the girl across two seats seems to bestow a amiable smile once in a while and you do the same, and if you are courageous enough you may go further to talk with her and there’s no need of any other idea to kill the time for this is much more fun than any other occupation (and believe me, you’ll run out of time, no time for music/ novels/ msgs or calls, calls just giggling in your seat while talking to her). By the end of the journey you would have exchanged your mobile numbers and emails (or rather fb names), but if you are not so audacious a back smile is what you can accomplish at most.

The night dinner you ordered when you entered train comes after a long time after you have completely forgotten it, the ‘most awaited dinner’.

While you unknowingly sink into depths of sleep suddenly a heavy drum beat wakes you up and you realize it’s the heavy metal band being played through your headset. Then you consider switching off the music player and most probably setting alarm for next day morning.

Next day you wake up and sometimes it happens like ‘Oh! Shut forgot the paste again’. So you gargle with water and take a bed coffee thinking ‘bed coffee once in a while is not bad’.

The train almost approaches your destination, it seems like just 30min more, but it can take any time driver want 30 min to 2 hours, for the driver has knack of stopping the train few km before the station, situation where you feel like getting down and walking the seemingly short distance.

All these travails of the long journey perish once you get a chance to sit beside a window while crossing the mighty river Godavari. A person in his teen or mid 20s laughs to himself when one tosses a coin into the river and recollects his childhood days when he used to do the same. And if he is a typical theist he adheres to the same tradition and makes his children toss a coin into the river.

The Circar starting at 5:20 pm offers you many details, since there’s no sleeping till night 9:30 at least, implying interactions with different people and places. In earlier days the houses and streets were so designed that people used to have a lot of interaction. Even a puny trifle that happened elsewhere travels all the way till you through the word of mouth. But the growing individuality in the budding suburban leaves no room for the interaction and the native folklore is lost. Its good at least if an old train can contribute something to goad the public interactions.

7 comments:

  1. if not anything else,the train helps you track the trifles of stuff that's there along its way...

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