Sitting in an ac coach of a train and looking out thro the window , I feel like I’m living in an ivory tower watchg the world go by – yet the world outside seems to be headed nowhere – two lone people bicycling their way in opposite directions in a vast open green field ; a railway crossing where an assortment of cycles and bikes are waiting for us to pass so that they can get on with their lives : two drongos surveying the scene from the wire and some bikes and cycles parked below an old mandapa . After a montage of picket fences, old and new towns, vast open spaces, fields, dusty buildings, some huts and encroachments, lakes and trees , the train pulls up at jolarpettai for an unscheduled stop . The smell of cold vadai and upma comes in as breakfast is served .

The old and the young, the sleepy and the silent, the restless and the curious, the bored and the bores , all wake up suddenlty to attack the cold food, not necessarily out of hunger , but just to fulfil the need to do some activity .

A curious kid is still at it – the questions keep coming – idhu traina busa , namba eppo madras povam, nee enna sapre ( is this a train or a bus, when we reach madras – ok the kid said chennai , what are you eating ?)

Some phones ring and loud voices fill the air . A man switches effortlessly between kannada and tamil giving some instructions , another is talking about blackberry phones, the girl next to me is singing besura with her headphones on , aunty close by is reading her favourite magazine .

I shut my mind and look out , but the sun is shining right through . I draw the curtains, close my eyes, put the phone on silent and try to sleep or at least day dream . Another three hours to go to reach Madras .

PS – This is my first ever live post from a train and its the first time I have used my phone  – Blackberry to blog . Thankfully, the network is very good . As I travel between Bangalore – Madras (Chennai) every month , I hope to make Shatabdi Musings a monthly feature  – hopefully you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy posting them 


  1. Uma 27 April, 2011 at 13:48 Reply

    ‘…the bored and the bores’!! Very nice!! I like the way you are able to create a paragraph out of an unscheduled train stop!

  2. Anu 27 April, 2011 at 18:49 Reply

    i had some similar thoughts on the way to delhi by the rajdhani, except that it was samhith asking all those questions and i had to answer him 🙂 and we all realised that the 2nd class train journey was much more exciting!

  3. Ram 28 April, 2011 at 22:13 Reply

    What a post to say that you slept in the train on your journey to Chennai.. 😛

    Jokes apart, nice short one.. Train journeys, short or long, are definitely enjoyable and most often interesting ones, especially in the mornings. Keep posting your experiences..


  4. Sneo 29 April, 2011 at 13:19 Reply

    nice one. Like it!
    I always love live posts. I tried some from my iphone here but the live action and the iphone fonts didn’t really agree well. Maybe I’ll try again wiht some inspiration from backpakker

  5. Neeraj 2 May, 2011 at 08:25 Reply

    Right now you are enjoying watching the sights from the train window… next thing you know you’ll be staring at your phone screen blogging about it – don’t let that happen!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *