December 13, 2012



Points: Introduction – Arrival at the Karachi City Station – Scene on the platform – Affairs inside the compartment – stables and beggars at every station – Hot winds and pleasant scenery – Conclusion.

A train journey is a common experience. Still, it is a wonderful experience. The people we meet during a train journey are of some many kinds that every train journey becomes a unique one.

I, with some of my friends, made a long journey once from Karachi to Lahore. We had booked our seats a day earlier than we started. We were well advised in doing so, for when we reached the Karachi city station, we found the booking office surrounded by a huge crowd of passengers. I think it would have been impossible for us to secure a ticket there in time to catch the

We went to the platform, where the train was to arrive. There too we found a big crowd of people waiting for the train. It was a colourful crowd. When the train arrived we managed to get to our seats. Ours was to be a long journey and we had to make ourselves as comfortable as possible. At last the guard waved a green flag. The engine whistled and the train began to move slowly. Out of station yard it gained a good speed.

When the train was in motion, I had an opportunity of taking note of the other passengers in the compartment. One of them was an old and evidently pious man. He was telling a young man the benefits the religion had conferred upon mankind. I too listened to the discussion with rapt attention. There was an up-to-date couple who looked at everybody with contempt. They considered themselves superior to every body around. Here was also a gentleman with his wife. She sat huddled with her four children. It was difficult for her to control them. There were people from different corners of the country in our compartment. The Pakhtoons were talking in Pushto, while some villagers from the interior of the Punjab were talking in Punjabi. Another young man was talking with his companions in

chaste Sindhi. We were not long without an amusement. Some of the passengers now began to sing by turns. Thank God the rush of the passengers was not very

At every station the train stopped. There came the hawkers with various articles of food. The eatables they sold were so badly exposed that one would never think of eating the stuff, if one cared for* the laws of health at all. Besides the hawkers, there always came endless number of beggars. There were all kinds ‘of beggars; cripples, blind-men, healthy fellows, old and young, men and women. Some sang, some played on musical instruments, some whined, some cried aloud all wanted alms.

When we were passing through the desert of Sind, it was quite suffocating because of the hot winds blowing from the desert. When the train reached the plains of the Punjab, we felt the joy of travelling. I had a good chance of enjoying everything out. Now we passed by green fields, canals and rivers and beautiful scenery.

After a long and enjoyable journey, all of us were happy to reach Lahore. We were also happy to be in the midst of our friends and relatives.

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