|Indian Railways - New Delhi, India|
Sonam Tenzin has gifted me this book since last year when I visited Bhutan, but only recently I took it out from my shelf and read it. We knew each other from blogging and he knew that aside from writing blog, I loved traveling so much!!! That was why he chose this particular book for me. Well, that's what I thought as the reason why he gave me this, as the content of this book had inspired me to travel more, especially towards the Incredible India, the vast land with rich and diverse cultures that had so much things to offer.
However, I was wrong!!!
|Around India in 80 Trains - Monisha Rajesh|
"Good luck with your reading of the book. I wish to read this kind of books written by you someday. Travelling girl."
The above was what he commented upon seeing the book's photo in my Instagram page. Oh momo... He was actually inspiring me to write a book, instead of to travel!!! Hehehe... :) Name same kadinche la Nuchu! Thank you for your kind wishes and inspiring thought for me. I appreciate it very much la!
|- Reading is like a travel quote -|
It was based on her true traveling experience and she tried to consolidate all of her thoughts and experience from the journey into a compact 241-pages book. So everything was really written straight to the point and depicted the Indian cultures in her humorous ways.
|Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in New Delhi, India|
I didn't know before that someone would want to experience such thing in India. I mean, I just never thought that someone would deliberately travel this way as the way of traveling around India. Not only to reach the destination - sightseeing to beautiful scenery and historical temples and buildings, but also to actually enjoy their life within the train itself. I mean, many took train simply as mode of transport to reach a destination, but not as experience that they were really working on and looking for.
From there, it opened up my eyes towards the locomotive industry in India that I never knew before. From the most luxurious Indian Maharaja Express - like the Deccan Odyssey that they both took as part of their train journey. I found out more about what the package offered on Youtube video as I was wondering what made the fare sooo.... terribly expensive!!! Want to know how expensive it was???
|Indian Maharaja - Deccan Odyssey (Pic source: Google.com)|
As tariff for 2016-2017 - for International travelers 8 Days/7 Nights trip - a Deluxe cabin (for twin/double occupancy) cost USD$8,386 and Presidential Suite cost USD$12,579 and for Indian nationals, the Deluxe cabin cost them INR 5,36,710 and Presidential Suit cost INR 8,05,100. Wasn't it surprising you?? Well, it was, at least for me. So it was more like a five-star cruise on wheels. And from the video, you could observe that most of the guests were retirees, rich grannies, professors, and so on. Well, perhaps, it's different now as the author mentioned that she saw a young Swiss couple, Japanese ladies, newly weds were on board too.
The train would stop and park each day. The guests would continue their journey in bus for a day trip, visiting the magnificent places that each stop offered, plus high class meal in luxurious restaurant. Red carpet was spread upon embarking and disembarking the train with welcome dance and garland of flowers put on the guest' neck by the beautiful Indian ladies. All this explained the ridiculous high price it offered.
From there, Monisha too shared her encountered taking the Mumbai local train during peak hours. I watched another Youtube video to see how interesting (horrible) it was. The below picture might give you an idea on how crowded the train station during the rush hour. Even ladies pushed with all their might in order to get in to the train in the ladies compartment.
On my visit to India last year, I only took one train trip from Delhi to Agra, to visit one of the wonders of the world, the beauty white marbled mausoleum built by the order of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. That too was only one-way trip there as we took bus to return back to Delhi.
This book was for you, if you loved to travel, if you loved to know what's out there outside your own home ground; what's out there in India, yeah, especially in India!!! The food, the people, the culture, the places, the religions, the beliefs, and so on!
|All I really want - Quote by Rima Reyka :)|
It was definitely for me!!! Thank you again Sonam for gifting me this beautiful travelogue. I couldn't promise that I would fulfill your wish - to read this kind of book written by me. However I believed that you had read lots of my traveling stories here, on this very blog of mine; from many different countries that I'd visited before. I might not capable in writing delicate and rich words like Monisha did in her book, but hope with my simple English, you could feel as if you were in my journey too, with pictures tagged all over, full of memories with everyone I ever met during my trips. One day, I will definitely meet you in person, and write the story here, as part of my travel blog post :) Shall we wish on that instead??? :)