TRAVELLING CRICKET SCRAPBOOK
including links to Mark's writing
On the trains in India - 2001
Our Names! Indian Railways.
by Luke Gillian
There is something inefficient about railways around the world that make passengers cringe and bus commuters thankful they aren't on the rails and Indian Railways, in more ways that one, typifies these inefficiencies. On the other hand there is one practice of Indian Railways that is not only unique to India, but instils all travellers that maybe there is some form of 'system' in this country.
All too often people wander about India stunned at how things work, the endless red tape and bureaucracies standing in the way of a harmonious and carefree visit and of course the legalities involved just to buy a railway ticket. In most cases, after hours in the ticket queue, each journey has a pleasurable commencement when to your delight, unsure if your train ticket is valid or if you are indeed about to board the correct train, scanning the lists pasted on the side of each carriage you find your name in nice and clear bold soothing letters.
"Marvellous!" is the usual reaction, and with utmost confidence you climb aboard knowing full well that when finding someone warming the seat, you'll have great pleasure thanking them for 'warming the seat' and get them to 'move along.' Many times in India you will say, "Only in India" and this is one classic example.