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A train ride can be one of the most comfortable and enjoyable journey that a person can experience over a long distance. I personally feel that a train ride can be bliss compared to a bus ride, as the latter takes a toll on my back while commuting over a long distance and can be pretty boring at times. As any other countries, people commuting by a train is very common in Bangladesh as well, specially, when the trip covers a long distance, away from the Dhaka city, since, the journey is faster, more breezy and surprisingly for some it does not cost anything. By saying no costs, I literally mean no cost at all, as a lot of people prefers to commute by sitting or standing at the top of the train. It is a fairly ordinary scene nowadays in Bangladesh to see commuters travelling on the roof top of the trains risking their precious lives, their bodies every time, just to save some money and to reach their destination faster. The Bangladesh Rail Corporation has taken initiatives to discourage these kinds of risky actions but the commuters still travel this way. Majority of these commuters are beggars, hawkers, labors and very low earning people coming to Dhaka city to earn a living and provide a meal for their family living so many miles away from them and for these people spending so much money to visit their families frequently, is something that they can’t afford and so they end up climbing the roof of the trains while the ticket checkers or the station masters are unaware and travel their destination.
During Eid and Bishwa ijtema, thousands and thousands of people commutes in and out of Dhaka city, to reach their home, while some for travelling or religious purposes. It creates a huge rush for tickets and the prices go up, which a lot of these commuters can’t afford or manage, as a result most of the people who can’t manage a ticket end up climbing the roof of the train and travel on top of it. A lot of these people sometimes fall off and gets injured severely losing their limbs and sometimes their lives, but that does not stop them from travelling this way.
I even had a conversation with a few people who astonishingly travels on the roof of the train because they enjoy it a lot; as there is lot of adrenaline rush involved with it that makes them feel alive while some have gotten habituated to this way of travelling and they do not feel the need to travel inside the compartment safely and comfortably and rather prefer sitting on the roof feeling the breeze blow through their hair. This has also become a great place for the hawkers to make a profit for themselves by selling tea, biscuits and cigarettes to these train passengers who are travelling atop, risking their own lives in the process.