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In love with memories: The Boy Who Loved Trains

In love with memories: The Boy Who Loved Trains
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Deepak Sapra, a former Indian Railways Service officer published his debut book, The Boy Who Loved Trains based on his experiences as a regular...

Deepak Sapra, a former Indian Railways Service officer published his debut book, ‘The Boy Who Loved Trains’ based on his experiences as a regular traveler and being on the other side, working with the department.

“At any point of time, a number equivalent to the population of Australia is travelling on Indian trains.

However, other than the externally visible stuff, very little is known about what goes on behind the scenes. This is my attempt to open doors to that world behind the scenes, shares Deepak Sapra, the author of ‘The Boy Who Loved Trains’, a heavily autobiographical fiction that also has a generous sprinkling of real life experiences of friends and family while travelling on trains.

“The story is adapted from my experiences in the Indian Railways Service. Set in the 1990s, it captures the transformation of a shy teenager to a Brown sahib on the Indian Railways,” he adds.

Deepak Sapra, a former Indian Railways Service officer, an alumnus of IRIMEE, Jamalpur and IIM Bangalore, travels, blogs and writes on places and people. His diaries have been published by the Outlook Magazine. He currently works in an MNC and ‘The Boy Who Loved Trains’ is his first published fiction novel.

He shares, “My fascination for trains began as a little boy of five when I wanted to be an engine driver. At 10, I knew the whole of the Indian Railways time table, every train, every station, every arrival departure time.

When life offered me a chance to run trains in India, it opened up a new world. There is something about being on a train that sets the adrenaline racing. I have experienced this thrill on all kinds of trains - from the Sealdah Lakshmikantapur local to the Tokyo Osaka Shinkansen.”

The book initially began as a blog. The author relates, “This is a book about trains written almost completely while on planes. My work requires me to travel quite a bit and it was during those travels that I started recollecting incidents that had left a mark. Initially, it was not with the intent of writing a book but with the intent of capturing those moments as part of my blog. Many people had given me positive and encouraging feedback on my blog and that was the initial trigger.

was much later that I attempted to put it all together and give it the form of a book. The big realisation during the process was that a book is very different (and a lot more demanding) than writing a blog. In a book, the writer must hold the attention of a reader for 60,000 words; in a blog it could be just 500 words.”

The author is currently working on his next book, which too is semi-autobiographical in nature. It is about the life of two very young kids whose lives are shattered by partition of India and who grow up in the refugee camps. “My parents were born in Lahore and came to India leaving everything behind during partition. The story of my second book is derived from their memories,” he explains.

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