All aboard?

Almost time to depart on the next leg of the journey!

Some new tracks, metal fabric stitching us together, some new scenery, some fresh rolling stock, some new co-travelers, some younger, older and more familiar, all of us hopefully better versions of ourselves.. All of us with our own baggage, hopefully optimized and repacked over the short break.

New time tables planned, new plans now tabled, new tracks mapped out, new maps which need to be tracked, on this train where all are passengers, guards, loco drivers, station masters as well as the teams less visible in the background, often, all at once..

All on-board? Let the wheels roll!

IMG_20180331_214410_processed

“Hey! You want to take Selfie?”

Continuing on our train ride to Goa (part 1: https://gabbartrip.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/go-goa/), we saw a girl and a boy sitting together on the doorstep of the train – Indian trains have doors which can be opened anytime (The Ticket-checker, or any other person from the Railways, may or may not frown). I knew we would be entering the hilly Western Ghat region soon, which is home to some extraordinary scenery. We took our place, standing behind the above-mentioned, below-seated couple. Peeping out of a moving door-shaped-slit at the immense vastness in front of us, we saw the typical lush green valleys and the dense vegetation around.

Soon, tunnels started lining up; the train chugged through them serially, alternating between bright Indian summer sunshine and dark tunnel darkness.

The two of them in front of us, fired their cameras furiously, and that’s when the memorable question was asked: “Hey, You want to take selfie?” I think the shot in demand was them as the subject with half of the train in a tunnel, and maybe the mouth of the tunnel in the frame too. Come to think of it, a frame like that can indeed make a good photograph.

A strange and funny thing happens when trains go through tunnels here – people start howling and screaming! The bogies in front could be heard first, the wave moving to our bogie and increasing in pitch as the bogie behind us followed ours into the tunnel. Suddenly, the train is abuzz, innocent smiles all around, and people start moving towards one side of the train. The reason for all this was the famous Dudhsagar waterfalls (https://gabbartrip.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/freefalling/), and everyone, including us, wanted to take a look.

The train slithered around a bend, and there it was. Lots of cheering, and then another memorable dialog, the girl in front (the one sitting at the doorstep) telling a guy friend of hers: “Hey, don’t be shy, ra! Come, sit on my lap”!

In a few minutes, we were speeding through the flat plains and crossed fields with deep red soil. The tracks seemed to be rural highways, as school kids walked on them, people sat on them while chatting on their mobiles – the elevated rails with the inclined stone ballast making it comfortable for the knees and the back.

Soon, the train pulled in at Margao, and the sea beckoned, stronger than ever.