A Train Journey On The Cards


Sikkim. It’s been alluring me for the longest time now. Particularly North Sikkim. I had planned to head to the state 2 years back when there was a beautiful long weekend where everything starting from Gandhi Jayanti to Dussehra had lined up delightfully like a ripe glistening gift to all frustrated office goers around India.

But somehow 10 days seemed too little a time to get there, see the place and return. It’s as though corporate offices are in a direct tie with airlines. Give less offs. They’ll have to consider flying. Also that it’s ‘comfortable’ it seems.

I’ve never found anything more comfortable than trains. What airline rocks you gently to sleep? And what airline offers you the joy of illegal smoking? None. Instead, flights are nervousness personified. It’s a metal vessel where everyone sits and prays for their life. Literally.

Not doing. Train it is for me. And nothing doing besides a sleeper class. I must have the wind in my hair and the soot on my face. Else how does one know they have gone from place A to B? What is travel if it’s not just a little bit messy?

So yes, I have cancelled all else and booked my tickets to New Jalpaiguir. Train number 15484, the Mahananda Express. Such grandeur just for Rs. 613. A befitting name for an express. No jetting about here.

This is however Monsoons in Sikkim. Google tells me it will be deserted and land-slide stricken. A local tells me the same, “It’s rain and rain here.” Hmm… We shall see I guess.

How bad could it be?

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Photo credit: Neelima Vallangi
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