8 June 2016

Not just another travel journal!

Source: news.vanderbit.edu
I've always had a certain fascination for travelling and how the simple and obvious word means differently to the diverse range of people associated with it; in the most subtle ways. To some, travelling is a meagre, unavoidable part of a bigger and more important assignment. To others, it is like a hobby, a meditation or something close to an ambition to be able to experience every corner of the Earth and beyond. Then there's the lot of them, the majority of course, who have established a relation between travel and holiday. It's sort of synonymous, and for the most part, I'd put myself under this genre.

   New places, faces, ideas, cultures, customs and of course varied marvels of nature, that's what travelling brings to me. What I will not deny though, is that travelling makes me think. Not something specific but everything in particular, as a whole it induces a sort of trance in me, like so many things crammed in together, all my senses are overwhelmed while my mind wants to process the omnipresent disarray of thoughts.

As a child, my younger self would fix her gaze over the rusty, ancient yet efficient railway tracks while we waited for the train to a distant somewhere. I'd let my mind wonder, a child and her imaginations. I could never figure out how such flimsy looking pieces of metal and coal and slabs of wood would support such  gigantic arrangements of wagons and wheels. Well, the laws of physics are oblivious to the  innocent mind so I concluded it was injected with supernatural strength somehow. How? Well, I'd bug farther with that later.
Source: sandierpastures.com

Has anyone ever thought, "Where do these tracks lead? Will I reach my apparent destination if I walked along these very tracks? Where do they end? How were they begun? What's beyond the invisible, ever stretching infinity where the railway tracks gleefully disappear? " I wasn't 19 then, I was 9 (bored of waiting, weary of nothing) so I pictured - conversing with the fading  horizon at the end of my walk or  settled for the idea of a mysterious forest after the railway lines suddenly stopped keeping me company while I walked by them.

I am going somewhere and between me and 'there', is this stretch of families anonymous, the ever expanding railway tracks. I vividly recollect how each time I came to visit them, they enchanted my mind into a retracing journey of the same train of thoughts. The train would arrive, finally, jolting me out of my imaginative land, with the loud wake of commotion encouraged by its arrival.
Source: exclusivegrouptravel.com

  Looking back, I smile at my 9-year-old musing self ( who sat there, waiting with a sultry expression on her face). What I know for a fact now is it was the futile imagination of a child but back then it used to be real, some sort of magic realism that made me question things around. It's sort of odd that I can't get away with thinking ," So there are railway tracks and once you decide to travel, they summon these heavy wheel driven line of compartments and then you meet new people, see how they get by and enjoy till you decide to get back."

   It's sort of sad that physics laws,  directions and maps have screwed it into my mind that railways are a system of transport and there are those who love it and some who favour other means . This  does not simply lead you to a 'nowhere land' if you choose to follow it  but to a place you choose to be in.

-Rinita Das

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