Updated date:

A Walk on the Rails - My Response to Billybuc Photo Challenge #4

Venkat loves taking part in writing challenges to improve writing skills. In doing so, he can present some nice stories that appeal to all.

The rail tracks

The rail tracks

Home by Rail Tracks

Our house was located by the boundary wall of the rail tracks. It was a big house consisting of three buildings. The owner lives in the central building. The rest two were rented. Each had three portions. My family lived in the front portion of one building by the main road. I had lost my mother at that time. I had three younger siblings- one girl and two boys. I was a child of 8 years or so and there were other children of those families around my age or one or two years older. So, we used to play in the background where the railway boundary wall is running. Younger children used to play indoors among themselves.

During the summer holidays, it used to be a boring time as some children were not allowed to play in the summer heat. My father used to be in the office during the day time and so, we were free for some hours to play or do any mischief. Actually two or three of my friends were mischief-prone. I had to keep company with them for our friendship's sake. My younger brother also used to join at times. We used to walk over the railway boundary wall for some distance and get to the other side at places where some bricks or stones were placed to serve as steps for climbing the wall. At times, we used to pick fruits that were hanging from the trees of my school garden which was 300 meters away from our house by using the same railway boundary wall at that school. It was all fun and timepass for us exploring the rail tracks.

Man walking on a railway track

Man walking on a railway track

A Long Walk on The Railway Track

One day we planned a long walk to the Adyar River that was around three km away from our house if we proceed by the railway tracks. Our house was located in the middle of the Mambalam Railway Station and Saidapet Railway Station. The Adyar river falls in between Saidapet to Guindy Station. We reached Saidapet using the rail tracks and then proceeded towards Guindy. At some places, the tracks had no space at all by the sides to walk freely. The stones and rails used to be rough and hot as recent maintenance works were being carried. Our feet got twisted and bent at some places due to the loose and rough gravel. So we walked on the railway track by placing our feet on the wooden planks that hold the rails. The planks were cool and we could walk quickly.

The bridge over Adyar canal

The bridge over Adyar canal

A Tragedy Averted Using His Presence of Mind

After walking for some time, we reached a narrow bridge over a canal of the river flowing underneath it. We had to cross that bridge to reach the other side as there was no alternative. So we stepped on the wooden planks of the track carefully and began crossing quickly before any train could come. All of us crossed except one child who was a bit slow as he got somewhat tired. We urged him to come quickly when a horn was heard. Suddenly a train appeared from behind blowing the horn warning him to give way. As it was the local electric-powered train running fast, it could hit him within seconds. All of us were terrified at the scene as he was still to reach the end of the bridge to be safe. But, what that guy did was an amazing thing, though scary. He suddenly lowered his body towards the bottom by gripping the cemented belt of the bridge that was bordering the length of the rail track. The train passed away and he got saved. It was a great escape for him. Thereafter, we assisted him by holding his hands to pull him up on to the bridge.

Trains Passing Over Rail Track on A Small Bridge

A Lesson Learned From That Walk on The Rail Tracks

This incident was a terrible experience for all of us. Even though he was quick in using his presence of mind and escape, it is an unwarranted act to walk like that. He was shivering while the train passed over him and he could lose his grip in that terror. Meanwhile, the conductor of the train appeared coming towards us. As there was the maintenance yard nearby that place, he stopped the train there for some cleanup of the coaches and there were no commuters in it. He straightly approached us and scolded all of us one-by-one for roaming over the tracks. We were trembling with fear and shame and quickly returned back. Before getting into our homes, we collectively determined never to step again on the railway track. None of us ever told that incident in our homes, but it remained a nightmare for many days after that shivering incident. We played some indoor games or some other outdoor games only within our compounds and never climbed the railway wall.

That walk on the rail track changed our habits thereafter.

https://www.google.co.in/maps/search/Mambalam+to+Tambaram+suburban+electric+line+with+stations/@12.9823032,80.102846,12z/data=!3m1!4b1?hl=en-GB

Comments

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on May 20, 2020:

Thank you, Bill, for your visit and well wishes. Yes, we are safe here in our colonies that are aloof from the Red and Orange zones. Sending well wishes and blessings to you, your family, and your neighbors.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 20, 2020:

Just checking in to wish you well. I hope this finds you safe and healthy, my friend.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on May 14, 2020:

Yes, Nell. It was a terrific incident. Our mistakes teach us good lessons and we become wiser and responsible beings.

