My return train was 18 hours late. It had no pantry, and no running water. But on reflection, I realised that I was in no hurry anyway, I could always buy food at the stations, and as the good Lord hath given us grime, so too He hath given us a home at journey’s end – a home with soap and a shower. I faced the journey with equanimity – even pleasure, for I had a good book with me, and a side lower berth.
In spite of the epic delays, the unpredictability and the littered platforms, so many of us like nothing better than to travel by train. To truly love the Indian railways, you need to be a bit like a Zen monk yourself.