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my journeys from the past

well, to start with, i just thought that the title was kinda cliched. to clarify, this is not a post about my philosophical journeys or accounts from my past. it literally translates to (i think) the journey i undertook to different places in the past. that is all. period

now to start the account, im sure that all of you are used to train journeys by now(assuming you're over 16, living in india, cos you know, it's not the cheapest option anywhere else in the world). probably once in a month or two, probably journey length of around 8-10 hours or unluckily more. but c'mon, once a month, 8 hours, probably a night time travel, you are going to do nothing but go and sleep through the journey, wake up in time to get off at your station and feel good that you didnt miss the station. well, let me tell you my accounts of how to travel on trains.

i live(chennai) roughly 5 hours away from my native town(ongole) and i usually go home once or twice a month(4 times in the last month) and i usually travel unreserved. and no! unreserved isnt ticketless travel, it's more like the lazy person's way of travel, wherein we just get a general ticket to our hometown which will let us board any train we want and then either bribe your way into getting a seat, if you arent talkative or persuasive or experienced enough pay the fine and get a seat, stand in the corridors through out the journey or sit in the general compartment. i'm pretty sure that most of you havent seen the inside of a general compartment and because i dont want to penalise myself and admit to guilt(because of bribery), i (mostly) just stand and roam around through the compartments all along the way. and believe me, there are a lot more like me, especially during the weekends, holidays. so, unlike when you have a seat when you dont have any intention or purpose to disturb(talk to) the  person sitting next to you for anything but sleep. so, like i was saying, there is always someone standing next to me, randomly lost in thought.

to just quickly summarize the people i've met in my travel, spartacus(i know, but believe me)- an MBA graduate working in chennai while his wife is in hyderabad, who has to go meet his wife every weekend(obviously), the twist being that he doesnt know where to go, hyderabad or warangal(his spouse's native) which his wife will tell him the day before. so, he basically runs around every weekend, looking for any and every train for a seat. i met an SOB,. yes, Scientific Officer B, you know the different scales in government research labs, the guy works at National Institute of Oceanography, Chennai and we had one of the most interesting discussions ever, his topic of work being Coral Reefs and how we can implement the kind of growth standards etc in real life situations. I met a retired father, with 4 kids who was more than interested in life at IIT, because he wants his son to get into IITs, and that he probably will have to bribe his son with something for him to study and prepare for JEE. I met an L&T worker, who was so socially awkward that the first thing he asked a person, whom he just got to know was a scientist, was his pay scale! and left us wondering how such people still existed, how there was still so much of an importance on the pay scale than on job satisfaction. alas, he continued to puzzle us by answering, when asked the question as to which institute he would choose to do his PhD- the more renown one where there is hardly any professor who works in his area of interest or a less renown one where there is an excellent prof working in his area of interest, saying that area of work matters but still the name of the college on your certificate matters as well.

and sometimes if i just get bored, and when people ask me where i am working(well apparently i look that old. i just turned 21) i answer in the affirmative and continue about how my job is brilliant, hoping that the other person doesnt work in the same place as well.

continuing, have you heard of train-hopping?
im sure you've heard of the movie 'train-spotting'. so, what is train-hopping.
has it ever happened to you that you are on a train, you look outside while at a station and you see another train, which goes to your destination as well, hardly 20 mins late or early? well, it happens to me almost all the time, and i always wondered how it would be to try this out. and well once, i did. though i had bought a ticket for one train, i got on a train which came before it, which stopped at the same subsequent stations and was early compared to the originally intended train. and i had to get off at one of the subsequent stations to switch back to the originally intended train. but unluckily, the train which i was on, was put on a by-lane and i watched the train i had to catch a couple of stations later pass by. so, i am finally stuck in the middle of nowhere, looking for a bus/train to chennai and not wanting to wait for 3 hours in the railway station for the next train, i go to the bus stop and board the next bus to chennai. while at the bus stop, i saw a huge cock, as long as my legs are, pecking away at everything and eye balling me as in pass it by. i was fking scared of it, hoping it wouldnt come on to me. you know, the fighting cocks, they are very popular in the villages of andhra pradesh you know. eventually when the bus came, there were no seats on the fully pre-occupied bus and i sat, for the most of the next 3 hours, on top of the bus's engine cover. 3 hours, in one position.

so, you see. you people may think that trains are boring to travel on, you hardly meet any interesting people on journeys etc etc, you need to be an interesting person first of all to meet other interesting ones.

good luck doing something crazy.

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