July 8, 2008

By David Warren, Sunday Spectator, July 6, 2008

Let me tell my reader about an “epiphany” I once had — a long time ago, yet seemingly yesterday. Some things, especially memories of love, remain vivid for the duration of one’s life. This was something that happened when I was seventeen, travelling through India by third class rail.

I had left Howrah Station in Calcutta the day before, bound for Raxaul on the frontier with Nepal. I rode twenty-five hours continuously on an unbelievably hot and crowded train (often thinking I might die of suffocation), to some obscure distant junction. There I changed trains, as instructed, boarding a flatbed, to my relief — with crude siderails and grid of low benches to hold the passengers in place — wonderfully open to the sky. According to the schedule, another twenty hours, making every stop across the state of Bihar. Keep reading by clicking here…

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