The romance of the railways

Railways of my childhood were more raw: raucous, unruly, and colourful. Under the influence of Kim, I would try to memorize things happening on platforms outside my window in one glance. It never worked. If only we had camera phones then. But the Himalayan Darjeeling Railway retains its more genteel romance: tea gardens, holidays, and the mountains. I got to see it again this month.

The tracks run parallel to the road, and I walked along it. I remembered my aunt talking of people who would step off the train for a tea, and then run after it and catch up at the next station. That may be an exaggeration, but not by much. Watch the clip of the most famous song ever shot on this route (not so far from the photo you see above), and you can see two boys chasing Rajesh Khanna’s jeep as it paces Sharmila Tagore on the train.

Interestingly, Sharmila Tagore’s character is reading an Alistair Maclean called “When Eight Bells Toll”. I’d completely forgotten that book until I saw this clip again.

Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

8 thoughts on “The romance of the railways”

  1. My father worked in Indian Railways and they were an important part of our lives. Every summer vacation we traveled by train from wherever my father was posted to Mangalore. My maternal grandparents livedvabout 60 kms from the station, we were never bored with three days of train 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been on few toy trains on hills, but this one remains the most picturesque one ever. The idea of train going though people’s backyards literally and though markets, the loops and the walking/running along with the train are memories forever. And the mountain breeze is just magical.

    Liked by 1 person

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