In the past two years I have developed a penchant for travelling and when I was asked to escort back the two girls of kho-kho team from KV Solapur, I just could not hold back my childlike excitement as for the first time I was making such a long trip by train and that too all by myself. While packing I didn't forget to keep Maugham's Cakes and Ale, drawing pencils, a notebook and my Sony digital camera. Boarded Patna-Pune Exp. at 10.45 PM on 13 Jan. I got settled in my lower side berth.
The ragged, torn curtains seemed to have never been changed since the day the train made its maiden journey. The futile veil of secrecy provided by these curtains reminded me the life inside the refugee camp in the story 'THE ULTIMATE SAFARI' in class X by where such secrecy was feigned by sacks and card board walls but one could easily peek into other's place just by bending a little right or left.
My co-passengers were good fellows but with their curtains pulled for most of the time, I remained as like an outcast. Well... that gave me time to revel in my solitude and do a few sketches.
Once, when I asked a vendor for a bottle of water, he failed to understand and like an expertise, commented on my speaking," Sound bahut slow hai, agar kuch saman kharidne jayengee to sound to hona chahiye, nahi to samajh mein nahi aayega, so thoda sound ucha rakhiye." Hmmm...here was a lesson for me which left me musing at the thought of speaking to a class of 50-54 students where my voice is quite audible even to the last row.
Reached Pune timely on15th and from there to Solapur by SUR INTERCITY. Its a nice town and the Kendriya Vidyalaya looked well maintained with children's park, basketball ground, playground, parking shed and trees planted along the boundary walls.
The return journey was equally comfortable and enjoyable.