Railonama, unforgettable train stories
Genre: Anthology of travel
Editor: Anupama Sharma
Publisher: Good Times Books
I’d call it a religious devotion of various emotions, binding the hearts together like strings of the guitar, in this amazing train adventures in India. Indian Railways always fascinated me to no end and I absolutely love the rattle of trains, sitting by the window, admiring the scenery and observing people’s behavior. Railonama is the collection of human emotions, travelling from one end to another, in India where various authors put in together their hearts to tell stories witnessed where plain strangers bond over food, children delight in playing the game of romance and where hearts meet and converge. Railonama is lyrical, poetic, romantic but strike a chord with one’s heart.
Railonama is compiled by Anupama Sharma who, herself, is fascinated by travel across India and brought together several authors who told their tale of experiences of sitting in the train, to make memories of a life time. It’s poetry in motion, unfurling like magic at times and competently written in such a way that makes one live the journey of the protagonists. The Boy with the chocolate eclairs by my good friend Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan beautifully captures the emotions of two small children, exchanging the goodies and brings a certain freshness and delight during the journey. A cute story that touches the heart and brings back the innocence of childhood. Varsha Halabe’s My Love Affair on Wheels is a sensitive tale woven that will remain with you for a long time and shows that humanity can be redefined during train journey where plain strangers can become the perfect friends. It’s a story that I can relate with and almost brought tears to my eyes how human bondage surpass everything in a train journey. Francois Juneau’s A train trip in the land of extremes is about love and memories which shows that at the end of the day, life is all about two hearts longing for comfort and emotional warmth. Anupama Sharma’s A slice of Apple is all about human bonding and sharing the small joys of life with plain strangers in a journey that makes memories of a life time. It’s not easy to find joy in life but a small act of kindness can bring hope to humanity. We may find our destination in train journeys where we open the self to the vast horde of humanity. A slice of Apple is one story, beautifully expressing human emotion, will stay with you forever.
Railonama is not just an anthology but a beautiful journey during the various train journeys the writers undertook to describe how their life changed over hours, days and nights. I felt like living this journey along with them. This is what made Railonama click with me. It’s pure ecstasy and human happiness. I’ll give Railonama 4.5 out of five for extracting the best by pouring hearts out. It’s an ode to joy and happiness. You cannot afford to miss this beautiful and creative work.
If you haven’t traveled by rail, you haven’t really experienced India in all its forms and emotions. Make sure you grab the book and trust me, it will stay with you forever. It’s a real gem. Railonama is prompting me to tell my train experience in a brand new post. Railonama, a must read for all train lovers.