January 20, 2012


After a overnight train journey from Mumbai, I arrived in Ahmedabad at around 5 in the ante meredien. I had foolhardily booked the lower bunk in a sleeper compartment of the train. Lower berths are recommended for security reasons. It is easier to notice if someone is purloining your luggage from right beneath your bed than when you are two bunks up, far detached from the happenings below.

The drawback is that you get little to no sleep, as a continuous stream of passengers without beds, seats, tickets, or manners uses your bed as their own. I was forced against the interior wall of my compartment, able to maintain possession of approximately 40% of my allotted sleeping area. The remaining 60% of the property was captured by a rotating set of 22 different individuals of various ethnic backgrounds during the 9 hour journey. Thankfully, the maximum number of people sitting on me at any given time did not exceed 5.

I groggily tumbled out of the train at Ahmedabad Junction and walked into the station's waiting room. The seats all seemed to be occupied. A strange mix of a hospital waiting room and a morgue, I wandered around the piles of bed sheet covered bodies sleeping on the floor and found one man taking up two seats. I grunted and he grudgingly moved his duffel bag as I took a seat. I reached into my backpack and dug out my trusty blue travel pillow. As I inflated it with several deep breaths, the sleepy eyes of the other travellers suddenly shifted towards me as if I was the most peculiar sight in the room. I placed it around my neck and slept soundly until daybreak.


"Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep." ~ Mahatma Gandhi