It’s been a while since this excellent programme was broadcast on BBC4 TV, but I promised to post my comments here, and I am (eventually) a hog of my word.
In my comments about Part 1, back at the end of October, I indicated that there was an undercurrent running through that programme of tragedy and sadness. Part 2 was a much more joyous programme focusing on the lives of several people who were intricately linked to the railway. This was also a theme of the first programme, but this second one seemed to take a far more positive view.
Indeed, the title of the second programme was “Dreams”. I was particularly engaged by the story of Mumtaz Kaz, who was not only India’s first female train driver, but during the filming of the programme was landed with the responsibility of arranging her brother’s marriage. Of course, she succeeded and everything went off smoothly despite her having to continue to work in such a demanding full-time job throughout the whole of the run-up to the wedding.
I was also struck by the paternalism of the Indian Railways in providing housing fir its workers and was reminded very much of the Great Western Railway’s workers’ housing in Swindon.
The second part of the programme lifted the gloom that the first part had instilled and left me feeling much more positive about the achievements of the Bombay Railway and some of the people intricately linked to it.