The craziest train journey


Originally, i had written this as a comment on Mridula’s blog, but then i realized (with Mridula’s help ofcourse) that it had the potential to become a post in itself n so here it goes.

It was 7.30 in the morning when we rushed to the railway station almost threatening the driver of our Hyundai Santro to go as fast as he could. The train departing to Araku valley was schedule to leave at 7.45 from the Simhachalam station. We were 16 guys from our Engineering college on a trip to Vishakapatnam(popularly called vizag), Andhra Pradesh, India and were visiting the paradise called Araku Valley that day. We had hired a Tata Qualis and a Hyundai Santro for the trip but after hearing stories about the scenic sorroundings and myths about the mysterious tunnels that the train would pass thru, we had decided to take the train route to Araku.

We had just reached the station in time and we got aboard the train to grab that window side seat making sure not to miss a single view. It was 8’O clock and the train hadnt moved an inch. And then came the announcement “Because of some technical difficulties the train going to Araku valley will experience a 2 hrs delay. Sorry for the unexpected delay. We thankyou for your coperation”. zzzzz….. 2 hrs was certainly a long time in this small barren station, while we were contemplating taking the roadway, someone shouted ‘letz play volley ball’. Thankgod we had carried a ball with us. 16 was a good number to make two teams of 8. And here a volley ball game started on the platform. Two hours was enough time and the people were enough bored to gather around us to watch our game. An hour past and we had already gathered enough crowd to give the whole area the look of a stadium. The ticket collector who is usually the incharge of the train had also become one of those enthralled audience.

As two hours went by another announcement hit the air saying that the train was going to start shortly. alas…… we had to stop our game, we then noticed an empty goods wagon attached right in the middle of the train.With the ‘ask or not to ask’ dilemma we approached the Ticket collector to request if he would let us to get into that wagon. After giving it a little thought (and ofcourse mesmerised by our game) he allowed us to get in with the warning to close the lower part of the doors and be careful (for my american friends – the doors of the trains in India do not close automatically as the train starts, but it is left to the choice of people whether to keep them open or close). And as we entered the goods wagon a poor old woman gave us a wild glimpse as if we had intruded into her privacy. She was probably some poor woman travelling in the train without a ticket. After waiting for some more time and making ourselves comfortable in that ‘not so used to’ environment the train started.

Our mind was still in that volley ball trance and we decided to play it again. The moving goods wagon had soon become our mobile volley ball court and the old woman our audience.

This is the wagon which soon became our mobile volley ball court

It was not easy to play on a moving court but defnitely more fun. Sometimes when we were planning to pass on the ball the train would jerk a bit and the person suppose to take on the pass would fall. And some other times when the ball was in air and all of us concentrating to hit the ball, a tunnel would come making the whole place dark and the ball invisible .(And cos it was a goods wagon we didnt had the lights either). This game was more fun than anything we had ever played cos we had to take care of several things – first not to fall of the train while attempting to hit the ball and then not hitting the ball out of the train (and not hitting the old woman ofcourse ). After passing thru the steep curves of the hill and 46 tunnels and six games came the Araku valley station.

Our mobile volley ball gang

PS : We lost four games and won two and we still fight with the other team that we lost one game bcos of a tunnel that had come just before we were gonna make the game point.


20 Responses to “The craziest train journey”

  1. 1 Mridula

    Incredible, I must say. Such things don’t happen in life twice I guess.

  2. 2 sathish

    just crazy but worth it.. wld ‘ve been loads of fun..
    u wl remember this trip and the game forever & ever..

  3. 3 Prashanth Manikyarajaiah

    craziest thing tht is!!! its a once in a lifetime experience…

  4. 4 L>T

    What people will do for amusment. I love traveling on the train. No one would let you take over an empty box car here.

    I wonder if the woman had plans to nap on her journey? Kinda hard to do with a ball & 16 youths flying around. She probabaly cursed her rotten luck.

  5. 5 Pooja Aggarwal

    Very interesting 🙂

    Had seen people play cards on the train but never had even imagined someone playing volleyball.

