There’s another train, there always is,
Maybe the next one is yours,
get up and climb aboard another train.
Unfortunately for us, all the toing and froing to the embassy meant we missed our sleeper booked for Varanasi. Our carefully laid plans went up in flames as fast as a dead body on a burning ghat.
So we had a rethink, slept another night in Delhi and then boarded another train, to Agra instead.
All of life is on India’s trains, which make epic journeys across the subcontinent, if not punctually then at least reliably, all day every day.
This particular train was a sleeper so as well as passengers squashed on the seats there were people sitting on the top bunks too. A whole boys cricket team, and three business men were our travelling companions for this leg – sharing bananas and newspapers with us.
Up and down the aisle over the course of the journey paraded:
A boy acrobat who could squeeze his body through a small metal hoop
Two lady boys
A widow trying to collect money as a dowry for her daughter
Women selling toy guns
The chai wallah
The ‘drinks chocolate’ man
The official railways officer taking food orders for lunch
A guy playing a drum
A shoe shining man
A boy selling charms
A guy with one and a half missing legs
It was, as you might imagine, an entertaining journey.