Rail watching woes

I am a self confessed railfan. It may sound like an odd hobby but rest be assured, there are many more like me. We just happen to be certain blokes who never could get over their childhood fascination for trains. Therefore today whenever I travel by train, half of my time is spent near the door: watching the surroundings, hearing the melodious beat of the wheels and feeling the warm air rushing in my face…bliss! I also undertake rail treks. Walk along to the nearest rail line, preferably with a camera in hand..and wait. Soon you hear the far off rumble of the Iron monster, the tracks start throbbing and the magnificent beast rumbles past you, dust flying, horn shrieking and making a hell lot of noise in general. I would prefer that to anything else, anyday.

However the Railway officials dont quite know what to make of people like me. Under the “amazing” Indian laws, all sorts of rail photography is restricted and one needs permission from the competent authorities for something as romantic as taking a pic of a moving train. Bill Aitkens in “Travels by a Lesser Line” has some wonderful anecdotes about such bureaucratic tightasses. Though not such a prolific railfan as Aitkens, I too have had quite a few such experiences….

Enroute to New Jalpaiguri, the train I was travelling in passed through the Sahibpur Chord Line, an archaic line where still semaphore signals and locos from obscure sheds abound. Not wanting to miss this railfanning opportunity, I was taking in all the sights from the door when suddenly the AC coach attendant accosted me…

Coach attendant: Babu, door band kar ke jaao

Me: Nahi uncle, main trains ko dekh raha tha.

C: Trains ko? Usme dekhne ka kya hai?? Sab lohe ka dabba hai…tum andar jaao..

Me: Arey uncle dekhne do na! Main thodi der baad chala jaaunga..

C: Nahi nahi…yeh mana hai..door ke paas khade huye to police pakad leti (rolls his eyes)..Govt ne ban lagaya hai…

Me: (Angry now)…bhaad me gayi Govt aur bhaad mein gayi police…I’ll stand here…

C: baabu baat maano…(tries to force me in)

Me: Par….

C: nahi nahi…andar jaao…



3 thoughts on “Rail watching woes

  1. Check out my “drop the car get on the train/bus” at my website and also the “Artists of the Indian railways”.PLEEEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSEEE!!!!!!!!!NAHI TOH MAIN TUJHE MAAROONGI. TERI HADDI PASLI EK KAR DOONGI.MERA BLOG BAHUT LONELY HAI.

  2. Seriously! My camera was once confiscated at CSTM, and I had to pour a flow of ‘please’ and ‘I am not terrorist’ in Marathi to get it back!

    Say, why don’t we railfan together once? Bolarum- G Pochampalli.

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