  6. 6 adhyayan

    wow.. what an experience… reminds me of one of my not so sport train journey.. in which I dropped coffee all over myself and just the minute before that I was heard saying ” what has to happen will happen “…..

  7. 7 Maverick

    @mridula: twice?? i cant even imagine it to happen one more time, here one would throw me out at my very first step into the goods wagon 😀

    @satish: yes of course it was loads of fun (apart frm the fact tht we had body pains the next day though).yes, tht was a journey of a lifetime.btw thx for stopping by, welcome to my world.

    @prashanth manikya: yes it is,thx for stopping by, welcome to my blog.

    @l>t: true, train journeys are more fun, flights r kinda boring :(, she was more of a frustrated audience than amused ,not to mention she was so afraid tht the ball would hit her. she not only cursed her luck but us too, tht too in audible sound 🙂

    @pooja aggarwal: we ourselves didnt imagine one could actually play volley ball on a moving train till we did, shd recommend it to the sports commitee :).btw thx for stopping by, welcome to my blog.

    @adhyayan: coincidences always seem to hit u, n then wat did u do?bought another coffee? 🙂

  8. 8 Frida

    It sounds great. I can’t imagine riding like that. You did close the doors right? I could imagine, the game being called on account of losing the ball!

  9. 9 Alka

    Can i publish this post at my blog too? Right now, I want my latest post there for a long time. But after sometime I WANT TO PUBLISH IT, WITH YOUR PERMISSIN.

  10. 10 Maverick

    @frida: it was really gr8,we closed the lower part of the doors to make sure we wont fall off the train and the upper part was left open to make sure we wont miss a view.n thnkgod we didnt loose the ball.

    @alka: ur blog seems to exist for a cause, it will be my pleasure to get my post published in ur blog. I cant ask more than being a part of it.Good luck with all your endeavours.go ahead.

  11. 11 Alka

    That means you have given your permission. 🙂 Thank you.

  12. 12 Maverick

    @alka: yes, its my pleasure.

  13. 13 Gangadhar

    Interesting experience,Priyatham..That’s a nice idea to play in goods bogey..a little bit daring too..
    And Vizag is my grand-ma’s place..Kakinada’s mine..It’s glad to hear Vizag from you..
    Btw Good to see u on moi blog…

    keep visiting..

  14. 14 travel plaza

    Wow! That must have been quite an experience! I’m sure all you guys had loads of fun. I’ve always wanted to visit Vizag, but have not had the chance, maybe one day.
    BTW, is the Araku you talk about the same place as in the movie, ‘Manasantha Nuvve’ or am I confused? Because in the movie it looked like an awesome place. (hope I’ve not confused name of the movie, we watch so many movies, can’t get the names right sometimes.)

  15. 15 Maverick

    @gangadhar: good to hear tht 🙂 thx

    @travel plaza: yes we had a gr8 time n u r right, its the place where tht movie was shot.Its really awesome.

  16. 16 Manic Street Preacher

    volley ball matches wud nvr be the same for u again, huh.
    nice blog u got in here. jus dropped by.

  17. 17 Maverick

    @manic street preacher:volley ball matches ofcourse will not be the same ever again, but im afraid the train journeys will also be never the same again, i start gettin bored in the train if i do anything less exciting 🙂

  18. 18 L>T

    O.K. I’m sorry. you have made an immpresion in the short time you’ve been around. I put you in, come take a look. 😉

  19. 19 narendra

    hey its a great thing to do on a train,,,anyways can u give me more details about the stay,,how to go about the trip,,i am from bangalore and wanted to go to some place for 4 days,,,just mail me ur reply to



  20. 20 Maverick

    @narendra:The best season to visit araku is between september n december , when the valley unfolds its beauty behind the fog n the bloomed flowers top it off.the nearest airport n railway station tht connects the major cities is located at vizag(vishakapatnam).n u can get a train frm vizag to araku (which i highly recommend evn if u dont wanna play a volley ball on board :D), there r quite some accomodations available for a stay at araku frm the cheap motels frm state government to luxury hotels.n there r many places to visit including the museum of tribal arts n water falls.but apart frm tht nature is at its best in araku, so u’ll enjoy every view u see.just go n explore.Happy holiday!

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