Monsoon Magic along the Konkan Railway

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Mumbai, 22 June 2011: Yet another season of monsoon and an opportunity for me to travel to Mumbai during this season through Konkan Railway’s Matsygandha train in mid-June refreshed my memories of previous years’ similar journeys to and from Mumbai and as usual having the window seat and savoring the monsoon magic as manifested by the beauty of nature in rain drenched coastal land on both sides of the railway track.


Though had some important personal work in Mumbai, I could not make any plans to proceed as getting reservation in Konkan railway either in the last week of May or first week of June was impossible due to the return rush of the vacation crowd, parents and children, whose annual routine of migrating to their native villages or townships after the end of the annual examination and going back to Mumbai before the beginning of the next academic year was at peak. Hence, I did not mind waiting till I could get confirmed reservation which happened to be mid-June.


As predicted by the meteorological department, the monsoon had made its presence felt in the coastal Karnataka by the first week of June and the intermittent moderate to heavy showers ushered in the monsoon magic, driving the people to take up the agricultural and allied activities.


The day that I was to travel by the Konkan railway, the rain was quite heavy till noon. I was little apprehensive about the impact of the rain on my train journey. However, since noon, to my great relief, the sky opened up and rain receded. In fact till Matsyagandha reached Karwar, except few showers here and there, though the sky was overcast with rain borne clouds, the view outside the train was clear enough for enjoying the rain drenched paddy fields, passing coconut groves and typical rural scenes.



As it was just the beginning of the rainy season, farmers have had the paddy seeds sown to prepare the saplings for transplantation. At a distance, in drenched paddy fields, the sprouted saplings could be seen as green patches. I could notice rows of manure dumps in the fields to be spread across before they are being ploughed.


Watching the mass of water as the train passed over the bridges across the rivers with rattling sound was a unique experience. The sight of typical tile roofed country houses interspersed with the modern terraced bungalows passing along the railway track was quite memorable.


The cattle grazing the newly sprouted grass in the fields, the flooded paddy-fields, the green vegetation, rain drenched coconut groves and the high hills with hovering dark clouds at a distance at some places made the train journey quite enjoyable. As the train approached Ankola station, I was quite amused to see a family of four members, parents and two children riding on a bike.


Till the train reached Madgaon by around 7.30 pm,  the travelers could view the beauty of monsoon magic all along the railway track. As the train passed through Goa and later coastal Maharashtra, the nigh had enveloped the surrounding nature and  it was quite dark. Though one could hear the sound of rain now and then, the train had no problem in negotiating the tunnels and curves. Surprisingly, in spite of following the monsoon schedule,  by around 6.30 am on Friday, June 17, Matsyagnadha reached Thane station from where I proceeded to my residence at Dombivli heaving a sigh of relief that I could reach my destination without any problem.


After freshening up, as I switched on the TV for the news, I was shocked to know that early in the morning of June 17, at around 4 am, owing to heavy rain and subsequent collapse of retaining wall and landslide between  Ratnagiri station and Nivsar,  some trains were cancelled, some were rescheduled and some were diverted. Passengers of certain trains in this section are being transshipped between Ratnagiri and Adavil stations by road.


While feeling extremely sorry for the passengers of those trains which followed Matsyagnadha on the fateful night of June 16-17 and had to face the woes of reaching their homes with the alternate arrangements made by the Konkan railway, I thank the providence and good luck for sparing me from the turmoil especially, while I was carrying nearly 100 frozen sardines in my baggage.



Comments on this Article
Anitha D souza, kuntal nagara/u.k Tue, June-28-2011, 6:00
Felt very nostalgic.
ALPHONS Rodrigues, UJIRE ISRAEL Thu, June-23-2011, 7:48
Joseph, Qatar Thu, June-23-2011, 5:22
Very good article by Dr. Eugene D Souza. For a brief moment I visualized travelling in Matsayagandha Express with you and savouring the train journey and the nostalgic monsoon showers. The photography captured in your lens is just splendid, rather to put it in a more better phrase in a class of its own . I am struck with awe with the beauty of the bifurcation of the lush velvettish green grass on one side and the paddy field on the other, the asphalted road cutting through both sides of the paddy fields, the planting of the paddy sheaths by the farmers, the vivacious coconut groves, the cows nibbling the grass, the small Mangalorean roof tiled houses with boats at the edge of the boundary, photograph no 25 (centrespread of the houses) and what not. Oh, I miss my Mangalore. Of course, not forgetting Photograph Nos. 26 29 where the small happy family are on the motorbike. The young boy seated in the front seems to be having an urgent urge of rushing back to school ASAP / imitating his father driving the motorbike while his mother at the rear seems to be enjoying the cool ride. Wow Dr. Eugene, everything is meticulously conceptualised. Thanks a million for the photography.
Chandrahasa.A.Shetty, bajpe--kuwait Wed, June-22-2011, 3:33
Really beautifull-thanks to Dr.Eugene
Vasudevan Namboodiripad, Kerala Wed, June-22-2011, 4:57

Windows appear shuttered as if they would like to forget and be blind to the incursion of the dirty polluting and pollution ridden snake-like mechanical monsters that have invaded the privacy of their pristine beauty. Pity those inhabitants.

Alfred Vincent Monis, Bantakal/Kingdom of Bahrain Wed, June-22-2011, 2:52
Thank you Dr. Eugene for the beautiful pictures. I have difiiculty in choosing which one to save as background picture on my Monitor. Your pictures reminds us (and makes us feel sad) what we are missing in our life being far away from our beloved India due to our duty (and commitments) towards our family. Please keep posting similar pictures. We always wait for your articles about our mother nature especially our Tulunadu.
Baptist Sequeira, Belle Wed, June-22-2011, 1:17
Sir Eugine, our Karavali nature in your eyes, calls us home to fill it in our hearts!!!!!
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Wed, June-22-2011, 1:15
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Tue, June-21-2011, 11:22
Indeed a good catching in the monsoon by Dr Eugene, about the Konkan Railway journey. There is a good News for the Konkan Railway Yathris here The Writ Petition filed in Karnataka High court Bangalore (W.P.No 18007/10 is allowed directing the railway Board,Konkan Rly authorities and the Govt to implement the same of Extending Bngalore Mangalore Rail to Karwar and the Railways have sought three months time to implement. The readers of the Belle vision may recollect that a legal notice to K.H. Muniappa, the Railway Minister of State from karnataka on this matter. In the 2010 budget there was no mention of extending Bangalore Mangalore Rail to Kakrwar, inspite of loud promises by the Politicians to the voters. The Rly Minister was questioned for having not made to fulfil the promises. ON the basis of the notice News appeared in all the papers and Bellevision also covered this aspect. Udupi Railway yathri Sangh after a meeting at Karwar on 02-05-2010, filed the writ. There after a demonstration and Rail-rocko at Udupi 0n 15-02-2011, the Railway Ministry declared Bangalore Mangalore Train to Karwar in the RlY Budget. The Writ is allowed. I am indeed happy about the development.
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Tue, June-21-2011, 2:50
Beautiful greenery is pleasing to the eyes. The creation of nature especially in monsoon is truly a paradise. Thanks Dr. Eugene for the beautiful article and pictures.
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Tue, June-21-2011, 2:38
Thank the frozen sardines!..Just kidding!
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