Day 9 of the March SOLSC #SOL21

Some times , in the morning I sit in our veranda sipping coffee, reading a book and listening to the birds. Yesterday morning was one such morning.  I got up a little earlier than usual. My youngest maternal uncle and his son were coming for breakfast. My uncle was coming for his annual checkup in the cardiology department of the hospital in our town.

At 6.45 , I heard a train in the distance. We hear the trains in the evening too. Last year was an exception. There were no passenger trains at all. It is still difficult to believe that life had come to a standstill. I remember the eerie silence of the lock down days. Our house is not far from the main road. Now, early morning I hear the sound of heavy vehicles or the siren of ambulances rushing to the hospital.

The railway  station of our town, Udupi, is not far away. Trains going to north India pass though the station but only some stop and only for a few minutes.
The sound of trains takes me back to childhood. My father worked in Indian Railways.  We lived mostly in north India. Every summer vacation we came to our grandparents’ home from wherever we were living. It took us atleast three days and we were never bored during the journey.  During Dussehra vacations in October or November,  we went to my father’s elder brother’s home in Bombay, by train 😊.
But now it has been many years since we have traveled by train. There are so many stages in life and each stage is different.

My uncle is fine and he was very relieved. He and my cousin left after lunch. This uncle lives in the very house where my grandparents lived, the home to which we came every summer vacation, a home filled with memories.

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. I did not go there in 2020. I started going in February but I have not been there for a month now because the number of Covid cases are increasing. There have been so many changes in our life, we will always remember the year 2020. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

18 comments

  1. I live close to a train track, too. There aren’t many places here where one can’t hear the train. I enjoyed reading about your summer train trips. We took the train while traveling through part of Eastern Europe in 2019. I’d like to take more train trips.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember getting up at around six o’clock during the first lockdown, and I couldn’t believe I was in a big city. Total silence and no movement at all anywhere. As if humans had just died out overnight.

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  3. Isn’t it interesting the sounds that become part of the fabric of our lives and how we don’t notice them until there is a hole? The same thing happened here with passenger planes. (The fighter jets never stopped.) There were months that there were no flights, and still very few. I noticed when there was one, rather than the absence. Thanks for drawing my attention to the noticing I hadn’t realized I had.

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  4. Although we live not far from a train track we no longer hear train whistles as there have been many homes built beside the tracks and they put in a mandate that the trains could not sound their horns unless there was something on the tracks. Occasionally I will hear a train whistle and I worry about what might be on the track that needs to move.

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  5. I like how you integrate different noises for your reader to hear — much like how you describe the way they’re being reentered after a long absence. I liked your line about never being bored on the train. I imagined all the reasons why I wouldn’t be bored either.

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  6. One of my favourite books is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and the metaphor of trains as connections between and among people, the intersecting places of departure and destination has stayed with me and this lovely slice brought me back into that book! Trains have kept your family connected. Thank you for sharing your story, Lakshmi.

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  7. I grew up very near to train tracks which had lumber going back and forth on them. Now that same line is just used as a tourist attraction. It is very odd to think of people paying to ride the short distance between the port and the mill, but the train is a novelty for many.

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  8. Senses (sounds of trains) and places (uncle’s home that used to be grandparents’) are such powerful triggers for memories — and writing.

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  9. I’ve travelled on so many Indian trains back in the 90s, they were a fascinating experience, but I am very glad, I’ve left that form of travel behind in India. Our children got very used to travelling second class sleeper down to Ooty twice a year. Thanks for the reminder of those times!

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