The features of the scenes on railway stations vary according to their size and situation. The big stations with more than one platforms do not present busy and noisy features. The road-size stations and stations in towns are centres of special attractions for the people. The scene on such a station is worth describing. People living in towns generally bend their steps towards the station for recreation and change during the leisure hours.
Stations with short stoppages present a very busy scene at the time of arrival and departure of a train. It is typical and interesting. The following is the description of such a scene. The platform appears deserted and life-less before arrival of the train. Only some railway officials and porters are seen passing away their time in idle gossip, sitting on their chairs or under the trees.
As the time of arrival approaches, passengers start trickling in through the gates. Soon the platform is live with noises. Passengers are seen sitting on the benches, on boxes and beddings. Some are seen sipping tea or loitering on the platform. The lineman lowers the signal and all the eyes are turned in the direction of the coming train. The people pick up their belongings. The coolies in red, are alerted. The train comes in whistling and stops on the platform. The station is full of hustle and bustle. The alighting passengers have hardly stepped down, when the other try to board the train. Some even throw their kits through the windows and jump in. There are generally more passengers than the available seats.
There is fight for seats. The whole platform begins to echo with noises of verious kinds. The passengers are seen haggling with the coolies. The vendors and hawkers try to attract the customers with strange slogans: ‘Chai garam’ Thandi lassi, Multani Halwa and so on. Big Crowds are seen round the canteens. People are seen eating round the push carts. The Crying of the children, the shy steps of purdah observing ladies, the cooties with boxes and begs on heads and in hands, the grumbling passengers, and the railway officers in their peculiar uniform adorn the scene.
Soon the time is over. The guard waves the green flag. The latecomers are seen running helter-skelter. Some are seen hanging on the foot boards and doors. The relatives say ‘ta ta’ to the passengers. Hands and handkerchiefs are being waved. The driver lifts the brakes. The train begins to move. Alas! some have missed the train.
Soon silence rules on the platform. Some dogs and crows are seen eating the crumbs and the leftovers. The railway staff retires. Only the tick-tick of the big railway clock is heard till the next arrival.