Our town has a railway station. All trains except the mail ones stop here. The railway is one of the most wonderful inventions of modern times, and besides improving trade and intercourse. between the different countries of the world. it has added immensely to the amenities of life. It has facilitated travel, and annihilated distance as it were. The railway station is a very interesting place, and at the time of the arrival of the train, it presents a fine spectacle.
Anxious crowd on the platform wait for the arrival of the train. Some have heavy bundles in their hands, some have pressed them under their arms, others again carry them on their backs. Some idle young boys have engaged coolies to carry their handbags, and are seen loitering about with an air of utter indifference at the world around them. Women, very anxious to get in somehow, are clinging to their male companions, lest they should lost in the rush. The children are feeling happy at the prospect of a ride on the grim iron-horse, the engine, which they call “their cwn.’ Some, in their anxiety to get into the train first, have got to the brink of the platform, from which dangerous place . they are warned back by the station authorities. The Station Master and his assistants all have come out to receive the coming train, whistles and flags in hands.
The train has come and halted, and the doors of the carriages are opened. There is a rush out and a rush in. It is like the meeting of two streams coming from opposite directions. There is clashing and colliding. The sight is very pitiable, but extremely interesting. Some stand in the doors to prevent all ingress, as if they have monopolised the compartment. The effrontery of these men and their selfishness pass all description. Women and children, and peasants and illiterate people find it hard to get a seat, and run from one carriage to another. They receive no help, no sympathy from those whose duty it is to look after their comfort. The gentlemen and the educated people get seats very easily. The first and second class passengers form a special and privileged class, and the third class of course, are third class. But the Intermediate, the second class form a class by themselves. which is a cross between the high and the low, whose position is very pathetic, indeed.
The Chahriwalas and watermen add their own share to the noise which fills the place from end to end, and makes it alive. It is now time for the train to start.
A wave of the green flag, a whistle, and off it goes, carrying all and sundry. What a fine and wonderful invention! One is filled with amazement at these evidences of human skill and power which have given many mastery over the forces of nature, and have enabled him to harness them to his service. A thousand blessings on the great man who invented this steam engine. The train is gone, the station staff have returned to their rooms, and all is quiet again. Let us wait for the next train. As soon as it comes, the station will again become the scene of life, activity and bustle.