6:40 am. Karnataka Express. Utter fog outside. Very cold. The train’s stationary. Darkness inside the AC compartment. People sleeping, shivering, snoring. One asshole is choosing a ring tone for his phone (at 6:30 am!)
The train is standing a few hundred metres before a station called Antri. This is apparently quite close to Gwalior. Should have been in Agra by now. The train’s late, by at least two hours. Perhaps it is for the best. The idea of sitting in the cold outside is rather chilly.
In a bid to aggressively court winter (haven’t experienced winter this whole season, december was sweaty in Bombay, Bangalore has been bright and sunny since I have moved. Doesn’t quite feel complete till winter has been experienced), I have been wearing a lightly padded sweatshirt (only). Not carrying that one heavy jacket in trying to keep the load light.
Realizing this morning that perhaps it wasn’t a bright idea after all.
Update: 7:50 am. The train hasn’t moved. Person in the next compartment has had a family dispute covered on phone when he called a relative in Agra saying that he wouldn’t be able to drop in (“itni thand hai ji ki mujhe to samajh hi nahi aa raha, ki main kya karoon”). Consistent movement of vendors and people to the loo. We had gotten up at 6 to get done with the daily ablutions. That included washing the face. Brrrr. World of a difference in temperatures, outside and inside the train. No phone network, no GPRS.
Update: 12:55 pm. The train is 8 hours late, by now. Have just crossed Gwalior. Another hour and a half to Agra. Wouldn’t get much time at Agra. The evening train’s at 8.