India is probably the things you have read in history books or the shared vision of an author in his novels or an insightful painting hung up on the walls of the museums. The juxtaposition of the past, present and future defines India. Not even a zillion numbers of words can do justice to what our country is and how it functions. One of the staple transportation here is trains, all kinds of trains. Locals, passenger, metros, luggage, you name it.
The Window Seat Project is a travelogue aimed at capturing the essence of India from the windows of the train and voices of the people travelling in them. Kumarshanu Babar is the mind behind this creative project who collects these expressive heartfelt stories and shares it on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Among thousands of implausible stories, here are my inspiring five.
THE SWEET POSER.
“I was travelling in the afternoon while the sun started spreading its golden soft rays. I was on my usual spot near the footboard in the train listening to songs and clicking different stations through my mobile phone. Suddenly this sweet little angel came to me and asked me “What are you clicking outside the train? You click my pictures, I will pose for you “. She had something very special in her eyes and in her smile. I took out my Canon and asked her to pose for me. After the shoot was over, she vividly went through her pictures and suggested this one to show it to my friends.” – Sonalee Das
THE LUGGAGE ROOM.
“I live in Bombay. I work in a top Media Company & it has been over 6 months that I have come here to earn my living doing a 10 to 7 corporate job. Same routine, every day. Weekdays you slog, Weekends you drink. Same people, different places, again, and again.
This picture is from one such weekend, I was going to Goa. Excited & Scared without a confirmed ticket. I tried talking to the Ticket Examiner to get me a berth but couldn’t as it was already 600 waiting. So what do I do, The TT said no, the General Bogie was already excessively loaded & people were still pouring in. Maybe I should go back I thought but still stood there watching. The WDM-3D Diesel Engine carrying the heavily loaded rake started moving. I was feeling bad. As I turned back and started walking I heard somebody shouting ‘O Dada”. The door of the Luggage Bogie had opened & a young guy was calling me in. In no time I sprung up to the wagon and jumped inside. It was a little dangerous but I took the risk. The guy’s name was Ravi, said he was watching me for a while. It was dark but not as jam-packed as the other compartments. I got a place to sit. The light was off to avoid attention & amidst the darkness people were chattering. It felt like I was some refugee or an escaped convict who’s on the run. I thanked Ravi for getting me in & we both started talking about our lives without actually knowing how we looked like, in the dark. It was only after 3 hours that the lights were switched on & everyone could see everyone and I was able to put a face to his voice. The experience was something different altogether and I realized that life is filled with stories and all it takes is a little jump.”
By – Shanu Babar
THE SILENT ADMIRER.
Goa > Kerala // A friendly farmer watches the world go by.
By- Ceri Davies
THE COLORFUL EYE
“Indian trains have always fascinated me, may it be travelling to some hill station to capture the cloud covered vividness or travelling to a city to capture its colorful heritage. Travel through train is like all I need to go on through life. Trains bring out the best creativity in me to capture the transitional landscapes. I love to just sit and ponder upon the people. I love to know their life stories. I always want to capture it all the hawkers, landscapes, people etc.
This the picture I captured through my mobile in Veraval from my coach. The colorful fishing boats going for fishing are a treat to watch in the early morning when one reaches Veraval.”
By- Vedant Pandya
LIVE FOR YOURSELF AND TRAVEL
“Brijesh, this guy goes on outing every weekend. He tells me I choose destination which can be covered in one day because I only get Sunday off and due to diverse culture I enjoy some 1 or 2 odd holidays in a month. I asked him how you manage all this he simply smiles and tells whatever I earn 40% goes on stay, food etc remaining 30% I keep for travelling and 30% for savings. This guy has already seen all the places which can be covered in a day. He plans to go on a backpacking trip for 3 months by this year end .About his family, he says I’m earning from last 10 years and I’ve saved maximum money of my earnings, which will be enough for more 5-7 years if I don’t give them anything. He says now,”Now I just want to live for myself and travel”.
By- Devansh Rangani
If you are one of those travelers who seeks inspiration from the people and the things around it from one destination to other, you can submit your stories on their Instagram using #windowseatproject.