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Digest, 2022 - Grade 11

Experiential learning @suburbanlocal

Katyayani Mishra 11A

I am blessed to have been born in Mumbai and I confess, travelling in the local train is an experience. Travelling provides us room for cutting ourselves from the busy schedule and giving some time to our well-being. It has been scientifically proven that travelling makes us smarter and increases our horizon. Travelling makes us more aware and provides knowledge that no textbook does. However, in the last decade, smartphones have started providing us with additional knowledge on daily travel.

Travelling by Public transport is an insightful experience. It gives you a real-world experience of pain, suffering, poverty, depression and much more. To me, this gives me a natural feeling of pain and exhaustion which we all go through daily. It is not only a physical exercise but also a mental and emotional exercise. People are anonymous but there is a sense of unity that is felt and this feeling is warm. It is uncomfortable for most, but the comfort lies in the emotion that carries all of us. I feel very recharged no matter how tired I am whenever I take a local. The drive not to give up and the desire to stay committed is seen in the body language and the faces of teeming millions. The incentive may be different but the common goal is to never give up, no matter how adverse our situations may be. By observing the people around us, even in my short journey, I learn my entire Humanities Curriculum and I am not joking I mean it! As each Mumbaikar travels by train. The exciting part is people of all gender, caste, creed, religions, communities, age groups travel by train and there is no discrimination.

Till my fourth or fifth journey, I did not know that after every three minutes a suburban local arrives on the platform. Some people start running at the sound of the train and in the process, pushing everyone in their way. The crowd and rush is an eye-opener to me as if there is a desperation of reaching home and spending time with their family or reaching the office on time. It appears to me that our city never sleeps and is always on the edge of the train. Yet to my surprise, some people who have been living in the city for several years, their bodies are not accustomed to suburban local travel.

After travelling by train, I have learnt several lessons that I keep to myself. It has the power to keep me grounded and pull me out of the disillusioned world. Ever since I have travelled by the local, I have realised that several teachers and the school staff travel by train which is really inspiring. Travelling allows us to be kinaesthetic. Thus, travelling by train is the best teacher.

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