Konkan Railway And The Glory Days Of Diesels

This poem is dedicated to all railfans and rail enthusiasts; especially fans of diesel locomotives. It is largely about Konkan Railways and also about the glory days of diesels in the past. Even nature lovers may find this to their interest. Here goes the content:

Imagine you are in a train

Sitting in a non-AC compartment

And you have the window seat, all to yourself

Moreover, it is not just any train journey

It is a journey through sheer paradise

Mountains and valleys

Rivers, streams and lakes

Tunnels, viaducts and bridges

The Konkan Railway has everything

That a nature lover could ask for

As the train speeds through a variety of scenery

You feel you are on top of the world

Sipping a hot cup of masala chai

Listening to the roar of the wind

Which is making your hair fly

In all sorts of directions

Trying in vain to count the number of tunnels

As they flash past you

Savouring the “dhak-dhak” sound

Every time the train goes over a bridge or a viaduct

Staring in sheer awe

At the huge mass of water that beholds your eye

Whenever you cross a river or a lake

And straining your eyes

In order to try and read the sign boards

Which depict the name of the waterbody

All these beautiful scenes aside

You notice something else

Something that is sheer music to the ears

The rhythmic chugging of the diesel

That is hauling your train

As it picks up speed

The chugging steadily grows louder

Until it reaches a fever pitch

And then stops briefly

Followed by a gentle push forward

Upon which the chugging resumes

And again steadily rises

Until it reaches a crescendo

And the turbocharger kicks in

Meanwhile, the train steadily accelerates

Until it reaches top speed

And the beautiful music of the diesel chugging

Is accompanied by an even more melodious horn

A horn that can either lull you into a blissful sleep

Rendering you free of all your earthly worries

Or make you dance away to glory

Or even, awaken you from a deep slumber

More effectively than having water splashed on your face

Either way, the horn is so mesmerising

That the effect it produces, cannot be matched

Even by Hans Zimmer or AR Rahman

However, everything has changed

Over the course of the last 1-2 years

The intoxicating diesel has been replaced

By an electric, which is slightly faster

But infinitely duller

In place of the rhythmic chugging

You have a nearly silent engine

Which kills all the excitement

And instead of the melodious horn

You get a rather annoying whine

But even this seems relatively pleasant

When compared to the sore-throated snarl

Which you get to hear on a few occasions

And which really drives you mad

Ah! What to do?

After all, change is inevitable

From steam to diesel

And then from diesel to electric

As the old cliché goes

The only thing that remains constant, is change

And we have no choice, but to adapt

For if we fail to adapt, then we fail to survive

And we certainly cannot allow sentiments to stand in the way of modernity

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