Thursday, June 08, 2006,8:29 PM

Train journeys are pretty chaotic but exciting here in India, this one was quite peaceful, with some unusual dose of excitement as this was a pleasant discovery for me. I was annoyed with myself too for ignoring this part or Kerala and Tamilnadu for so long.

This boy is enjoying with keen eyes, they all are very environmentally conscious children. I showed him the his picture on the camera screen, but he wasn't very impressed, he just gave a shrug. I thought he would be very excited.

Thanks to e2dee, I went to Plachimada, Palakkad dist. Kerala, as I was loafing around, I found railway tracks, got pretty excited, made enquiries at a local grocery shop, before I could finished my cup of tea, bus came and rushed to the nearest railway station which was Meenakshipuram on Tamil Nadu side.

Do trains run on this track ?
Not very convincing answer. People hardly take these trains they prefer bus which they said is faster. I found myself in a lovely rustic Mennakshipuram Railway station. To my luck I saw a train coming.
Where is this train going ?
The chap in the ticket office just gaped at me. Saw his jaw dropping.
Where is this train going ?
where do you want to go ?
Want to go where ever this train is going.
Now I could see that he had doubts about my sanity and my looks helping him to decide, as I came running all the way, panting for breath and I am no George Cloony, the train was approaching the station.
Tell me fast where do you want to go, he was muttering something, poor guy was the station master, ticket collector, signal man all in one,
one man show railway station.
Tell me I have other things to do, the train is coming, He was getting annoyed with me.
where is the train coming from ?
Now he had no time to answer my questions. He would have thrown any thing at me.
I was making him mad.
Which side is Pollachi ?
Where do you want to go ?
I took a shot, give me a ticket to Pollachi, I saod.
'six rupees' he said without looking, grabbing a red and green flag.
He gave me a ticket, and rushed out, I gave him 6 rupees outside as he was waving the green flag. I jumped into the train.

Later, the fellow travellers told me that the train is going to Palani, a pilgrimage place passing through pollachi.. What a place, I wanted to get off at every station spend my evening have a cup of chaya there, I couldn't take my eyes off the window, cursing myself that I could see only one side. I was missing the other side completely.

I was hungry, the usual fun, the lady here on her way to Palani temple, has made a cradle out of her sari and her baby in it and train is rocking her baby to sleep. this makeshift cradle, is called jholee in Urdu.

This chap was selling some food stuff, others had brought their lunch with them, Please don't be scared seeing the picture below, the train was not over crowded, it is the hawker who is moving to the next coach in a running train. Plenty of room inside.

The train passes through some lush green country side. Both sides are beautiful.

I reached Pollachi and had lunch, and took a train back to Palakkad, leaving at 3.30 in the afternoon. 13 rupees ticket. and the joy priceless. I have preserved the ticket.

This is a railway station.
The most stunning feature of this journey were the Railway stations. The natural way, hardly any platforms or a building, shady trees, very very romantic atmosphere, wished I could spend time in every station.

Train runs on good old meter gauge, which is fast getting converted to regular broad gauge, but the conversions are made only on the routes fetching good revenue.

I could take pictures of only 10% of what I saw, most of the time I could not even remember that I was carrying a camera. I was just lost looking out the window.

On my return journey i sat right behind the engine which was a stupid idea. The engine horn was so loud that i almost dropped my camera twice.

This guy here was a problem, that is where I was standing and taking pictures, every time he would come and push me to the side. That is when I decided lets forget the pictures and enjoy the scenery.

Daylight Again
Wake up blog.
posted by rauf
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  • 3:44 AM, Blogger Sangita

    Veryyy Veryy pertty pics..Nothing more to say..Have u read Train Stops at Shamli..It has quite similar feeilng as u expressed

  • 5:03 AM, Blogger Mika

    Love You're photos. And bouth blogs ;)

  • 5:15 AM, Blogger Rauf

    No Sangita, Who's the author ? I'll try and get. love anything on trains, books movies. There was a Gene Hackman movie 'narrow Margin'
    Beautiful train journey there, shot in Canada, lovely landscape.

  • 5:16 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Thank you Mika. Welcome to my blogs.

  • 8:06 AM, Anonymous Ezee123

    You have captured the ambience of the moving iron lady, with its bels and whistles and stops and all.
    Loved the pictures.

  • 1:34 PM, Blogger Claudia

    I wish I had the freedom to travel like you. Excellent pictures, as always.

  • 3:02 PM, Blogger ari4u

    Though i'm so far away, your pictures make me feel closer to home. Excellent pictures. I love the platform-less railway station and your description of the journey. I can close my eyes and imagine myself on that train. :-)

  • 6:33 PM, Blogger Rauf

    ezee123, I have been talking about Bangalore Mysore old road in 'daylight again' Some railways should be left untouched and declared as heritage railway lines. This should be one of them.

  • 6:34 PM, Blogger Rauf

    You have travelled far and wide Claudia, you have such beautiful pictures in your 'lovely places' blog.

  • 6:39 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Imagine yourself munching masala verkadalai in this train Aamir, thats what I had this time. Its only 2 and a half hour journey from pollachi to Pslakkad.

  • 10:25 PM, Blogger Hayden

    you are a traveler, Rauf, people no longer know what that is. They all commute - "I must get from here to here, pronto!" they have forgotten - or never understood - the joy of movement, of the road under you, of discovering what lies around the next bend.

