I have travelled a lot in train. I love train journeys. Especially if it is in day time, it is the best.I like long journeys too where train is your home for next 22 or 36 hours.
The strong wind against the window seat, the cold drizzle you get during rainy season, various sounds the train makes depending on where it is going – land/bridge, the turns on train routes where you press your face so hard against the window to see the bending train and sometimes the engine smoke , the family lunch/dinner/snacks , the awesome smell of bajji, bonda, cutlet, samosa when people from pantry car move across your bogie, the confusion regarding which one to buy! , sometimes the awesome people who are strangers yet still nice to you – everything makes me happy, calms down my mind.
What I love the most is the scenery.The vegetation around. Amma always points at various fields and tells me what type of plant it is. She has shown me paddy (which you see the most),cabbage, Avarai kai (broad beans) , manjal (turmeric) , corn , paruthi chedi (cotton plants ) , cashew trees ,sugarcane, sometimes betel leaves and grapes , flowering plants like sunflowers , kanakambaram (firecracker flower – love this name), marigold, lotus and lillies in ponds and so many more which I cannot remember now.
As a kid (as a grown up , now also ) I have seen vegetables as some item which we eat. The feeling of seeing them alive being a part of a plant used to give me so much excitement.
Amma most of the times just looks at the leaves to identify the plants. The train would be moving fast but still she would say..look look Avarai chedi.. When she was a kid she has seen many plants.This reminds me of our chotu tomato , a lady’s finger and a brinjal plant at home when I was small. There was just 1 or max 2 veggies and then the plant died but the feeling you get when you see it, when you see your own garden’s vegetable! It is just something else!
Also, when I was small there used to be a small hut nearby, they grow keerai (some type of amaranth).When we go ask they pluck it super fresh , tie it and give it to us. When you cook, it will do skating in your throat and reaches your stomach in no time 😀
Now I am in train with baj showing him few plants I know. We just saw cotton field.It is in full bloom.It gives me so much happiness. People are collecting cotton.It is so lovely to watch 🙂 🙂
P.S. Our ancestors when they first saw the cotton plant, how did they think of ..’oh this is so soft, we should make cloth out of it and wear it in summer’.How? How? If it had been me, I am 100% sure that my thought would be “hmmmm so soft ! Boiled cotton garnished with Indian herbs? or Deep fried with a mix of Indian spices?” Definitely!