Sunday, 2 August 2009
Konkan Railway in the rains
To be winding down to Goa on the Konkan Railway route after the rains is sheer bliss. The cornucopia of greenery which assails you as you breathe in fresh monsoon-laden air, with chilly hills cloaked in clouds beaming down at you, is to be in the lap of the Gods. Add to that a window seat in a comely SL (sleeper class) to feel the rain spit in your face to annoint you with a mixture of coal dust as the diesel engine chugs down the slope . . . ah - are we in heaven yet!
It does wonders to the senses. I for one slept almost the whole day of day 1 on the 2450 Goa Sampark Kranti - something I never do in Delhi. The rock of the rails held my exhausted body in its embrace for its lethe-brimmed moments punctuated only by good wholesome veg lunch and dinner thalis which the IR (Indian Railway) pantry took care off.
As the train effortlessly skimmed through tunnels almost a mile long and I viewed the steel nets which held down boulders from giving way onto the tracks, I said a prayer for KR honcho Shreedharan facing flak now for the topplings of sections of the newly built metro line in Delhi.
To travel in the South West during the monsoons is to court the rain gods. All trains passing through have separate (staggered) timings for the monsoon to allow for adequate caution. The KR has even issued a booklet to this effect for Rs 5 which I picked up at Karmali station.
Needless to say waking up the next morn (today) I snared my first poem at a station called Pen in Maharashtra. I still have to find the ticket on the reverse of which I wrote the poem after which I shall inscribe it here.
Dad came to Karmali station at 3 p.m. to pick me up with Mohammad the driver. Lunch of prawn curry rice with fried mackeral finished at 5 pm but I missed Felcy's touch. Felcy was our earlier cook, now bereaved with the death/murder? of her 26 year old son. Shall be going to visit her tomorrow.
All pix taken enroute by Brian Mendonca