This was my comment to Ajoy Vakil’s post in Senior Reading Racoons about train travel as a young person and the joys of reading on such journeys.
Brought back many beautiful memories. My two children do that now, reading on trains and it is amazing how the three of us cuddle up beside each other on the train…. even on planes we carry our books and most of the time we spend even six to eight-hour journeys on train and planes without moving much because we have a book in our hands and we are completely lost in it, smiling and laughing and sometimes even crying…
In the past few years, our train journeys have been limited to 10 hour overnight journeys or four and a half hour day journeys. The overnight journeys were pretty much the same. Get on the train, cuddle up with a book and read till the rest of the passengers want to switch off the lights. When we woke up it was time to hop off the train, usually.
The day journeys were much more fun. It was usually the early morning Shatabdi and the three of us would be unusually bright and awake at six in the morning. While the rest of the passengers would try and catch some sleep despite the railway guys constantly walking around distributing stuff, we would be lost in our world of books. Sometimes, the kids would fall asleep and I’d close my book and look out of the window. My eyes would be glued to the racing scenery outside and my mind would be busy analysing what I read.
When it was time to get off, it was always a struggle to put the book away and greet the person who had come to pick us up. Of course, it was only for the first few minutes and then we’d have so much to talk about. Sometimes, we were lucky enough to get someone who loved books and we could continue to enjoy being in the world of books and talk about all we read. Those days were extra special.
Over the years a lot of things have changed, but what hasn’t changed much is the way we look forward to the train journeys, always with a book or two in our hands.
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