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…