Train journeys were always exciting during childhood. The vibe of an adventure, the sleepers, the chai wallas at the stations…. it was all too stimulating. Notwithstanding that, the other side of train journeys did somewhere oscillate the excitement…. long journeys meant…. tiresome!
Hence, it was a bittersweet feeling, ever since social media was bombarded with a spate of portals informing of head & foot massages being added to the list of service on Indian trains! True, it is! ‘Champi’ on the train! ‘Sar jo tera chakraye….. tel maalish’.
For the first time in the history of Indian Railways, massage services will be made available for passengers on board running trains… only for INR 100! It’s appealing, I think, to not have your grandmother or mother suffering through the journey, isn’t it?
The move isn’t going to make only the elderly happy…. it is a well thought out decision to increase revenue and also add passengers. Railways are anticipating an additional revenue of INR 20 lakh annually and an estimated increase of INR 90 lakh per year through additional sale of tickets from about 20,000 passenger who will be the service providers.
Likely to commence in 15-20 days, the service will be available from 6 am- 10 pm. Three to five masseurs are slated to be deployed on each train, albeit with identity cards, beginning with 39 trains departing from Indore.
Exciting as it may sound, the new service may not have been met with as much enthusiasm as authorities would have hoped. As the news filtered out on social media, many netizens felt that adding a massage service was unnecessary, especially when so many other sectors of the railways required more attention such as hygiene and food quality. Others stressed that instead of adding superficial services, the railways rather concentrate its energies on maintaining punctuality and making the transport system more efficient.
Agreed…. but for now, maybe, I will get around to re-commencing my love for train journeys! A little bit of luxury never hurt anyone!