Saturday, April 17, 2010

Road Warriors

Icelandic ash produces chaos in air travel. So it is time for the road warriors to have some enforced adventure (see the link on this blog's title).

I am reminded of a few adventures myself. That time in 1977, the express train from New Delhi gets stranded in Bengal-Bihar border due to some problem on the track. We wait for some four hours, walking around the train in the middle of nowhere. The track seems beyond salvage any time soon. An engine is apparently en route from the direction we have just come so our train can be hauled back to the previous junction in Bihar. So it is a choice between getting stranded in Bihar versus finding our own way to Calcutta. My friend and I jump ship. We walk along the railway track about five miles to the next town, catch a bus that travels along bumpy way through glacial moraines of Bihar and then the coal fields to a rail junction after some six hours. It is night by that time. We wait until the next passenger train rattles into the platform in the middle of night, its coal engine hissing. We set off, to arrive in Burdwan at the crack of dawn. Sweet tea and jhal muri along the way. What fun.

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