Some journeys can never be forgotten. It reverberates in our mind again and again. I had such an experience – the memory of my first train journey. Last year my school had organised an excursion to Allahabad in U.P. and thus I got the opportunity to travel in a train for the first time.
The excursion group consisted of thirty students and three school staff. We reached Guwahati on 14th Oct. as our train reservation was for 15th Oct. by North-East Express from Guwahati. We got accommodation for the night in a hotel close to the railway station. The next morning at about 5.00 a.m., we reached the station.
Our train, the North- East Express was already on the main platform. Our guide was quick to find our berths. We boarded the train and quickly occupied our places. At 6.00 am the whistle blew and the train began to move. I was beginning my maiden train journey. A thrill of excitement ran through my veins.
I sat by the window and looked at the passing scenery. Within minutes, we crossed the mighty Brahmaputra River. It was a fascinating sight to see the bridge with its numerous pillars and columns. Thereafter, numerous rivers, bridges, evergreen paddy fields, enchanting tea gardens, vast plains, villages, roadside shops, etc. sped before our sight.
In the late afternoon we reached New Jalpaiguri Station, which is the gateway to Darjeeling and Sikhim. Some of us got out of the train to have a look at the station. However, we had to rush back quickly as the train started moving. The wonders of the big station had distracted us and we didn’t realise how quickly time had passed.
The onward journey from N.J.P station (New Jalpaiguri) was a thrilling experience as our train inched its way through the enchanting Gangetic plains offering us wonderful sights of lush green fields, groves of fruit trees, straight roads, tiny cottages, huge factories, busy towns and numerous stations.
In the evening we visited the pantry car which was at the end of the train. We had to go through several compartments. In most compartments people were talking, reading and playing cards.
Children were running about and enjoying themselves. Many people were seen dozing away, while some were engaged in heated debates. At 8.30 p.m. our dinner was served. After dinner we continued to gossip. Many couldn’t sleep. It was our first night in a train. I was too tired after the eventful day. I retired to my berth and slept off quickly.
The shouts of tea-vendors woke me up early morning. At first I was confused. I didn’t know where I was. Slowly I realised that I was in a train on my way to Allahabad. Soon our guide came around and informed us that within an hour we would reach Allahabad station. “We jumped out of our berths and quickly brushed our teeth and washed.
After a quick breakfast, we packed our belongings and got ready to get down. At 7.30 am we reached our destination. Taking our belongings we jumped out of the train. As I walked past the train, I looked back and said goodbye to the train which had brought me to my destination. Thus ended my first train journey.