November 12, 2012

Diwali Wishes

Here is wishing you all a bright, happy and prosperous Diwali. May the festive season bring in a lot of peace and contentment to all of us. And may the festive season bring in a little more responsibility in every one of us towards Mother Earth. Let there be more light. 

November 2, 2012

A Ride aboard the Nilgiri Mountain Rail

I have a fascination for trains and train journeys. As a kid, it was a yearly ritual to travel overnight to visit grandparents for the summer vacation. I have fond memories of the Rail Museum in Mysore - a staple stopover whenever any relative with a kid visited Mysore. As I grew up, I have taken the train to visit places far and wide apart. And now, I shuttle between Mysore and Bangalore, almost every week by train. Train journeys can be chaotic, sometimes boring and sometimes full of fun. My weekly journey though spans three hours to and fro, is uneventful and mostly spent on getting some shut eye in peace. However, sometime back, I was in for an altogether different experience when I took the Nilgiri Mountain train on a visit to Ooty. For starters, there is something about the air in hill stations that makes you want to breathe deeply. It just fills you up with so much energy!
We reached the Ooty station at 9 in the morning. My friend had already booked through the IRCTC website. So did not have to worry about ticket availability.

The train chugged off at quarter past nine from the Ooty station. While you can feel the nip in the air in the station, inside the train, once the windows are closed, it is warm and cosy. And you don't really want to open the windows, lest the cold air troubles other passengers. But there isn't any need for it as there are big windows on both sides that give breathtaking views as the train winds through the hills. Scenic and green, it is a sight to behold. Once in a while, the view gives way to a tunnel, evoking screams from the kids and adults alike. We passed by the Lovedale station which has been featured in many a movie. It appeared to be a small, sleepy town, right out of a picture postcard. 
The train does not stop at Lovedale. We had to get off at Ketti, the next stop, from where we would proceed to complete our itinerary. The friendly guard made my day by asking which college we were from :).  Half an hour of train journey. Just 9 kms of distance covered. A small little toy train. But the happiness out of the journey knows no bounds! Do take the train the next time you go to Ooty.