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.



Take action Now

Do you ever wonder, where did the time go and feel guilty not doing it or not take action. Each one of us are blessed and created with a free will and ability to make choices/decisions in life. God is in each and every individual in this world. We are an expression of God through each one of us. Any person can be of any religion or belief system or spiritual, and God resides in each one of us.So what keeps many of us not taking action to fulfill our desires which will benefit in many ways? It’s the learned human ego, be it fear, procrastination, negligence, or complaining not having enough time or resources.

We must develop confidence in us to take action. Also, prayer is helpful in conjunction with meditation. Belief in God (or Lord, Higher Power, Energy, Jesus Christ, etc) is very helpful. Just do it. I recall I needed to change job while working in the corporate world. I was not sure of myself. Plus, I was not going deep into myself in prayer back then. I kept asking my peer friends “what would they do in my circumstances”? It further confused me with their answers, because of information overload. Most of them were supportive. Pray and find answers. Prayer is communicating with God and meditation is listening to God.

Finally, I decided to go on a “gut feeling”. Gut feeling is intuition. Trust your intuition. God communicates from within. I meditated on it. When we to take action now, we seize the moment and make a difference in our life. Also, people around us want to ask us for guidance how we did it and what made us adventurous and successful. Don’t forget, we are in this world to learn and grow. We are ministers to each other and share. There are so many decisions to take action in our life to make. Health, prosperity, spiritual growth, love in our relationships, traveling, changing jobs or going into business, or just being a seeker.


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