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Not your average choo-choo

Everyone needs a hobby, even scions of erstwhile royal families. And Lakshyaraj Singh of the House of Mewar in Udaipur has a pretty complex one — developing complex tracks for his model trains on the terrace of his home. The latest addition to his collection is 250-foot long, carrying four trains of varying sizes (HO Scale 1, N Scale, Oscale & OO Scale, if you are that curious).

The member of the 1,500-year-old royal house was always gifted complex models of airplanes, cars, ships and trains as a child and the fascination continues.

He now collects them when he travels abroad. Why this fascination with various modes of transport? He sees the tracks as a metaphor for the tracks of life. “It is not just therapeutic, it is very, very therapeutic, and an exercise that fills one with immense joy, satisfaction, laughter that one can share with family and friends. As one builds the tracks, or witnesses the trains in motion, one realises the most basic of life’s lessons: Life is dynamic, always in motion, always moving from Point A to Point B. Which is why we have to be on the move ourselves,” says Singh.“Go and grow,” he adds.

It’s the setting of the tracks that excites him more than the models themselves. “As you build tracks, you create a landscape too. An empty track is no fun,” he says. Each checkpoint represents movement, dynamism and change, and goals — for the train’s journey and his own.