Train Ride to Chennai
On Jan. 27th, I boarded the Navjeevan Express from Navsari Gujurat for a 32 hour ride to Chennai. I must admit, I was quite nervous. Although I have travelled in India alone before, never has it been an area where I do not speak the native language. I was told that everyone mostly speaks Tamil, and a bit of English occasionally. A few years ago the people of Tamil Nadu revolted against the Hindi language and banned it fromt he schools. They very proudly communicate in Tamil, sorta like the French who will not speak in English to a tourist.
So nervously but yet calmly I sat in my 2nd class air conditioned bench. After a short period, the train conducter requested for me and another passenger to change benches, as a family of 6 wanted to sit together. We gladly switched seats. It was a very positive change. My 32 hour train ride, ended quickly before it even started. I was in the great company of 3 gentlemen; one a civil engineer, another an air force officer ( who’s muscles alone would scare anyone from messing with me ), and another engineer student. We all had something in common, we all enjoyed reading from personal growth to spiritual knowledge. For the next 32 hours we had discussions and read each others books. It was great fun.
I even assisted the Air Force Officer to re-write his resume and treated him for a chronic neck problem. He was so overwhelmed that he kept insisting on paying me. Instead, I gave him a SMILE card in honor of Sukh’s birthday. Like many people, he stared at it for 5 min. with a smile.
When I set foot on the platform of the Central station in Chennai, one gentleman waited to make sure I was ok before taking leave.
This was my first experience on my way to Chennai, and somehow my nervousness disappered and I knew I would be just fine.