I am on my way to Kanpur. Life has changed, has changed so much since I visited IITK last. Getting on to a train has started feeling like an alien thing. I had forgotten to carry paper-soap for example. Thankfully a vendor walked right past me and I noticed. Bought it. It has been a little over one year since I have been on a train last. But then I was boarding from home, my father was with me and hence I did not have to worry about preparaions, except for ensuring that my baggage is packed correctly for the flight I had to catch from Kolkata. So, it has been over two years since I have been on a train on my own. Funny, isn’t it? Thanks to the cheap airlines, whom you would curse everytime you board them, but you end up using them anyway. Despite delays and everything, the time it saves – you feel like shelling out that money. And of course, when so much of your travel is official, even that isn’t a problem. But then on certain routes, catching a flight just does not make sense. If a flight to Lucknow from Delhi gets delayed by 5 hours (as it happened to me once), you are certainly better off taking a train. And for going to Kanpur, first flying to Lucknow and then a 4-5 hour road journey did not make sense. It was a much better deal to just take an overnight train from Delhi.
But then more things have changed. Thanks to my E90 and Airtel Mobile ofce, I am online on a train in India!! I remember the days, when my hutch mobile phone did not use to work in Bihar and I just did not have anyway to connect to anybody on my way home from IITK, after I entered my home state. Or even the day when somebody having a mobile phone used to be a news in campus. Today I am online on a train! I mean, this may sound very odd, but I am unable to express how overwhelmed I am feeling with the changes. And its not that I am going there after 20 years. It has been only four years.
There are more things, but guess what. My laptop is running out of battery. And for some reason, about which I will write later, I must save this last bit of battery. As a reminder of the good-old train days, the socket near my seat is not working in the train.