A train journey undertaken in the year 1990, a young man's fascination with Indian Railways and its millions of users. 

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The Journey

A train journey undertaken in the year 1990, a young man's fascination with Indian Railways and its millions of users. 

We were glad the train had finally started moving. A gentle wind from the windows brought us instant relief as did the slow rhythmic thakak-thakak of the wheels on tracks reassure us that we were now on our way, moving away from the mass of humanity we were leaving behind on the platform to fend for itself.

It had been a hot and humid afternoon at the railway station in New Delhi. One train was delayed and its entire passenger load had been waiting on­ the platform along with us, the passengers of the Bombay bound Deluxe Express. Amidst all the jostling, many of us looked up at the sky, with a hope that a miraculous cold current would make these brooding clouds to pour. Dear god, please make it rain, turn on your turbines and give us some wind – anything but this relentless sweating humidity. But there was no rain.

With the train slowly gathering speed, people in our compartment started settling down in their seats. The coolness from our windows spread itself in the coach taking away the heavy, unbearable moist heat. Fights broken out had subsided. Children stopped crying, mothers were relieved and uncles started removing their shoes, taking out their slippers from overloaded bags underneath our seats. That's when one of them said, "It's not like this in the Rajdhani Express."