I do not expect much from Indian Railways considering its present condition.
I will be surprised if I find my train running on time, food served in it hot, fresh and tasty (as described in railway timetables), coaches clean and the train staff courteous and ready to help me.
Recently I came across a thing about railways that delighted and amazed me. It was an advertisement of Indian Railways.
I am yet to see it on television but I have watched the advertisement over 100 times on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzEKCYb6zzU). I can watch it another 100 times without getting bored or tired.
The advertisement is dated September 30, 2010. Mamata Banerjee was the railway minister at that time and perhaps for this reason, the advertisement was shot in her home, Kolkata.
Everything in the advertisement represents the typical Kolkata, its inhabitants and their habits. Two old men with bored faces – one reading a newspaper, another fanning himself with a plastic fan, ample bosom and bottom of the young woman out on her morning walk, old and crumbling red-coloured buildings with green-coloured shuttered windows and Ambassador cars.
My visits to Kolkata have always been short but seeing the advertisement just once, I was able to recognise the place.
The advertisement is quite a hit. Over 100,000 people have watched it on youtube.
I considered myself as one of the very few who are passionate about trains. Youtube proved me wrong.
Hundreds of people have uploaded amazing and exciting videos related to trains, locomotives and railway station on the website. Each video has been watched by thousands of viewers.
I grew up with the dream of becoming an engine driver and ended up being an idler. However, I vicariously enjoy the excitement of driving a train by watching the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md-4uGQOlm8. The view you get from the cab of the locomotive is so different from the one you get while travelling as a passenger.
As I have said earlier, there are hundreds of videos of youtube but my favourite is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWyStafVltU. Watching the video it seems that Duronto Express is challenging Rajdhani Express. The speeding locomotive of Rajdhani Express looks like a mighty, arrogant beast.
Watching the videos I am also vicariously travelling and discovering India. I came across a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bapm5HBNKU&feature=related of a beautiful place on Karnataka-Goa border named Dudhsagar waterfalls. I intend to visit the place at least once in my lifetime.