Life is like a train journey.

Amal Chatterjee
8 min readApr 12, 2024

Source: Life is like a train journey

Synopsis: If you think of metaphors, there is no better way to describe your journey through life than a train journey where you get to meet all kinds of people and learn from them life’s valuable lessons. Our life is also a journey. It can be a long or a short journey that slowly develops our personality and helps us grow up to find our place in this world. The blog expands on this journey and helps you understand how to deal with this journey in a way that may someday make you leave a good legacy of yourself.

I often think of life as a journey that starts at birth and ends with the death. How long or how short this journey can be depending on many things. It could be a joyful journey as written by Rudyard Kipling in his novels on India where he describes his journey through India by train. In a train especially in the 2 nd class or the 3rd class that the common people or the poor people take can be an enjoyable experience where you get to meet so many people of different background. They will share their food with you if you do not have any and they will share with you their experience in life.

I have traveled throughout India (now called Bharat) and felt what Kipling felt that made his train ride joyful. The long journey by train can be quite an experience where you may meet people who may become your friend by the time the ride ends. You get to meet the common people from all walks of life in the general coaches or in the third class but rarely you will meet them in the first-class coaches reserved for those who can afford them. Rich people may seem arrogant and may be less prone to make friends with you.

It reminds me of the movie Titanic where the common people stayed in the steerage or poorer section of the ship where they danced with you, played raucous music and shared their food with you while in the richer section of the ship, rich people in fancy dresses and wearing jewelries sipped champagne while judging others with keen eyes and guessing their status and wealth.

Life is somewhat similar where the poor people meet other poor people easily while the rich people disdain the company of the common class. This divide between them and the poor people remains in any country you visit.

Now let us suppose that you were born in a family of six or eight children that your parents had a hard time to feed and take care of. Maybe you live in a house that has a leaky roof, no decent toilet and not enough room for all of your siblings so you grow up in cramped quarters with no privacy. There are frequent quarrels over the limited resources that the poor parents try to share equally with you and send you to municipal schools to get some education.

The vast majority of the world population lives this way that struggles day to day to overcome the challenges of life like how to meet the very basic needs. But among them you will often find friendly people who will share with you what they have. I have met such people in many countries and have written about them in my biography.

Some of them try hard to get some education or learn some skills that can earn them a living while others who are more entrepreneurial set up at first their small stores that they gradually expand as their business grows. The Prime Minister of India Mr. Modi came from a poor family where his father used to sell tea and his mother worked as a maid to make ends meet while Mr. Modi sold tea at the railway station but he got a college education in spite of poverty. Now he is the leader of the largest democracy in the world.

In our journey of life, we never know who we will meet someday and who will become our friend or even a mentor who will help you achieve your potential.

I met many good people who became my mentors but also met some very bad people who lied to me, cheated me or deceived me so they never became my friends. So, in a way it is just like a train ride where you meet some good people and also some thieves who may run away with your luggage if you are not careful.

As the train stops at a station, some people get on and some get off, so life is also like it because at a certain time, you get to meet new people and later they vanish from your life. Very few people you met and got to know them well will stay in touch with you later. As we grow up, we all go through a transformation process that changes us in more ways than one.

At first these changes are subtle and not quite obvious like gaining height, adding muscle and other physical changes. Then the growth hormones kick in and show their effect on how you look.

Women go through more dramatic changes in their bodies that start to define who they are as women. Men notice these changes in women and often react to it because they are programmed to look at women in certain ways just like the women who start to notice the boys because they too are genetically programmed to do so.

This awareness of each other leads to coming in contact where they may become your friends or later boyfriends or girlfriends in some culture where free mixing of both sexes are tolerated or even encouraged while in other cultures it is frowned upon due to their traditions and culture that are linked to their religious beliefs.

These physical as well as mental changes in both sexes start to influence your likes and dislikes and the decision-making process as well. It is a part of growing up that brings maturity and more awareness of the possibilities in life. So, we pass through a period of innocence as children that does not last long so the childhood friends begin to scatter and start to seek their own destiny, interests and the possibilities that come their way. Their life journey may start with you but soon they get off the train of life to seek their own fortunes leaving no room for you in their life.

Later others get on this train of life at a certain period of your life as a fellow student or a coworker in your office or a fellow who is a new neighbor. They may or may not become your friend to continue this journey of life together except one person who becomes your life partner as wife or husband.

Such people mostly stay together with their spouse until one or the other dies although this partnership and the length of time they stay together varies from country to country and culture to cultures. Some birds like cranes mate for life but this is not guaranteed in humans who are more complicated than birds.

As you grow older meaning over 65 or so, you begin to prepare yourself for retirement and take a break from the active life you had and may start to think of doing something else like writing or traveling or seek a more spiritual life if that is your inclination. At this point your companions change according to your likes or dislikes because at this stage of your life you tend to be more outspoken and intolerant of people who do not bring any value in your relationship with them, so some people prefer to be left alone socially and mentally unless their new acquaintances are persons of quality who enrich their life in more ways than one.

Just like you prefer quality food and quality living standards, you also look for quality friends at this time, so you discard those who are shallow, opportunists and untrustworthy who are self-centered narcissistic people who want to use you to serve their own interests. They may seek favors from you and may try to borrow money from you knowing that you are well off while they are struggling.

By the time you are 80 years old, your fellow travelers are long gone meaning most of them are dead or are dying so you walk alone with your mate who is steadfast in her loyalty and love for you. Such couples are blessed because they are devoted to each other and take care of each other.

If you have lived a long and useful life to reach your golden age, you have gained a lot of experience in life, some good and some bad so learned your lessons often in hard ways so it makes you a valuable person who has used his moral life to live a life of rich experience through education, travel and meaningful work to do good for others and being a decent human being. Such people are rare although many are not recognized and soon forgotten but they make or try to make this world a better place to live.

Now your long train journey of life has reached its destination, so you get off the train and say goodbye to your fellow travelers and fade away into oblivion. The people you leave behind will soon forget you and your legacy because the living have their own priorities so you will not be a part of them except your life mate.

He or she will miss you in a way only two people dedicated to each other can miss. But their turn will be the next and a day will come when they too get off the train of life to rest in peace under a sycamore tree somewhere.

Source: Google photo of a peaceful resting place

So, I end this blog here by telling you that we all start this journey of life somewhere and end somewhere else but whether this journey was worth it or not depends entirely on you because you alone through hard work and honesty will leave behind your legacy when someone may say that he was a good fellow who did good to others and sought neither fame nor glory. So be kind and unselfish to less fortunate people who carry a heavy cross of responsibilities on their frail shoulders.

Source: Google photo of a quote by Hemingway on the journey of life

Note: My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.

Mis blogs en espagnol

Mes blogs en français.

Blogs von Anil in Deutsch

Blogs in Japanese

My blogs at Wix site

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Anil’s biography in English

Originally published at on April 12, 2024.