One always has time for breaks while doing rail treks, when a Goods train decides to pay a visit!
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Train Gazing: One of my Favourite Hobbies

I’ve always loved gazing at the trains. When I was a kid, I thought I will make my home, in one of the Indian Railway stations, and land up with a job of a engine driver, deciding on where to drive and where to stop. While I haven’t kept track with the clarity of mind that I had in class 4 I’ve always tried coaxing my adult mind, to keep some time for revising some goals of childhood. One such opportunity that recently came to my mind was to try and capture images of moving trains from hills in low light. Makalidurga (MKL on Indian Railway nomenclature) was my latest muse.

One always has time for breaks while doing rail treks, when a Goods train decides to pay a visit!
One always has time for breaks while doing rail treks, when a Goods train decides to pay a visit!
train gazing from hills
Train gazing from hills

The curves of the railway track, interspersing between hills of moderate height, makes for some beautiful viewing against the bluish-violent hues of a morning. The greens on the plains adjacent to the tracks have grown like a middle-aged man’s balding head, sprouting in parts, leaving the red earth for the background against the contrast of the green. The landscape is clear, there are no constructions, and I can see the mountains across in the mist in the far distance, making me make a rough calculation that such vistas could now be available along the length of the track till Hindupur, the next major railhead on the route.

Train coming from a distance
Train coming from a distance

I know it may not warrant reactions to be featured in a top 10 list anywhere, but I find train gazing a beautiful hobby. It’s even more beautiful when you are watching a train from the high hills, as a tiny speck meandering through whatever is left of the land. I hold it in the same esteem as watching a sunrise or a sunset. The initial wait for the train, studying the curves and the path of the railway track, and then the adrenaline pumping as the train appears on the horizon and the discussion on how beautifully the train left the station.

Train in low light
Train Gazing in low light conditions

I’ve taken this childhood hobby and given it some more structure, since I try to capture the elements and frames of train movement through a camera’s long exposure technique, which shows the speed of the train movement in a split second, relative to the static objects in the frame.

Sleepy groggy after a full night watching trains
Sleepy groggy after a full night watching trains

We chose to bask in the anonymity of one of the rocks, till the next train came, and this continued for some more time, before the sun was shining in its full splendor.  We decided that, it was time to start heading back, and started walking down, and on our way back on the hill, we came across a small temple, which had a resting place, a water storage tank/pool and a main deity. The temple had monkeys fighting over left over curd packets, and enjoying the remnants of the packet in isolation, while humans were nowhere to be seen. If you came there as a solo traveller back in the days of yore and simplicity, this would have been an extravagant place to take a break. That’s how I saw it now, and if I had known about the temple, and the resting place, I would have shown up here in when the night was young!

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