Thursday, May 5, 2011

Surviving India - Vol. 1

If you intend to do an overnight journey by train in the summer in a non AC compartment, make sure that you travel only on the lower berth with the windows entirely open.

This might put you at risk of robbed at knife point by those standing on platforms at train stations when the train halts, but closing the windows puts you at a greater threat to yourself because you will begin to indulge thoughts of flinging yourself out of the train or possibly jumping onto the roof to dance in the wind, just to feel a blast of cold air in place of the wretched heat. This would not be a desirable option as there is also an additional risk of being electrocuted by the electricity wires on the roof of the train or of being eaten by wild wolves when you finally land on the ground after your tryst with train roof dancing or jumping off the train with wild abandon..

However, if you do in fact end up in the middle or upper berth, do one of the above mentioned. Life is not worth undergoing the painful agony of death by dehydration through perspiration.

But as if the situation is not bad enough, there is another issue that complicates the matter, especially if you are a woman. Usually, the train is filled with creeps who will stare at anything that moves. For instance, while I was on the train from Bangalore to Chennai sweating my cerebral fluid out while lying in the dark in the middle berth, I realized that the person sleeping on the berth opposite to me was staring at me intently. I found this really ludicrous because the train was so dark that the only thing that he could have seen of me is the tip of my nose that gleams because of overzealous functioning of my sebaceous glands. In such a situation, the only armor you have, if you do not want to resort to pepper spray or the Swiss Army knife, is a single bed sheet. Just cover yourself tightly like a Mummy and visualize that you are doing voodoo on the man. And needless to say, it would be much easier to concentrate if you weren't distracted by the heat.

Long moral short, learn visualization techniques and voodoo before you come to India and on a train, sleep on the lower berth with your window open but covered completely by a bed sheet.


  1. I will never again complain about the metrolink in St. Louis. Well I might, but at least I will be aware that I am being a bratty, spoiled American when I do.

  2. Hilarious...i hope you are planning to write one on the Bus trips.

  3. Well, to stop complaining about the metro in St. Louis, you have to get on the metro in Mumbai. That's when you fill feel genuine gratitude for any kind of comfort. Check this picture out.

    This is how I used to go to work! I'm a survivor! :)

  4. You are simply hilarious! And so true!!!

  5. You know it, Sarah! :) And thanks. :) For stopping by and commenting!

  6. OH MY GOD! I would fall off and die! Okay officially done complaining about all American forms of public transportation.


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