Over the last decade or so,
India has accelerated the pace of replacing
its narrow and meter gauge railways
with the bigger, faster broad gauge.
While the socio-economic benefits of the broad gauge are many,
its arrival has ended the era of the slow, leisurely travel
– the kind that a few hopeless romantics like me still yearn for.
Travelling on these lines meant taking in the country at its own pace.
Plenty of time to mingle with the locals, be a part of their lives and their landscapes.
There would be time to walk out of the station to catch a chai and a samosa at a halt.
A chance for a long conversation with the stationmaster or khalasi.
These vanishing railways are blurring the faint line between Bharat and India.
Sharing a few memories from my extensive travels along these lines…