I have loved long train rides ever since I can remember. Business travel necessitates flights, so the joy of sitting in a train and letting the world go by has been all but forgotten. On a train ride like this, one isn’t worried about take-off queues, connecting flights and being late for meetings. And with Abhishek around, it was even more fun. The three-tier berths were just perfect for the 6 year-old to go up and down, and across.
Sleeping in the train on the upper berth can be easy or difficult with the rhythmic motion of the train. I have never had a problem sleeping. On the way back, I woke up at Ratlam. I last passed through Ratlam in the summer of 1986 en route to Delhi for the Himankan trip while I was in IIT. It was almost exactly 25 years ago.
I came out on the platform to see the hustle-bustle of a typical junction that never seems to run out of trains to service. I was pleasantly surprised to see the railway staff wearing “Clean Train” jackets get in and do a terrific job cleaning the toilets, removing the garbage, sweeping the floor, and wiping the windows.