Management professional Deepak Sapra’s debut novel is all about the chaotic beauty of train journeys in India
engaging prose, the book contains several interesting and colourful anecdotes from Sapra’s days in the railways. His work involved being posted to remote stations like Andal or Burdawan in West Bengal. “Life in most of these small towns was often centered around the railway station; a setup that can lead to interesting situations,” says Sapra, who on missing his train to Dhanbad for a wedding once, had to share a space with cattle on a goods train, while being formally dressed for the do.
The best thing about train journeys, says Sapra, is that they connect people. “At any given point, at least 23-24 million people in India are on trains, which is perhaps the entire population of Australia. The opportunity to meet and interact with different kinds of people is priceless. Swapping stories can be deeply enriching and some of these stories are incredible. It helps you look at life from many other perspectives,” he says.
Over time, these interactions have made Sapra more of a people’s person, a significant temperament shift that now comes into play in his current position working as a vice president at Dr Reddy's Laboratories, after an MBA from IIM Bangalore in 2002. Sapra does not miss an opportunity to travel by train even now, “despite the ease of air travel.” His next book, a story inspired from his parents’ displacement from Pakistan during the partition, was also conceived and shaped over another interesting journey.
“When I was five, I used to tell everyone that I wanted to grow up to be an engine driver, and by the time I turned 10, I had the entire railway timetable of Kolkata memorised,” shares Deepak Sapra, 43. His love for trains went beyond the usual window seat experience as a child, for he eventually ended up becoming a railway engineer. Sapra loved everything about trains, and his recently launched novel The Boy Who Loved
Trains captures some of the “vibrant chaos” associated with them. Written in simple and
Autor and management professional Deepak Sapra