7 yrs me learned Air- Water-Land are the means of transportation’. Also were the pictures of air-plane,ship,bus&train glued to my notebook attesting the theory taught. As a kid I never travelled through former and latter means, and I thought that there were no places to travel by water and air-plane was only for the rich. But bus was always there to ride on – be it school bus, city bus or the rushy pushy bus to tirumala. Thanks to the bus boarding system of wrestle-board- find no seat-accept failure-stand finally the little me always hated the red buses. Trains however are appealing, I should agree – Maybe because of the train game we played in childhood where we lineup and run endlessly in a stupid loop, till a fight breaks up where one of the kids running as a coach wants to be the engine guy. Also a real train can have a reserved seat (all yours), unless u are travelling ‘general’ with some 9875243 others in a 72 capacitated car. And also u can have a seat positioned in the reverse direction of travel (I don’t know how this can be claimed to the merit of train travel, but still that can be a point). I always try my best to poke the face a bit more out the train window, to get a little more glimpse of the passing landscapes and the train itself. Yes, I poke my head out even in the night to see the darkness running by. The movement is a swing, the rails sound is a song, gushing winds are the tickles and the jolts a joy. I hold the family record of requests-made, for asking mom to buy all the things that come across on the train…Samosa,cutlet, whistles, frooti, crackers, toys, cotton candy, kaleidoscope …and the list is endless. I also hold the record of loosing my footwear in the toilet. A big jolt, the slipper/shoe goes loose down the toilet and I walk bare foot till we hit a shoe store in the destination city. I always want the seat that my big bro sits in. Rarely do I win, but never mind as I could get a favor from dad for being kicked out by my bro. I hated the ac coach as a kid as its more like a claustrophobic chamber and I couldn’t get to poke my head through the glass pane.
An air travel is nothing less to admit. Hours of wait – enqueue the plane- become ear numb and stomach sick till u reach some 35000 ft- hours of wait again – dequeue. So boring needless to say ,if u r not self entertaining enough. Unlike a train jolt, every time the flight shudders you repent for all your sins and cry within thinking of your family. A flight journey can change an atheist to god-fearing. And u cant even purchase food onboard for u don’t want to spend a buck on the insanely priced food items that compete with the airline ticket itself. A tasteless, bland, cold, dry, crumbled sandwich makes u hunger less as well. Flight is no joy without free food, charging socket, onboard entertainment. Be prepared to sit traumatized for x number of hrs otherwise. At times, with all the amenities included u can be still out of luck if ur seat falls in a 2meter radius of a 5yr old or younger. If u don’t know why, no words can explain that experience. Personally I prefer air-bubbling to infants, for there can be some hope in the former case.
Thanks to industrialization/globalization/privatization or whatever nonsense that I studied in my high school social/economic studies, we saw the royal Volvo/benz buses running between the cities. My favoritism partially shifted from train to the mighty Volvo bus for a period. The more bigger glass windows, air-conditioned coaches, huge leg space, customized lite/air-flow controls changed the routine of bus travel. The hydraulic suspensions, ponderous jolts , swift pick up and the sexy look lured me to make plans of becoming a Volvo bus driver as well. Alas it’s a road journey and excitement vaporizes.
Maybe am grown up now and seek some personal space, or maybe I cannot openly poke my face onto the window due to social prejudice, I like travelling the ac coach on the train. No heavy jolts- no noise- conditioned air, but still the other fun parts are still on! It’s the train forever.