Kirandaul Passenger ... a day


Where is the remote?
The whistle of the trains and clanking of steel hitting steel, the slightly metallic voice of the announcements which somehow manages to sound the same across the length & breadth of the country, the smell of human sweat mixed with motor oils, the aroma of the puri-bhaji being cooked at the stalls, the inevitable chat over mobile phones, the rush, the wait , the Vizag station is no different from it’s thousand counterparts all over the country on this balmy July morning , promising as well as a tad intimidating.

My wait is for that slow crawler Kirandaul Passenger ( Train no 58501). The intermediate part of a journey which would take me on to the interiors of Chattisgarh. I have the tickets for First Class upto Jagdalpur for a princely sum of around Rs.500/ per head. The train ambles in and a sort of anticlimax there, a very vanilla train being pulled by a vanilla engine and at the last end of the train lies our coach “FC”. I step into the coach and as if I step into a time warp. The silken threads of lost memories entwine me, is this not the compartment that I have travelled so many times with my parents? The same narrow corridor running through one side of the compartment and banks of coupes lined at another flank, some for 4 and yes a few for a couple of passengers. The muted luxary of a door which can be closed and the ability to create a temporary bubble of privacy but the curtains are missing upon the window as are the bedroll & the cleanliness and I was feeling lost there without my parents. The shoving and pushing co passengers thought that perhaps I am drunk or stoned or both and I neatly land into 2015.

Yes me and my friend, we have got the coupe “C” which is a 2 berth one and the icing of the cake is that the window is a “picture window”, no grills and an unobstructed view. I remembered that I am carrying a camera and one single lens , a venerable 50 mm and I slither past my companion to the window side and root myself there for the rest of the journey.

A quick breakfast if bada/idli and the train starts and we leave the uptown Vizag in a jiffy. The next 9 hours of journey will take us through some of the most beautiful vistas that I have ever seen, the plain red-soiled Andhra-Pradesh slowly transforms into spectacular Araku valley, unknown mountains and rivers fly by us, we traverse through uncountable tunnels in the hills, we leave behind the Bora caves and I long for a stop there but can’t , The highest Broad-gauge station comes and goes ; a mere statistics, a signal plays foul and the train makes an unscheduled stop for half an hour till someone trudges there on foot and repairs it allowing us to have a walk around in the jungle, the blue hills of Koraput comes and goes ; so does the rain , the evening looms and suddenly I can barely see outside. My destination has come, I step out of the train and promise myself that I will never return here because one can never return to a day like today, a day like childhood.

Now it's time to post a few images. These are all taken from running train through the window. Share your thoughts as always :)

A field

A road

A lake surrounding blue hills of Koraput

From high above , an angry cloud

The speed limit ?

Step up

The hues

The bridge too far

The broken mirrors

Evening with a dash of lime

March towards civilization



Where is the remote?
Thanks guys for your time and thoughts.
@sumitro_d.. You are the second person asking me about the third one. Most probably the water became viscous after mixing with red slit and the effect was thus like long exposure. The shutter speed was around 1/1000 or more of I'm not mistaken. I was shooting with high speed for avoiding shakes