Thursday, March 13, 2014

Trains......once again!

Like most kids, Abhay too was fascinated with different modes of transport and his penchant has progressed from trains to buses to cars to ships to planes and now to outer space travel by space-crafts! Depending on what his current transport interest was, his maternal grandmother would weave stories around them. So the boy who’d eagerly listen to the story of race between Udyan express and Rajdhani (Two of the prominent train routes starting from Bangalore) would continue to be baffled by the supposed row between Rajahamsa (Karnataka State Transport Service bus) and its private counterpart, Durgamba (a private bus operator). In fact, at one point of time the grandma- grandson duo would also discuss the day’s railway time-table that his maternal grandma would regularly listen to on the radio, whether or not anyone we knew would be travelling on the trains mentioned…..and this goes on to explain just why her grandson would love to randomly blurt out to a bunch of visiting guests that the Rani Chennamma express was late that day,  leaving them totally perplexed and leaving us in search of a reasonable explanation!:-)

In fact, my very first post on Onestoryaday was on trains! So as a throwback to those days, we read  “When Titus took the train” by Anne Cottringer and illustrated by Sarah Mclyntyre, an ideal book for train and dinosaur lovers! I had come across this book a number of times, but it is only today I picked this up, thanks to Bubble Ink's reading prompt - Transport. This book features a regular train journey ....yet made  extraordinary by  a child's imagination, and well complemented by striking imagery.  Titus is all set to make a train journey to a far away place where uncle Henry lives. Titus has travelled by train before but this time around, it's special as he'll be travelling all by  himself! On ensuring Titus has all the things he needs to avoid getting bored- his lunch, books and games, his father requests the train guard to keep an eye on him.  As the train pulls out of the station, chugging along the railway track, rolling deeper into country, Titus seated with a pen and paper, is up to something. All he needs is to look out of the window for inspiration and  he imagines all kinds of spine chilling adventures along the train ride. Titus pictures the train attacked by bandits and masked men who are after the gold bullion in the guard's coach, bumping into a roaring  T-rex in the tunnel,   having a break-down on top of highest and the longest rail bridge and losing control as it speeds down the mountain - all of which Titus manages to thwart and fix in a true Super-hero style, after which he calmly settles down back in his seat (or so he jots down in his notebook!).  As the train finally reaches its destination, Titus is received by his uncle who along with the guard asks him if he was bored during the journey....Titus cannot but suppress a smile! Well, imagination knows no boredom...isn't it??

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