Friday, January 2, 2009

The DHR

These kids live beside the tracks of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Every day, twice a day, they see the train pass by. And still they wave.

And me? In our journey from NJP to Darjeeling, I passed at least twenty such groups of kids. And each time, I waved back.

People are strange.

I also think we (i.e. mankind) will outgrow our fascination for fast cars, planes and rockets before we outgrow our fascination for trains.

That’s me in the picture, aged eight months. Evidently, the fascination is not of recent origin.

11 comments:

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

aaargh, you had one of those toy train sets? i've always wanted one.

this post reminds me of a ruskin bond story, i can't remember which.

Abhiroop said...

"The Eyes Have it"? by any chance? Its the story about how two strangers meet up on a train from Dehra to Delhi, both of whom are blind, and dont know it.

I concur heartily that we shall never get over our obsession with trains. Think Pather Panchali, the Great Train Robbery, even the Little Prince has a little passage about trains.....

Mankind is just a little too much in loven with trains.

Rahul Saha said...

I think its the ability to pop your head out of the window/let self hang by the door which gives trains the edge over planes and, to an extent, cars. Only JD Cooper would disagree.

Sroyon said...

@Doubletake: I still have the train set, in fact. It's an ancient Hornby-Dublow. Manufactured in 1958 I think. You're welcome to come play with it anytime, if you want. :D

@Lahiri: Aarey dhur why would it be "The Eyes Have It"? Just because there's a train involved? The story is otherwise not remotely related to my post.

@Saha: But you can't do that on air-conditioned European trains, can you?

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

you have no idea how seriously i'm going to take that invitation.

Sroyon said...

You're welcome. Just let me know in advance so I'll make sure I'm at home and not in hostel. It's a pleasure to watch kids enjoying themselves.

Timshel said...

i like the wave bit like mad....
so true, that, and now that i think about it....i think most o the kids just plain do it cos of something their parents taught them to do....trying with each wave to figure out y they thought pointing to the train and waving to it would be such a revolutionary idea....
much like the most of u in our own ways

Rahul Saha said...

No, unfortunately you can't but trains in the west weren't always so impersonal and its the old trains people obsess over.

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Aww :-)

new age scheherazade said...

I always wave, too.
Trains do this queer trick where they strip you of your self-importance. But I don't like AC compartments (and Feluda in them-strike one for Tintoretto).

Pinka-isn't it Night Train At Deoli?

Pratiti said...

I never read these DHR posts before.
Can you believe it, I've never been on one of those trains?! And I just HATE those big smelly cars I am force me into instead.