Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scenes From the Train

If you read the blog entry just prior to this one, you would have learned that I truly enjoy traveling by train as opposed to air travel…….with the exception of the time factor. When possible, I will always opt for traveling by train.
One of the reasons…..not mentioned in the previous entry is the change of scenery……clouds are beautiful, but I am more of a people, places and things kind of guy. I prefer looking at people, places and things as opposed to puffy clouds.
The landscape is ever changing in India, even if you weren’t moving. Nothing is ever the same, which makes living in India that much more exciting.
Train travel just takes this to a new level…….I believe that I could just be content sitting at the station and watching the happenings around me……and of course, trying to get some cool photographs.
There are certainly interesting people on the train…….but it is hard to infringe upon someone’s privacy on the train……but the platforms provide a perfect setting for some great picture taking……..both before you leave and when you arrive at your destination.
Of course, there is changing scenery outside the window…….but in many cases your train is speeding by and it is difficult to get great photographs through the window of a moving train…….just take a look at the photograph of the farmland…….it was an experiment……but I am sharing it anyway.
At our first stop……..just outside Delhi, I snapped several photographs of the old man on the bench…..before I noticed the school boys all sitting on the bench and obviously waiting for another train to take them to school…….they were watching me……and managed to get my attention and motioned for me to take their picture as well. Most people like being photographed……especially the younger generation.
I was tempted at each stop to get off the train for the two to three minutes they announce you will be stopped at the station…..but I was still not totally comfortable with the rhythm of traveling by train.
However, everything that you see from the train isn’t this nice and innocent……naturally, some of India’s poorest people live in the area between the railroad tracks, just outside the walls of the city. Part of what you see is what most people do early in the morning…….bathing, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, and of course those very human functions that one need not explain further. Nothing is hidden from your view…….the reality and sadness of the living conditions a majority of India’s poorest population live in, will make you all the more grateful for what you have and will provide you with the motivation to help in some small way, those who are less fortunate.
While I certainly do not want to end this blog entry on such a sad note……..I did not want to “sugar coat” what you will see……especially on the early morning trains leaving just about any station in India or pulling into or passing any town on the way.
I have fallen in love with India……..I love the good and the bad…..I accept her for who and what she is…….and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to spend a few years discovering all she has to offer.
I apologize again for the poor quality of the photographs…….I will become more adventurous as I become more comfortable in the future and venture off the train for a few quick moments to capture some special photographs......but until then.....keep reading and enjoying.

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