Who doesn’t welcome a full weekend after a long, tiring week at work with open arms? Some party, immersing themselves in the revelry till wee hours of the morning, others choose to catch up on sleep, friends, chores or movies while many, like me, use this opportunity to go meet family, thus saving a holiday for later. 😉
The long-pending trip to my paternal grandparents’ place in Daman requires train travel. No big deal, right? Of course, all you have to do is sit tight at one place for four and a half hours while a sea of people come and go, hogging whatever little personal space that you have managed to salvage. Then there is the humidity and heat that makes rivulets down your back, because the train that one is travelling in is bereft of any fancy amenities like air conditioning but provides a steady supply of sunlight and the occasional breeze instead. There is the unwelcome addition of a lot of weird smells but a little while into the journey and you get used to that too. There however, is a small, but clearly not insignificant perk to all this.
If you’re lucky to find yourself a seat by the window, all your woes will clearly disappear. Passing by the rural areas and outskirts of semi-urban parts of western India, the visual treat is a sight for sore eyes. Of course, there’s the occasional eye-sore of an industrial plant dumping its refuse in a beautiful still water-body. But you learn to accept it, for the beauty that you behold is clearly overwhelming. It’s almost like making peace with pain in order to appreciate joy. So you sit by the window, absorbing it all as expanses of green, yellow, brown and blue treat your eyes by taking the form of fields, barren hills, majestic palm trees, clear blue skies and fluffy clouds.
In that moment, you realise how much the topography varies from one place to another, even if the distance is only a few miles. Different yet similar in a soothing, beautiful way. Complaining about the humidity is soon forgotten as you read your favourite book, sip on some Sprite, grab a snack or two and spend time merely looking, thinking about nothing at all. And if you do happen to doze off then upon waking up, you’re greeted by a sight of cute goats and adorably rotund calves grazing in the lush pasture lands as the sun begins its downward journey.