Those who prefer to travel by AC and are not able to experience the real outside world need not despair. There is a lot within the compartment to compensate. Fortunately, railway tickets are sold without any discrimination of religion, language, etc. and a single compartment often represents the entire country in all its hues. You have no option but to sit with people you may be able to avoid elsewhere. At the end of a long train journey, you may be able to get down at your destination with a lot of your prejudices and misconceptions left behind. Indeed, a train journey fosters equality and fraternity.
The journey often starts with haggling, as people rush in to occupy their seats and place their luggage under the berths. A great deal of jostling and heated arguments follow. Indians typically carry a lot of stuff and the space under the berths is never good enough for all the luggage put together. But almost miraculously, as the train starts moving, the luggage gets adjusted somewhere. After a couple of hours, those who were fighting with each other start making friendly overtures. In no time, they appear to be inseparable.
Some people know no other way to pass time than to talk to fellow passengers. Even bookworms are tempted to lift their faces occasionally and share their pearls of wisdom with others.
There was a time when people not only used to talk a lot during train journey, but also used to share home-cooked food freely. The times have changed now. People no longer share food, but is it not good enough that they continue to share thoughts and experiences?