Rajdhani Train Arrives in Mumbai: Santosh Verma Takes Us On A Trip Down Memory Lane

Santosh Verma’s 1990 photograph of the Rajdhani Express arriving in Mumbai evokes nostalgia

Saptak Choudhury Published Nov 8, 2020 00:00:00 IST
2020-11-08T00:00:00+05:30
2020-11-07T18:42:43+05:30
Rajdhani Train Arrives in Mumbai: Santosh Verma Takes Us On A Trip Down Memory Lane Rajdhani Train Arrives in Mumbai by Santosh Verma, C-type print, 10.47 x 3.81 in, 1990 (Photo courtesy: Museum of Art & Photography, Bengaluru)

Old-timers will fondly recall the classic red-and-yellow painted carriages of the luxurious Rajdhani Express trains from years past. Even though the colour of its compartments has since changed, the history of this long-running train is steeped in the memories and experiences of its passengers down the decades.

This nostalgic sense is suitably evoked by Santosh Verma in his 1990 photograph of the Rajdhani Express arriving in Mumbai. The shot captures the just-arrived train when tired passengers have not yet disembarked. The remarkably languid atmosphere in the photograph, with the vacant platform and the absence of massive crowds or rushing people, even at the moment the train pulls in, takes us back to a quieter, but arguably imaginary, time and space.

However, what you will notice even on today’s station platforms are the coolies—immortalized by their characteristic red-and white attire. Despite the relaxed scene, there is an air of expectancy too on the platform, as the coolies stand uniformly apart by the windows of the train carriages, in wait for their fares.

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