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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Friday, October 26, 2007

Train journey - the start!

North East I

I shall narrate my experiences and feelings of the places visited for 2 reasons: 1- my personal collation 2- to have good tips for guys who wud want to seriously do NE later, but in parts..

I have taken the Blore Guwathi train from blore till madras many times and wondered how it wud be to travel all the way to Guwathi..and then wud randomly check the temp there (and once during a cricket match there, they did show some interesting clips)..all these pushed me to include it during my north east tour..and since this fancy for the blr- ghy train was always there, we (me and Wify, hereinafter W) traveled by the train, broke our journey at NJP (newjalpaiguri) and went to Darjeeling, sikkim and then came back to NJP to proceed to GHY.

I shud confess the train journey was not at all interesting:-( ordinary scenery till Orissa and then very ordinary from WB(West Bengal) on..so all those fantastic sceneries imagined were only imaginations after all…but some good things to be recorded here:

Clean Train Station: That was a revelation! Vizag station was spic and span. Neat, clean, well documented and conspicuously litter free. Well maintained platforms, clean shops visble and usable dustbins all over were remarkable. I have never seen such practical and neat stations in India. So, after all, some improvement in Indian Railways, eh?
That was not all..from Vijayawada on all stations were looking better with Vizag being a steal..
Later on we were to find that most of the South Eastern railway’s stations were outsourced and they were doing a great job. So it was impressive all the way till Kharagpur and then back to typical railways..other stations and especially Chennai has lots to learn..These guys who were doing the cleaning at all these NE stations were doing a great job (for sure one cud not have seen such commitment if they were from Railways) and rushed to finish all the coaches, even cleaned window glasses of all AC coaches and stood on the edge of the platforms waving at the moving train/passengers!

Tip #1: looks like people have nothing but pooris for breakfast, lunch n dinner from Howrah on and so u get only that..be prepared or pack urself.

Then we enter WB, the great left land..so the pantry of the train grinds to a halt lest they shall be beaten up by the vendors..thats just the first irritant..then there are some 100s of vendors selling right from pins to balls to casio keyboards, calculators, stupid toys and what not (hey, we are near china rit?)..its like some 100 guys in a minute..and they keep criss crossing chanting the name of products cost etc. This irritation shall continue till 11pm.. it was a shame or a big joke that after 10pm when almost everyone had slept these guys wud walk with their display piece murmuring something in the dark..real jokers..i didn’t see even one of them sell anything..so much for the train journey.

Tip #2: Just don’t do trains (except small distances in shatabdi / Rajdhanis or when left with no choice )..u better save that time for one extra day in a good place plus save that much energy.

oh! its already long..lets pray for brevity in next posts;-)

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