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.