Railway Station is that place from where trains go and come. India has the largest network of railway stations spread through the length and breadth of the country.
Most of the big towns and cities are linked with each other and quite a few villages that fall in the way of the rail tracks are connected for movement by rail.
A train is the most convenient and affordable mode of travel for the majority of people of the country that is India. When we have to go hundreds of kilometres away from home on work or to meet our near and dear ones, we travel by train which gives us a fairly comfortable movement to and fro.
This train moving for hundreds of kilometers stops at several places small and big, and it is at stations there that we get down. From the station we go out to the town and proceed to our destination in the town. The passengers who have to go out of the town also go to the station from where they board their train.
The scene and aura of the railway station starts from the very front of the station where we come to board the train. There is a crowd in front of the station, there are taxi stands, scooter stands, and even rickshaw stands for passengers to take to move out of the station.
In front of the station there is thus, a crowd all the time, and loud shouts of drivers of all kinds calling passengers to their conveyance. This is obviously because the station is the boarding and halting place for both incoming and outgoing passengers. The noise and rush of the station start showing itself from outside the station.
As we move into the station premises, the scene becomes more interesting to watch. We can see trains coming in and going out from different platforms: People can be seen rushing into the station and also rushing out of it. Hoards of them are coming in to receive friends or relatives coming and similar crowds coming to see their own, off in the trains.
Thus the first thing that strikes a person seeing a railway station is a medley of types of crowds, with different objectives. Some to go, some are coming, some are there to see off people and some are at the station to welcome people.
There is a rush of a continuous crowd on every platform of a railway station. Wherever the eye can see, there is a see of mankind. With the noise of the ever increasing crowd, at the station there is a continuous noise of the announcements on the loudspeaker. The announcements are about the trains, their coming and going is announced for the benefit of the travellers, but, it has its nuisance value of adding to the noise.
To add to the noise of people's movement and announcements, at the platforms of the station, there is a perpetual call of the vendors of different kinds of wares. There are the vendors of foodstuffs, toys, water bottles and many more.
This is also for the passengers but it adds further to the loud clamour of noises at the venue of each platform. Besides the mobile trolley vendors, there are also some other mobile vendors and then there also are some shops fixed in places which have foodstuffs to offer, with tea and coffee.
At the railway station together with these noises, we find a fusion of emotional touches given by parting friends and relatives. At times, we find a person coming out of compartments with tearful eyes or even sobbing, which shows that, they have parted from a very much loved one.
On the other hand we also sometimes see people rejoicing and happy as if they have got the world in their laps and arms. It may be that they have met a dear one after a long time or, it may be that for them, someone has brought happy tidings.
At the railway station we see such a variety of sights that; an hour or so spent at the station shows one the life that is. At the station we can see a lot of humankind and humanness.
The place is full of life and gusto, even at the dead of night. This is because at least at big stations, trains come at all the times in the twenty four hours of the day. The railway station is buzzing with life all the time of day and night and that also every day.
I feel that, whenever one feels bored or lonely, a visit to the railway station will surely pep up one's spirits, and he will become lively and happy once again. The station is one place which unknowingly joins people long separated, and even helps people to go away and separate - what a place of diverse utilities. This is my rendezvous with the railway station.