I travel solo most of the time. When traveling alone by train or bus in India, I have always been warned by everyone around me to keep away from strangers, to avoid making much interaction with co-passengers and as a whole avoid traveling solo. But I have always made them understand how I love to make the journey’s alone and how I keep myself safe in Indian public transport. The situation they warn me about, is not completely wrong in itself. Our public transport facilities are at times, a real threat to the female passengers, especially solo travelers. There are incidents from the past that have caused real havoc in our state and country as a whole. These created real nightmares that people tend to discourage females from opting for public transport for their travels or trips. But these are also keeping us from making good bonds during the journeys. A real hindrance from creating warm relations that can stay and grow further. I have heard my parents talk about people they befriended during their commutations in the public transport facilities but now most of us are staying within the comfort zone of mobile phones or headsets.
This is a common thing among our youngsters, plugging in their headsets and keeping to themselves without any consideration to the fellow passengers. This can be seen as a safe way of avoiding an unwanted incident from occurring, but it is also a sign of our youth growing less considerate about what happens around them. It seems as if nothing concerns or effects them in anyway.
During one of my usual journeys, I happened to witness an incident that questioned my own commitment to our society. As the train was approaching one of the major stations in Kerala, an elderly couple who was sitting in a nearby seat got up and started collecting their luggage from where it was all kept. The lady was too weak help the man in the task, when he himself was out of breath from all the hard work. There were more than 5 young people in the neighboring seats, who sat as if they were completely blind to all the action going on. I could not take it anymore that I got up and asked the man sitting next to me to get up and help me to assist the old couple with their luggage. He agreed and we saw the very grateful seniors off at the station. Later this caused me to think about how our generation has shrunk into its own little comfort space. We easily avoid things that can be a great help to others around us.
Just like any coin with the two different sides, I have also met some amazing set of youngsters who spend their time talking and interacting with their fellow passengers , helping the elders and some even extending their artistic talents in making a bond with them. This needs to be made a healthy way of social interactions. Keep ourselves stay away from trouble taking space in our peaceful traversing.
We tend to keep our comfort space contained inside the borders of our social media platforms, phones and most commonly, within ourselves. Learning to make use of these platforms efficiently can aid us a lot in contributing during crisis situations or social downfalls, but casual usage, just to pass your time can be lethal than we think it is. We will also miss out on a lot of better things on the way when we sit with our eyes and mind stuck on the screen.This can be pointed out as one of the major reasons why tend to keep our circle closed off from others.
Lets make it a point to keep socializing healthy and safe during solo travels. This can lead you to the best places and give you the best experience of the travel. So start “journeying solo with company”.
Lakshmi akka: I met akka (Elder sister) during one of my usual train journeys to Coimbatore. My first look at her face, told me she was tired. As usual she stared at me for sometime; the haircut gives everyone an initial amount of confusion. Later we started a conversation from the trending news of Kerala rains and flood. At some point I was told that she was with her daughter and family in Mumbai and had caught a connection train to Tiruppur. I inquired where they were in Mumbai, but she didn’t know the place or any details of anything. Her face told me she was keen to be back in the comforts of her home very soon. When I was staring into the green beauty of the mountainous route, she asked if I liked the villages. I replied I very much do, with a huge smile on my face. Then she extended the warmest welcome I had ever received till date, to her village and gave me her contact number. I felt content. Humanity is not yet dead. People still appreciate each other enough. Lets not choke it with our selfishness.