Thanks for the visit and the nice comment.

Nell Rose from England on May 14, 2020:

I am not surprised it terrified you all! It would me too! I am just glad our trains are local and on flat ground, lol! take care.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 30, 2020:

Yes, Rajan. One needs to be very careful near the railway crossings, looking at both sides, before crossing the track.

But, as children, we behave very carelessly and foolishly. So, the elders should educate their children regarding all those safety measures while walking on roads or around the railway tracks.

Thank you for your nice feedback.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 30, 2020:

A great story a which reminds me of people walking on the railway tracks every day in Mumbai. Although I have never lived close to the rail tracks I and a few friends as children did cross them many times, albeit taking note of any approaching trains.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 07, 2020:

Thank you, Eiddwen, for the nice encouragement.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 07, 2020:

Great story telling indeed and now I look forward to many more by you Venkatachari.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 06, 2020:

Yes, Dora. It was a memorable terrific incident. Glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks for the nice comment and appreciation of my work.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 06, 2020:

A memorable nightmare, to say the least! Happy that it ended without physical damage, and happy for the lessons you and your friends learned. Good story-telling.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 05, 2020:

Eric, my Bro, it's childhood with ignorance and mischief-play. I think all of us grew like that only learning from our mistakes and mischiefs. It was freedom for me till I got around 13 or 14. After that, I was entrusted with the responsibilities of helping my father in cooking and taking care of my younger siblings.

I don't know whether my English is appealing or not. But, my style is like that only, a student of the 1960's to 1972 in the English classes.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 05, 2020:

Thanks, Meg, for your visit and a nice comment.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 05, 2020:

How very interesting and a robust meeting of Bill's challenge. We hung out on the tracks and in train cars all the time. Somehow we all made it to adult hood.

I liked your "language". The English language is fascinating around the world.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on March 05, 2020:

That was a very good lesson you all learned that day. Kids in my day also had a lot of freedom to go out and play without supervision and we had near misses too.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 05, 2020:

Thanks, Devika, for the visit and appreciation. It's really a bad habit that people practice to reach their destinations quickly.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 05, 2020:

Wow! What a story and a challenge that you made feel true.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 04, 2020:

Flourish. thanks for the visit and appreciation. Yes, it still remains a memorable incident in my life.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 04, 2020:

Peggy, it was a real experience that happened to me and my friends. I don't know whether that fellow shivers even now recapturing that incident. But, it remains as a memory to me even now (even though it occurred 60 years ago).

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 04, 2020:

Yes, John, my bro.

It was a childhood foolish habit that taught us a great lesson. It was due to my company of friends that were like that those days.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 04, 2020:

Thank you, Jason, for your visit and appreciation.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 04, 2020:

Yes, Ruby. A frightening and shivering experience. A great lesson for our mischiefs.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 04, 2020:

Manatita, it was a real experience in my childhood. A terrifying one, indeed. That's why I shared the map also. Though, it was not the conductor but other people viewing the incident that scolded and warned us.

Venkatachari M (author) from Hyderabad, India on March 04, 2020:

I am very much pleased, Bill, to have your visit as the first one to my response.

Many many thanks for appreciating my work.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 04, 2020:

What a close call. I’m sure it was always remembered. Your story was well told.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 04, 2020:

I agree with John Hansen. You made this story so real as if it actually happened. People have been killed on railroad tracks by doing foolish things.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on March 04, 2020:

Venkatachari, thank you for sharing this story. I don’t know if it was based on factual childhood memories but you did make it seem very real and terrifying. A well-written response to Bill’s challenge.

Jason Nicolosi from AZ on March 04, 2020:

Great story. Nice job.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 04, 2020:

That must of been a very frightening experience. I liked your story. Well done.

manatita44 from london on March 04, 2020:

You tell a nice story and made it seem real. Some dangerous practice too. Glad you seem to learn from it. A well deserved attempt. Kudos to you bro.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 04, 2020:

That would be absolutely terrifying. Great story! Thanks so much for taking part in the challenge. I may never walk on a railway again. :)

Related Articles