Posts Tagged ‘railroads’

Fascination with trains and railroads has been an enduring obsession for me.   When I was five, all I ever wanted was to be a locomotive engine driver.   What a wonderful life he led and what fun trains were!  Chugging through vast hinterlands in rain, dust and snow, trains would conjure up yearning imagery of lost worlds and nature’s vagaries for me.    The old Hindi ballad, Kishore Kumar’s “Gaadi bula rahi hai, seeti baja rahi hai” is spot on.  Translation with some poetic license 🙂

Move on with the journey of life, said the engine’s roar
The commanding yet beseeching horn blared
Get in, you mere mortals and say nothing more!
The train beckoned me and I was snared!

Whether they run on steam or coal or gas or electric motors, trains have basically retained the same glamour.  The Palace on Wheels carries amazed international tourists from Delhi to Jaipur in royal ambience.  A steam engine symbolically pulls you out from Delhi station.

Jethro Tull’s “Journeyman” is so poignant when you remember some long night journeys in trains:

Orange beams divide the darkness
Rumbling fit to turn the waking worm.
Sliding through Victorian tunnels
Where green moss oozes from the pores….
Howling into hollow blackness
Dusky diesel shudders in full cry.

“Chaiyya Chaiyya” from AR Rehman is one helluva train song, with the cute small train winding through hills.  It is also the title track for the Hollywood blockbuster “The Inside Man”.

BTW, I still want to be an engine driver, wonder if I should look up Monster.com tonight……. .


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