The Ahmedabad Express

True be told ‘ere

In Monsoon it’s better to take the

train, they said. Flying can be . . .

difficult. Kalyan junction six-fifty

a.m. watched by the, “Australians.”


First class — glass in the windows

ceiling fans passing for aircon.

Nine hours of Railway India hospitality.

Sit back enjoy the view.

Inside and out.


Rain soaked paddy fields green as the

Irish flag pass by, breakfast served

by cotton clad ghosts in flip-flops.

Hard-boiled eggs, juice and yoghurt

followed by boiled-milked tea.


Suspicious of the meal I ate

as I see Indian businessmen

palm eggs and secrete bread rolls.

Fingers crossed, I chat to colleagues

and read reports.


Slow progress doesn’t stop time

passing quickly. Lunch arrives silently

in paper bags and plastic cups

as we pass shallow lakes with clay

Geneshes dissolving to recycle life.

I cherry-pick the contents

and drink Pepsi-Cola puzzled by

the lack of my fellow traveller’s appetites.


An hour later my half full lunch bag

sits surreptitiously ‘forgotten’ by the window

as we disembark at Vadodara

with fellow passengers toting paper

bags of life to be placed in outstretched

hands politely lining the platform.

I spy my bag behind glass. 


© Guaj 2023
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Thank you for sharing. So true. Life this is. The crumbs from our tables can feed the world.

Boiled milk tea…..brings back memories. When friends ask for tea now I use just milk, no water, throw in the loose darjeeling, add the cardamoms and slowly bring to the boil. Smooth and delicious, to be eaten with a spoon.


Last edited 2 years ago by Bhi

Well, Bhi, I ain’t ever a’comin’ to yours for tea 🙂


Whole cardamoms. You get to spit them out to round off the experience! I use whole milk – none of the semi skimmed or skimmed malarky – to give the tea body, and by throwing everything in up front builds the flavour.


I read of children begging baby formula milk which they resold to the shops it came from and the look of dismay on the face of a young girl as the Westerner opened it for her. Your poem evokes much of India as I know it from online vids – it was my intention to go this winter but the situation…
Nice work


ps love the clay Ganeshes – we had some artist place a chalk monolith in the local estuary – to watch it dissolve (a £15k project) it lasted one day – sometime in the night it gave up its ghost



I will have to go there – most of my sons have been (largely at my expense) – blast this covid – I had a long held fancy to die in Varanasi and be cremated on the ghats. Who knows? It might come to that one of these years. 🙂

In parts of UK where I’ve lived there are always plenty of brawling kids to boost up the numbers when the ‘Social’ came calling 🙂


ps I’ve just found out how to edit here – shame I have nowt to alter 🙂

Last edited 2 years ago by coolhermit

Thanks – I’ve watched numerous ‘walkabout’ vids on youtube plus ‘watch outs’ about scammers – did not know about a la carte though – thanks for that. It will be the trip of my life – I’ve done Jerusalem and Athens etc but India!!- probably be next winter now alas.


Look at those beautiful innocent children! This world has the potential to be a paradise but greed, corruption and evil people have made it into a prison planet and the gates are shutting for us all unless we all wake up very fast. This poem was most enjoyable. It told a story and made me feel as though I was a passenger. My father was in India during the war. He was all over the world in the Royal Navy but he said that India was the place he would have loved to have shown my mum. He spoke of… Read more »

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