Friday, 3 April 2015

MY TRYST WITH RAILWAYS- PART 2

Hey there! I agree......my last post was a bit all over the place. I tried to write about all my experiences in a single article. Probably not a good idea.  Blame it on my excitement.  The mere thought of writing about an institution with which I grew up proved to be a bit overwhelming and gave me an adrenaline rush. So this time, I'm gonna stick to what I do best- write about little incidents which teach me something.

For those of you who don't know this.....broadly there are three rungs of administration.  The lowest, grassroot level is any normal town or place(called SECTION). Then a few sections constitute a DIVISION. Subsequently a few divisions constitute a ZONE. 
I have been fortunate enough to experience all the three levels.

At Jharsuguda, which is a small bustling industrial place, mostly the basic level of work is done. Loading and unloading of goods is an example. I feel as if people out there are more comfortable.  You know it had a life of its own. Everyone knew each other. The evening resounded with the laughter of children. Neighbours and friends were more than family.  Years after we moved out, I still love visiting whoever's left. There seemed to be an unexplained ease with which communication and conversations were carried out. 

Then my mom got transferred to Bhubaneswar, which is the zonal headquarters of East Coast Railways.  The railway settlements are beautiful, with trees and parks and high rise buildings- with a layer of security.  But there was an uncomfortable air around. Don't get me wrong - I met some really nice people and I have some amazing memories.A few people are my family now. What I meant was there was this social etiquette that you had to follow, even if you didn't understand.  Busy and self-restrained people, I presume. Kids used to play in the evening,  but with a strange difference.  Those were interesting times, genuinely speaking.

Tick tock.....and my mom is again transferred to Sambalpur which is a divisional headquarter. Some might say I have had a lot of cliques....but its true. 
Maybe I entered the town after the age of smart phones had set in. I had great friends, we used to play badminton and cycled together to school. It was fun while it lasted. I won't say there were no boundaries like Jharsuguda, but at the same time, it wasn't as cold as Bhubaneswar.  Somewhere in the middle.

What I noticed is people tend to get a bit sophisticated as the standard of living rises. The level of education seems to be having an inverse relationship with social interactions. Strange but true, the above mentioned incidents are today's reality. I don't know what is good for us, and I would refrain from giving any kind of judgement. There is no clear cut right or wrong. It just varies from person to person. How you perceive things. Much as I hate moving, I think it is necessary to help you have an outlook on life. It is painful no doubt, but necessary.
This is the Institution's biggest gift to me- making me a much more aware person.  I have met all kinds of people; good, bad, gentle, loving, shrewd, cunning, selfish, selfless, amazing and wonderful. I am sure that somehow this has crafted the person I have become and this journey of meeting people will only get better.