Travelling by trains is cheap and comfortable compared to buses and planes. So we find a railway station a place of great hustle and bustle. We come across people from different parts of the country, in different fashions and colours in the station.
Once I happened to be at the Old Delhi Railway Station to see off my friend. He was going to Kolkata by the Kalka Mail. The waiting hall was fully crowded with passengers. There was a long queue in front of the booking window.
Everyone seemed to be in a hurry. A passenger’s pocket was picked. But the pickpocket was caught red-handed and handed over to the police. I bought the platform ticket and came off. We soon reached the platform. The scene here was interesting. Passengers were waiting eagerly for the arrival of the train. Some were sitting on benches and smoking or reading newspapers. A few were pacing up and down the platform. The vendors were having a busy time. There was rush at tea stall. The coolies in red uniforms were sitting in a line.
As soon as the train steamed in, there was noise and commotion everywhere. There was rush at the doors of compartments. Many passengers got down and many more got in. Coolies were seen carrying heavy bundles of luggage on their heads. Children clung to their parents. The whole platform was full of noise.
Luckily, my friend got a comfortable seat near a window. Soon all were settled. It was time for the train to depart. The guard blew the whistle and waved the green flag. The engine whistled and the train began to move. There was waving of hands and handkerchiefs. The train soon gained speed and left the station. The platform looked a deserted place once again.