Monday, 21 December 2015

Literature, Films and Indian Railways

What does Rails stand for in Indian films and literature?

(This is stub . . . will be written at length with some examples)

In India, the journey through train is full of hardships.
Taking the cosmic view of hardships in journey by train, what does it signify? 
Is it India in miniature? 
Is it the experience of living in India?
Over-crowded, personal spaces intercepted by others, though the compartment is full, hundreds of passengers can accommodate themselves, rush to get out and get in, coolies – their act to pull luggage overhead is something like myth of Sisyphus, Indian Railways is India on the track – engine and compartments want to break through but the tracks holds them back and engine toils hard, puffing up smoke, compartments squeak in pain yet always on move without complaining – this is how an average middle class Indian Common Men lives their lives. They want to break through but Indian conditions, environment holds them back… they toil hard and squeak in pain but all in vain.
Then, the trains have air-conditioned coaches. Trains have First Class and Second Class divisions. These coaches are for the rich and powerful high-middle class Indians. The new-economy and hefty salary packs in government service sector have created this newly rich class which has climbed the ladder from poor to lower-middle class to rich middle class. The Indian Railways is in their memory as something great, something wonderful. All good that we see in Indian films about the railways, is for this class of people. Sometimes, the 'real' India, the India of 'Darkness', the India of 'have-nots', find themselves represented in the films.

To be added . . . updates will be made very soon.