    Love these rice paddies and palms. Such a visual indulgence/pleasure!

  • 8:06 AM, Blogger Rauf

    I have been analysing my actions Hayden, I realised that I don't enjoy reaching anywhere. I think I love train and bus rides. I keep hopping from train to bus to trains, place to place never and enjoy the stay. not a good way of traveling. most of the pictures are taken through the window of a train or a bus.

  • 10:22 AM, Blogger gautami tripathy

    Good to see someone who is so sensitive to the world around him. Great pictures, keen observations....

    BTW, If you email me, I can teach you how do add links of your friend's blog!

  • 10:44 AM, Blogger Rauf

    I am not a good follower Gautami, I have always been a bad student. First thing I throw is the instruction manual. A friend of mine would read an instruction manual of a screw driver.

    I explore, the results of my exploration have always been disasters, many of them to my credit. I almost ruined the template more than once, luckily there is an option of 'clear edits' for dimwits like me.

    Thanks so much for your help.

  • 4:25 AM, Blogger intelligentwins

    ur pics make me spell bound..
    not all are lucky to explore and enjoy nature!
    i wanna do something similar ...
    travel - shoot - record :)

  • 8:26 AM, Blogger Ruth

    You've taken us along with you, what a gift. Such wonderful, funny stories and full of the essence of what it must mean to travel by train there.

    Another train movie: The Station Agent (http://www.thestationagent.com/).

  • 5:55 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Luck has nothing to do, Neerja. Its not very difficult to make up your mind to go somewhere, let it be hundred or fifty kilometers away. Yes you need luck and money to go to far off places. I travel cheap, eat when necessary I eat mostly local food, I don't demand idli dosa, sleep on railway platforms or cheap hotels.
    You have a very unusual way of looking at things Neerja, and a beautiful imagination. your pictures are lovely.

  • 6:03 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Lot of goofs too Ruth, got myself into problems many times. This time I paid 45 rupees penalty for traveling in a wrong coach. Luckily it was a short journey. I knew that there were many in that coach with same ticket but the TT chose to check and penalise me because I am not a local person. some bad experiences too. that makes travel more interesting. and I keep learning
    thanks for the link Ruth. I am crazy about trains and movies with trains in them.

  • 8:17 PM, Blogger Hayden

    stopped by to feast on your pics once again, rauf - really amazed by the light and color in the picture of the woman with the baby in her sari-cradle. This should be a painting.... amazing that you saw and captured it with a photograph.

  • 8:47 PM, Blogger Rauf

    These are just pictures Hayden, recording events.

    Have you ever tried wearing a sari ? Its the most elegent dress I know. it takes time to get used to it.

    Life in a train coach is very interesting, if you go along with it. there is a lot of activity inside. If I get angry if some kid sits on my bag I would only be ruining my journey. This two and a half hour pleasure cost me 13 rupees say one fourth of a dollar, don't know how many cents.

  • 3:39 AM, Blogger known unknown

    AMAZING SNAPS!!! i JUST loved all ur snapps.. Actually 1 needs to have that eye to click them so well.

  • 6:54 AM, Blogger Rauf

    Thanks Known Unknown, its just the interest in visiting different places. eating different kind of food. Pictures are a by product.

  • 11:43 AM, Anonymous e2d

    This is it Rauf!! Next school break I am coming home!
    Thank you very much for the motivation...now I need to stay focused on saving (maybe starve a bit:).

    Your pics are so beautiful, these places are so beautiful.Its a good thing you have taken pictures to preserve these good memories.Never know..but one fine day the romantic, banyan tree-platform may get bulldozed away and you have a brand new I dont know what...an airport maybe, looking totally ridiculous!!

  • 6:04 PM, Blogger Rauf

    Aiyoo e2dees please please don't starve yourself. eat eat..Kerala is not running away, couple of hundred trees would be less perhaps. all chaaya kadai kallu kadai would still be around. Me bherry much looking forward to your holiday.

  • 3:19 AM, Blogger hariharaiyer

    I had travelled on this route umpteen times. This line travels near my college which is in chittur... Palakkad district. One of my class mates house and their paddy field is very near to one of the stations i.e vadavannur.

    This picturs had taken me to 16 years back.

    With regards

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  • 4:10 AM, Blogger Hai Baji

    These are nice pic in very popular and beautiful places of Palakkad.You have an easiest way to book your Trip with your friends and family and you will have guidance too.
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  • 2:57 AM, Anonymous Suresh, Research Scholar, NITJ, India

    Hi all..
    I am happy to see these wonderful pics and proud to say that I am from the same place, where god had gifted it with natural beauty. But at the same time I feel sorry to say that, those beauty no longer exist in those places due to the conversation of meter gage railway lines to broad gage, and also due to the failure of rainfall..Since the agriculture is failing, educated younger generations are moving out for our survival, where as our parents are denying to move out and still watching and worrying about the fading beauty.!!

    Thanks for Rauf to make me to see our lost beautiful places, in the form of wonderful pics..

  • 12:50 AM, Anonymous Bus Ticket Booking Online

    wow. Very beautiful scenery travel location. And your photos looks so beautiful and nice. Thank you for sharing with us.


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