The coupe in the Duronto is clean, the sheets spotless. A far cry from the Haridwar Express.
There are several people who keep dropping in, to lay out two folding tables and serve us food, to clean the coupe every time we eat, to ask us what we would like to eat.
The food is the best I have had on a train, tasty, yet simple. The only complaint is that there is too much of it. Teja and I pick out the things we like, for now or later, and give back the rest.
Soon Teja has enough goodies to set up a small food counter on the table. We wonder if we should invite the other passengers to come play ‘shop’.
We wonder why we are taking this crazy journey, 3 days to go, 2 days coming back, when we are staying there only for 3 days. We wonder why we did not take other travel options. It makes us laugh. The chaotic planning makes us a little giddy-headed.
We spend a lot of time reading, sleeping, doing Sudoku. The IPad we bought after years of squabbling is used mainly for Sudoku.
A querulous voice in another coupe complains to the Supervisor about the lack of soap in the toilet, that he asked for some special vegetable and got served lunch only at 3 pm, and the fact that he has launched several complaints about the railway staff in the past.
Teja says, “You should go and watch. He will calm down.” I am happy to have him continue with his complaints. I say, “He should be made to travel by the Haridwar Express”. The Haridwar Express is much on my mind, because a few days after we get back home, a journey by 3 tier A/C on it, awaits us.
Teja goes off to watch the to-do, and comes back laughing. At one of the few stops, he goes off to buy some more food at the station. And props up the packets on his food counter.
I think it’s important to have a good companion in a first class A/C compartment. There is not much else to do, otherwise.