Friday, January 13, 2017

My Sheldon Cooper Train Moment

Earlier this month I had my Sheldon Cooper train moment! (Big Bang Theory fans will get the reference).

Railways as a mode of transportation has a great history. It is known to have played a key role in the economic development of nations. Talking about innovation and big businesses, railways was one of the corner stones as documented in the series, 'Men who made America'.

The sub-continent got its first railway track in 1853, at the time being developed by the East India Company. The task was later on taken by the Colonial British Raj like the rest of the region. This was done mainly for the transportation of the troops to the war fronts and raw cotton for export purposes to the British mills. Locals were not even allowed on the trains and even when they were, majority were not allowed to share the same compartments as those of the ruling elite.

1947, the world saw the bloodiest mass migration to date. My generation grew up with stories of the trains crossing between the new countries bearing the signs of new found hate, trampling the aspirations of the founding fathers.

Fast forward to the present and what is now Pakistan's Railways. Given the feather conditions with dense fog playing havoc with the road and air travel schedules; and a must do one day trip from Lahore to Islamabad landed my family at the main Lahore Railway Station. With a bit of imagination, tune in the grey scale of your mental eye and you will be back in the good old days. Nothing much has changed in the name of infrastructure. No one has paid much heed to our population explosion, but then what can one expect when the official figures are being used based on the 1998 census!

First sight before you enter the main railway station of Lahore

The green nostalgia

A scene right out of a period film
Given that our last train trip was sometimes back in the 90s, this trip gets all the credit for adding on to the family jokes that will surely be handed over to the next generation!

One should always be content with their present, lesson well learnt. While there were seats outside the cabins, which thankfully went empty, giving people an opportunity for a change in scenery and to respond to the cry of the cramped legs; this luxury was missing from the compartments on our way back. As we were educated by the frequent travelers, the distinction between old and new compartments is the absence of the metal support to get to the upper bunker and addition of the outer eating space.

The symmetrical lights and their impact looked prettier in person!

Vantage Point
Not too sure what to expect at the Rawalpindi Station, we were pleasantly surprised.

The station looked part of the current times, with proper sitting space and much much cleaner.

Rain always helps spice up the pictures

 Charging ports, another reason the Rawalpindi station wins!
All and every traveling situation can be made enjoyable with the following ingredients:
  • My current read. Freedom at midnight was apt.
  • Music
  • Coffee
  • Any form of chocolate. This time around I had Pizza Hut's chocolate chip cookie  

Until next time....cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome journey :) Your blog introduced me to a 'different' PR .