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Humans of railways

Indian railways, a mammoth that carries multitude of aspirations and emotions and a momentary motley of bodies sharing bogies for a moment in time. The sleeps, dreams, cries and laughter mixed in a cacophony but at the same time creating a dry hum of white noise that resonates with innate human nature and nature around it. One sees peace, love, tension, respite, hunger and poverty all in one place. Gandhiji travelled India for a whole year after returning from abroad, mostly on the railways. In a train journey one moves with space and time. One sees India in motion.

One of the defining moments in one of my favourite movies, Swades, comes from a railway station when Mohan Bhargava encounters a water seller kid selling open tap water on a station. Mohan till then only drank mineral water in the movie, but in that instant he decides to shed his NRI shackles and embraced the reality of his country, where people even sell tap water to make ends meet. Such is the gravitas that train scene holds. Such is the intricate way the Indian Railways is sewn in our daily lives.


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