20 April 2008

A Journey by Train

We had begun a journey of a thousand miles. Pauli, Rakshu and me. To the North East of India. To Assam. And we were two days away from our destination. I was prepared to wait. The coach seemed truly a representation of India. People from all walks of live were there. Trying to make the best use of the 2 days that lay between them and their destination. The images pasted below are an attempt to capture some of my fellow travellers during my journey. A journey were people from different worlds shared a deep understanding of the experience of a journey by train! I ve always been intrigued by the devotion Pauli bestowed over her loved ones. There she sat, crammed in a bunk in the train, relentlessly knitting a skull cap to keep a loved one warm! Our neighbour, Mr Grandpa (he was travelling with his wife and grandson) was asleep for the most part of the journey. Not even the screaming baby from the other compartment could wake him up! The Grandma examines guavas while Grandpa snores profoundly! Nobody bothers making their beds in a train. You know why? Because they know they will simply crash into their bunks at the first hint of getting bored with whatever they are doing to keep themselves occupied. Some like to retire into a pensive mood... .....and some like to smoke by the door with their friends watching out for the TT. The lady and the baby were so deep asleep that not even my noisy camera could wake them up! Missionaries on their way to a convent The coffee-wala always found business in our coach. I could tell that some of them were intrigued by my interest in documenting them Now these monks, loved A R Rahman! It was baking hot in the pantry car. To be honest, i wasnt even sure whether they would allow me to take pictures there. But i was pleasantly surprised when the staff actually struck a pose for me. I dont know what they think about. But there are men who remain at the door for hours together! Dont they ever get tired standing up for so long?? I wonder... Restroom, wash basin and a mirror!!! I doubt if there ever was an hour that passed by without someone visiting this area. A game of cards is everybody's favorite passtime. Rakshu is out in the Calcutta station buying fruits for us Time slipped by before we knew it and we were greeted into the morning rays of the early sun by a group of men who had , as though by magic, transformed themselves into responsible soldiers from the decent fun loving men they were for the past two days! Magic, or not, the truth was that the journey was finally coming to an end and people were anxious to get off.