In summers when Delhi began to burn like an oven, we decided to go to Simla. The trains were crowded. The richer sections of society were leaving for hill stations. We also booked our seats ten days in advance.
As the date of departure drew near, packing became a great problem. The greatest problem was Rajeev’s hens and chickens. We did not know what to do with them. The wise suggested carrying them to Simla. Rajeev heartily agreed.
When we reached the railway station, there were large crowds everywhere. Some people were getting into the trains while the others were going out. On the platform, there was a great rush of coolies walking briskly up and down, and hawkers selling their wares made noise. The coolies brought our luggage to the Kalka Mail.
The whole train was very crowded. People were packed like fishes. Luckily we got seats in the reserved compartment. So we were saved much toil and trouble. In other compartments there was a lot of confusion. When there was hardly room for standing, people from outside were jostling for getting a foot-hold.
Sometimes this resulted in arguments and quarrels also. We, however, slept comfortably through the night. At day break we reached Kalka. We had to change train there. Now we entered small toy like hill train. The compartments were so small that we were not allowed to keep our luggage with us. Therefore, the entire luggage was put in the brake van.
After we had our breakfast, the train whistled out of the station. The engine puffed and pulled uphill. It ran so slow that you could get out, run alongside the train, and then re-enter your compartment.
The scenery all along the route was enchanting. There were tall trees touching the sky. Greenness met the eyes everywhere Goats were grazing of knife-edged rocks. We passed through more than fifty tunnels before we reached Simla in the afternoon.
It was very cool and pleasant in Simla. It was a very joyful journey. I felt like travelling into a fairyland.