At the Raxaul train station people were shoving and jostling in line for tickets. Although not a major railway junction, the station was brimming with people. Some sat on their haunches while others lay on the floor, fanning themselves to beat the flies and the heat.
The Express arrived two hours behind schedule, its compartments almost deserted. A group of neatly dressed Gurkhas were placing their luggage on the platform. A lanky man stood out from the group. He was rather shabby compared to others. He clearly didn’t belong to the Gurkha group. With a smile on his pale face, he spoke with a slightly older Gurkha with broad shoulders and pursed lips.
I talked to another man in uniform, and he said I could travel with them in the military bogie, if I wanted. Despite having a reservation elsewhere, I could not turn down the offer.
Once on the train, I took a window seat and watched the soldiers settle, putting their luggage under the long wooden seat that could double as a bed. Soon, the train left the station. The movement was a relief from the mid-day heat and humidity. Continue reading…