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/ zoemhamilton

Jagriti Yatra Day 2: Chaiiiii


This morning I woke up at 8am to the calls of ‘chaiiii’ in the isles of the 15th bogie in a train somewhere between Mumbai and Hubli. In our non-AC sleeper car 60 girls groggily sat up in blue plastic beds. We took turns using the one sink and two toilets as an overhead speaker announced that breakfast would be served shortly. Breakfast for 500. Through the isles of a train. Sounds brilliant. But I was pleasantly surprised as plates, napkins, silverware and food were neatly distributed by a fleet of men in maroon. Coconut chutney with oopma and a sweet were swept out of the dining car with a fluid efficiency. After a morning session going over train rules and protocol, the majority of the day was spent with our groups getting to know each other. The entire day was spent on the train travelling between Mumbai and Hubli. I don’t know how that journey can take 36 hours when Bangalore to Mumbai only takes 24 but I guess that’s yet another unanswerable question typical of my daily life in India. Our group is 20 people, 6 girls and 14 guys. All 20 of us crammed into one compartment, some hanging from the ceiling in the small upper bed, as we completed the seemingly never-ending activity. Simply graph your entire life (happiness on the y axis, time on the x) and explain it to the group. Engineering, IIT and a search for a purposeful work life are common themes among the group. It was fascinating hearing the stories of my fellow Yatris and I look forward to getting to know them better as we continue our journey.