Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Night One: The Indian Railways

A man checks the waitlist at New Delhi Railway Station
New Delhi Railway station is a photographer's paradise. Everything is perpetually in motion (unlike machines of the same name). Above the endless roar of trains, you can hear babies cooing in half-sleep, bags rattling down staircases, and voices that make up a nation all of their own. There are travelers, trains, coolies, suitcases, vagrants, and kiosks everywhere, all at once. The kiosks are by far my favourite, because they sell everything that you could possibly need, including what could only be travel staples in India: Hajmola, the Gita and paper soap.

All railway station kiosks have their quirks. In Karnataka (and most of southern India), almost every kiosk is a tea-shop, selling strong, spiced, thimble-sized cups of tea to langourous travellers. In Goa, they sell Bebinca, a rich, elaborate multi-layered specialty cake. And Delhi has fresh juice shops, shelves stocked with seasonal (and not-so seasonal) fruit. Here, have a picture.

Pineapples in the middle of autumn! Who would've thought.
This was the view from our train cubicle. Seven beds cleverly tucked into one, tiny niche. And so night one was spent in the top bunk, drifting in and out of the comfortable, dark, beyond-world of sleep. We woke up only eight hours later, at the very last station, a sleepy border town called Ferozepur.

(Best sleep I had in a week.)

More on Ferozepur tomorrow, though. 
Tomorrow: Ferozepur, a military welcome.


  1. Love the pictures! They perfectly capture the feel of railway travel...beautiful :)

    Shruti (Ex-neighbour)

  2. Why are you so amazing at taking the best ever photos AND writing beautifully AND being awesome.

  3. waiting for the follow up.....this is beautiful.