Down the memory lane
Come Summer and it used to be the time to get packing and make the month long trip to grand parents place. A tradition that kept on for many many years and then took a break in between as I graduated from school to engineering and then onto my job. These trips became far and wide. However for the last few years they are back on track, though the destination has changed, for now it is the grand parents for my daughter.
Though climatically this isn't the ideal time to visit Delhi, but can't help it. Fortunately due to the changes in weather pattern, the summer heat has also got pushed along and the initial few days of the month of May aren't as hot as it used to be. Eventually the heat does catches on, but we do get some days of good weather. Interestingly this time, the electricity board was also a bit favorable and the power cuts were less and also not long lasting.
After my typical week long break (that's all I manage these days), I boarded the Duronto Express from Nizamuddin to Pune. Getting a train ticket is an effort in itself, though at least the website is far better functioning now. I got myself side lower seat and on boarding the train I realized that this was right in the corner, i.e. I was the doorman to the boogie. The other person on the side seat was a teenager, who debated a bit initially on whose was the lower seat. Fortunately he realized that his was the upper berth, which he eventually mounted and didn't come down the entire journey. Good for me.
The train kept good pace and during this trip is when I kind of became nostalgic and recalled those child hood journeys, the pushing of face against the window grill to try and see straight in the front and the blackening of faces due to the smoke in this attempt, the excitement every time the train would take a turn and we could see the boogies in the front, the comfort of the AC boogies later, but the lack of visibility outside evening on-wards, the constant movement of sellers of mostly food and magazines, the sound of "chaaaeeee chaaeeee", the liking for the oil soaked omelette, the craze to climb up to the upper berth and sleeping on it with a constant fear of falling down and so on and so forth.
As I sat looking outside today morning, and the train neared Pune, I suddenly recalled that after the month long vacation, where we would have mostly seen the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, I and my elder brother used to have a competition of who will spot a Pune Municipal Transport (PMT, now known as PMPML) bus, first. What a strange game, you may wonder, but it used to be so much fun, trying to get ourselves back in place in Pune city, after being away for a month. My brother wasn't there today in this journey to play the game again and I doubt we would have played it had he been around, but I suddenly had gone back 20-25 years and it felt wonderful... some nice memories of those yearly vacations. Wish I can go back for a day and relive all that fun :).