Wednesday, June 27, 2012

3 Words Wednesday

3 Words Wednesday
This week’s prompt words are: Cling, Murmur, Taken

This post is dedicated to 3 bloggers:

Neha’s Blog

I cling to your blog for a long time. I always murmur something in frustration when you delay publishing your next post. I am taken by your writing skills and want to write like you.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Best Train Ride (in India)

When ever we visit India, we always prefer to travel by train. My wife’s elder brother’s family is an Indian Airlines family. They think we are wasting time by travelling in train. But we enjoy train ride and the sceneries.

Here in USA, we never have a chance to travel by train, even though it is available. Many of our friends/relatives in India advice us to go by road (I mean hire a tourist cab). To be honest, we are afraid. We chickened out. The traffic, the no road rules, the oncoming car on our side with beaming lights to overtake another vehicle, that is enough for us.

This January we landed in Delhi and stayed in Gurgaon (yes the Indian Airlines in-law family). We had already planned to visit Amritsar to see Wagah Border, Golden Temple, and Jalian Wala Bagh Memorial.

When ever we travel in India by train, we always take AC First Class (if available). AC First Class seems luxury. Yes, it is luxury except the bathrooms. Only 10 passengers can travel in a compartment, but still the bathrooms are dirty and bad smelly. Yuck.

Let me come to the main point. We returned from Amritsar to New Delhi by train, the Swarna Shatabdi Express. Just 3 words. We were impressed.

Compartment was clean. The bathrooms were clean. Windows were clean. More than that, there were stewardesses (like airlines). I was surprised. Not in the sense of a sexism. But in the sense of equal opportunity employment in Indian Railways.

I have flown Air India a few times in unavoidable situations. All they ask during dinner is “Veg” or “Non Veg”.

In this Shatabdi Express, the stewardess asked: Continental Non Veg or Continental Veg or Indian Non Veg or Indian Veg. That was service. The journey was about 6 hours. We were given something to munch 3 times in addition to the dinner. If only they served cocktails!

Those 6 hours went like 6 minutes. There was a family sitting next to us. Husband and wife, 2 small kids, and Husband’s parents. They live in New Delhi. Returning from Amritsar after a brief holiday. Very pleasant conversation. Very friendly. Had a great time. One thing we noticed. The husband and wife spoke with their kids in English only. When our kids were small, we insisted they speak to us only in Tamil. Is that politically incorrect?

Unforgettable train journey.