Featured image courtesy: Superfast1111 Wikimedia Commons
I’d forgotten the slow pace of Indian trains until I reread my letters to my sister. Perhaps they’re faster now, but when I was in India in the mid 1970s, they were as slow as peak hour traffic.
We left by train from Jamnagar to Ahmedabad, a distance of 300 kilometres. The entire day was absorbed in train travel. We didn’t reach our destination until nine in the evening. I spent the journey reading. My letter even mentioned the name of the book—History of India.
Even though we had first class tickets, it wasn’t much different from third class except for the all-important fact that our seats were booked for us and only us. No pushy person would edge a corner of their backside on to your seat the way they did in third class. No person would be towering over you and bumping against your shoulder as the train rattled on its set course. And on that stretch of railway line, there was no air conditioning, only a fan humming above.