Trains have always had a strong connection with Bollywood. From the climax scene of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) and the dramatic journey in The Burning Train (1980) to the crucial first half of Chennai Express (2013), there are many memories attached to them when it comes to cinema.
As India’s railway minister, Suresh Prabhu, tables the Union Railway Budget today (February 25), we speak to a few popular Bollywood actors, who reminisce about their most memorable train journeys.
Sushant Singh Rajput
I remember travelling in the Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Mumbai back in 2006. For three years before that, I was nursing my dream of becoming an actor, but I had a lot of apprehension. When I eventually dropped out of college and packed my bags, with some money that I’d earned, those few hours in the train were the most exciting and liberating for me. I walked out of that train without an iota of doubt, and with a lot of excitement.
I have travelled in trains many times. There’s something very warm about them. I remember my journey to Kolkata for the shoot of Ek Baar Kaho (1980). Since I was among the background actors, we were sent by train. I vividly remember playing cards, getting down at all the stations, and standing on the footboard. Also, initially, my friendship with my wife, Sunita, grew stronger, thanks to the train journeys. Hrishikesh Mukherjee (director) would even say that making a film is like a train journey, when different people come together only to part at the end with a promise to meet again.
Apart from frequently taking the Delhi Metro when I was living in the city, I also used to enjoy long train journeys. Travelling to Jammu from Delhi in a train, with my cousins, was one of the most exciting journeys I have undertaken. We played antakshari, cards and ate amazing home food.
When I came to Mumbai for the first time, I was put up in a guest house at Churchgate. I would take a local train from Churchgateto Andheri to go for auditions. It was an amazing experience. It helped me know the city and its people better. Trains are a lot more than just a mode of communication in a city like Mumbai; they are its lifeline.
Raj Kummar Rao
When I was about 14 years old, I took a train from Delhito Kozhikode (Kerala) with my taekwondo team for a championship. I was representing my state, Haryana, and won a gold medal. So, the train journey that I undertook back to Delhi with the gold medal was a very special one.
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