we were all on a train. it seemed like we had the train to ourselves. a mix of friends and family. I sat with my friends, although family was nearby too. the seats were very strangely laid out though, definitely not in a way that made you think of a train. it was more like a metal rectangular room moving on tracks, so I guess that makes it a part of a train. it wasn't a very long journey, maybe a couple of hours. lots of banter, there were some games being played too... I did not participate in them. I was reading something, and I had my ipod. someone had a psp, and we played a bit, taking turns obviously. we reached our destination. a hill station. just before the station, the final stretch was a physics defying bit - the train climbed up what seemed like a spiral track upwards, so steep it was probably 45° or so, before coming to a halt at its destination.
the destination was a regular looking railway station, and as soon as the train came to a halt, grandma was the first to be ready to alight. in fact, she was so eager someone had to tell her to wait until the train had stopped moving!
as the rest of the family alighted, it turned out we had two alternative plans: we had a nearby holiday cottage booked, but those who wanted to stay on the train could do so. i decided to stay on the train, as did most of my friends. the train left the station and moved a few minutes away to the end of the track, where it would remain until the next morning. it was parked in the middle of a field, quite a green grassy one, on a plateau surrounded by flattish hills.
we played games (i remember charades, uno, cards) until it got dark, and then we got started with the drinks as well. i remember i was sitting besides jayashree, although i don't really remember what we spoke about. sometime late in the night we started feeling hungry, and while i don't know how we cooked, i was eventually eating out of the cooking pot i use when camping. it was a mix of khichadi, rajma, peas, fried veggies... and topped with vodka! i think i had mixed all the leftovers together and was eating it. everyone rolled their eyes at my "unholy combination" while i ate it with relish. i was disappointed that nobody wanted to taste it themselves.
people started falling asleep, and ian and i were the only guys left awake. we had an adjacent room which was completely empty except for the door that connected it to our part of the coach. ian and i tried making shadow figures using both our hands and this light source that flickered like it was an old-fashioned sooty oil lamp.
we eventually slept off, and by the time we woke up the train was already back at the station. it looked like the station where my folks had got off, so i was expecting them to get back on the train and ride home, but instead i got off in a hurry. it turned out the train had been at the station for a while, and my parents and brother were waiting for me. we crossed over to the other platform, and were walking along it. my parents were looking for the toilets. that's when i realized I was not carrying anything with me.
i started frantically checking my pockets, as I had a feeling I had left something behind. that worried my mom, who started scolding me for being careless. my pockets had a charging cable. I was relieved, as that was all I had left home with.
At that point, the train started moving, leaving us behind.
and that's when i woke up.
Monday, May 25, 2020
the train picnic
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