1. In My Early Years: A Train Buff’s Russian Trans-Siberian Adventure

  1.  In My Early Years

 I love train travel. Ever since I was 12 years old, I traveled overnight train from outside of Bombay to Hyderabad in South India. It was twice a year to the boarding school in Hyderabad, for 6 years till I was 18. I was the only student in the boarding, coming from a distant region to attend school and stay in boarding, and go home in summer and Christmas holidays. All the locomotive engines were steam from Pune to Hyderabad.

At age 18 I moved to USA in 1964, joined my dad and family. First time I returned to India was for 3 weeks in 1987, and most of the travel was by plane inside India, and one overnight train journey. It all started back in 1998, when I took off to India for 60 days. I quit my subcontractor position as a financial analyst at an aerospace company near Los Angeles, and told my girl friend Denise, I want to ride the Indian rails on a mass scale. She encouraged me to take that long trip. I let go of the apartment I was renting.

 So there I went, with a 60 day Indrail Pass, which allowed me to travel on any train, but had to make reservation for a sleeping berth. Indian trains are crowded , and requires lengthy planning. It helped getting reservations on AC2 (Air Condition) carriages on various trains, due to foreign reserve quotas. The longest duration I traveled was on Kerala Express, from New Delhi to Trivandrum. Kerala Express was a 3 day, 2 night travel. The train went through various states, all the way to deep South India. Some were electric engines.

On this trip all the other train journey’s were a one night journey, and did visit few relatives in various Indian states. I enjoyed the 60 day trip to India. This was primarily a spiritual pilgrimage journey. I thought I had a good fill with trains, for a while. I stayed at many hotels close to train stations, about 15 of them. Just before starting my journey, I came across “India by Rail” guide book, and was a great asset.



We are living on a borrowed time and for a purpose

Purpose - spirit eagle and clouds Here we are breathing, drinking, eating, working, learning, talking, laughing, crying, smiling, sleeping, creating, loving, caring, sharing, helping, etc. We’ve come into this life as physical body and having a human experience. our physical lives are temporary. We are a miracle. We are created from the spirit of life, beyond human understanding. Our creator (God, Lord, Almighty, Infinite Source, etc) has a purpose for us. Our journey in life has begun with having a free will and choices in life to pursue our journey. Sometimes in our journey we do take an ego ride or a trip. Which means a power trip or a journey not in conjunction with our alignment with heart, mind and body.

Purpose in life What do we do to get back to inner contentment and along the way assist and support loved ones, friends, neighbors and strangers locally and strangers in international lands? We think to have a “successful” life to be very prosperous (with money) and stash it away for the future years for “retirement.” In the meantime we neglect to care for our own selves in areas of health, time with the family, and self reflection.We worry about the future, instead of doing the best as we go along in this life journey.  How about serving others in the capacity as volunteers? Those that need support and help time wise. By offering to serve others is very noble and experience inner contentment, joy and in process the persons receiving help and support are thankful and a smile on their face.

Purpose - serving others We want to live the best in our physical and emotional life and make a difference. Loving committed relationships is another area we always can improve. Have you said “I love you” to your spouse or to your children or to a partner? In this physical plane, many of us pick up unhealthy and unpleasant habits. Have you ever questioned why I am eating certain foods that are not healthy? Have you ever questioned what makes you angry at others or getting impatient at a grocery line or at a highway when it is congested? When we inquire into “getting to know” ourselves we are learning and growing and we mature to live a life of harmonious peaceful way of life.


Rev. Ernie Martin, The Reverend of Love, Las Vegas, Nevada