Thursday, 15 December 2016

Why I pick Trains over Planes

trains planes same pictureThe Indian Railways is one of the biggest employers in the world. Even without statistical data, this is rather apparent to anyone who travels in inter-state trains, especially for long journeys exceeding 24 hours. Travelling in these trains will show you a variety of people, from different parts of India, having different backgrounds.
Trains v. Planes
From a plane one can see a whole stretch of land or a vast portion of the sea. But in order to really feel minuscule or insignificant you have travel the same distance by rail, since travelling in trains is like observing each and every dot of an impressionist painting. The only question you have to ask yourself is whether you are ready to witness the world from that perspective.
Building Character
I have, personally, found that travelling in General compartment for over 24 hours at a time builds character and endurance. All modern day philosophers must perform exercise at least two or three times. If you are not ready for that level challenge, the next but best thing is to climb into Sleeper class with a General ticket and pay the fine to the T.C. You won’t get allocated a seat, but you’ll be allowed to be inside the sleeper coach. Please don’t pick a high-end train like Rajdhani. Pick one of the lesser known trains.
This way you will have to learn to “manage”, and share seats. Your sitting down will depend on the kindness of others. You may find yourself constantly shifting from one place to another. Getting a place to sleep will be exceptionally tricky. If you are not so lucky you may have to stand for most of the journey.
You will get plenty of time for self-analysis and to be lost in thought. You all know what its like to sit at the window seat during a 20 minute bus journey. Now, imagine that lasting for about 24 hours. If you don’t have any luggage your mind will be free to wander. Keep a pen and paper on you in case you are the type of person who likes to jot down good ideas or thoughts that may end up be life altering.  However, if you do have luggage which you have to keep an eye on, that will make the journey all the more challenging.  
As for myself, I will be performing this ritual annually so that I am reminded to remain simple, considerate and cautious.

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