I packed my things a week in advance. Mother had prepared a variety of eatable for the journey. After all, we were going to spend almost four days in the train.
We all assembled at the Srinagar bus terminal early in the morning. We started our journey by bus to Jummu from where we were to board the train. I managed a seat next to the window in the bus so that I could see the beautiful landscape and feel the fresh air. As we left Srinagar, I could se only snow capped mountains from he window of my bus. The mountains seemed to be touching the sky. The chinar and popular trees and thick forests of pine and fir added to the charm of the landscape. Driving down the hills we could also see terrace field on the slopes. Men and women wearing phirans and salwars could be seen grazing their sheep and goats.
Running on the Zig zag hilly road, our bus reached the Jawaharlal tunnel. What an experience it was to go through the tunnel in a bus! We reached Jammu in the evening. We checked our names on the reservation chart and board the train for small tour. After a lot of confusion, the passengers finally settled down in their seats. The train slowly moved out of the station and started gaining speed. We played antakshari and our friends told us many jokes till it was time for dinner. The movement of the train worked as a perfect lullaby and put us to sleep. At night we passed through Punjab.
The sound, a nice song greeted my ears and woke me up from my deep slumber. It was early morning and the train was at Rohtak junction, a town in the state of Haryana. Thereafter, the train passed through several small villages and lush green fields of sugarcane. At a distance, I could see women in ghagras, angi and odhni fetching water from the wells. Men on tractors, carrying fodder and crops, were a common sight.
By noon, we were in Delhi –the capital of our country. From the window I could see wide roads, flyovers and many high-rise buildings. I could see even the metro. People here wore all kinds of clothes-salwar-kameez, sari, jeans and T-shirt and kurtha –pajama. It was like mini India. At the station we bought picture postcards of some important places of Delhi. The train then proceeded towards Agra in Uttar Pradesh. We were all keen to have a glimpse of the Taj Mahal , but in vain. At the station we bought as a small marble model of the Taj Mahal and the famous Agra petha to eat. I noticed how the dress of the people had changed. More women were seen in sari than salwar-kameez, unlike Jammu and Rohtak.