Indian Train image source – Shutterstock
For last few years I had not done any long journey by train. When I was a student I used to do a long journey by train at least once a month and that too in second class and at times without any reservation. But since the time I started working all long journeys started happening by air, though there were a few small train journeys here and there.
When I got an invitation for a friend’s wedding in Nagpur, I thought it was a good opportunity to travel by train from Bangalore to Nagpur and back. I promptly booked myself in Rajdhani Express, two months in advance. But I could get only my onward journey as confirmed and return did not get conformed till the last minute. There were few things that amazed me about the best train of India and the reservation system. Almost half the seats were empty, while everyone on board had tough time getting a confirmed ticket. The train was as dirty as any other train, specially the toilets. There were huge rats in the train, capable of scaring anyone. Good part was that the train was running before time all the time, even though it was stopping at all possible places and I had no hope that it would reach on time.
It was good fun meeting people on board, sharing food and chatting with them, if only the trains had a better reservation system, benefiting both the passengers and the railways, and if only it was a bit cleaner. Now I am sure this reflects the change in my expectations also, because as a student I really did not mind traveling in the same trains, probably in worse conditions. What I am wondering is, is there a change in my expectation as I have moved in life in last one decade, or is this a change in expectation by the whole nation who for sure has moved faster than me in last one decade ?