Travelling on the train in India

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  • Arrive at the station an hour earlier even though you know that all trains except Shatabdi and Rajdhani are always late.
  • Heave a sigh of relief when the train is only 15 mins late
  • Ask the vendor where your AC 3 tier bogey will come. DLF has not yet reached Gurgaon station so such basic information is missing at this 2 platform station.
  • The vendor will tell you he is not sure and it will come at either extreme ends of the station
  • You wait with fingers crossed at one end of the platform
  • But since your luck is terrible the bogey will be at the other end of the station and you have to run your heart out to reach it in 2 mins
  • You get on without any mishaps only to find that a family of 4 has taken over your perfect window lower berth seats
  • You are not in India if this does not always happen on the train- someone will ask to exchange your seats. Always. Earlier, I would oblige but then I realised I made the effort to book in advance so I could get middle or lower berth and then I wouldn’t be able to sleep on top berth and reach work groggy and sleepy. So, I stopped. As soon as people notice that you are not old and not fat, they request you to exchange berths. Don’t give in. Be strong.
  • The family then proceeds to go to sleep at 7 pm which means pulling open the middle seats to punish you. You have your dinner in the most uncomfortable position without complaining.
  • The morning seems peaceful with the family gone till you notice the other family playing with a kid. The kid is not most annoying person and that does take special skills. Does that mean it is not the kid but the adults around it that are my problem? I hope the kid reaches out and tightly slaps the young lady trying to get him to say “bua”

But it is fun and we should travel by train more often.

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