I just LOVE trains. Gimme good ol' Indian Railways over any airline any day. Can't stand the arriving-one-hour-before-flight funda, check-in procedure, security check, the agonising wait in the lounge and in the aircraft, cramped seats, rubbery food ugghhhhh :(
I'm smitten with the chaos at a railway station, the vendors with their penetrating 'chai, chai', AH Wheeler stalls, that typical ding-a-ding-dong that precedes any announcements, I could go on and on and on...
But positively the best part is standing at the door with the wind blowing through one's hair. I've shocked a few travel companions by refusing to sit in the comfortable climes of an air conditioned compartment and favouring the hot and dusty (and at times stinky, ugh!) space just outside the insulated area! There's something almost intoxicating about the diesel fumes that come wafting by soon after the engine goes chugga-chugga-chug as the driver ups the tempo.
I still go 'paani, paani' and point downward excitedly when a bridge comes along, still count the bogies of passing or stationary goods' trains as they pass by and exult each time the number surpasses the highest on that journey so far. Junk food at the railway stations, precariously collecting the cup of tea through the grille....ah, gimme good ol' Indian Railways over any airline any day!
Am not through with this topic. No way.