In India Again – Planes, Trains, and Rickshaws

Me and my New Muslim Family

Sometimes when you travel there are experiences that open your heart in unexpected ways. This was one of those days. Steve and I left idyllic Agonda Beach and made our way to Mysore, where we would be staying at Jag Therapy, a medical clinic, to learn about yoga, massage, and vegetarian nutrition for two weeks. To get to Mysore we had to take a car, plane, train, and rickshaw. From Goa we flew to Banglaore and hopped on the train to Mysore. When we arrived at the train station there was a general class train (imagine the trains with people hanging out the windows) preparing to leave for Bangalore. We hopped on the train, but could not find a seat. Before we could decide to hop off and wait for another train, the train started to move, so we decided to make the best of it and sat down in the isle in front of the bathrooms. This actually turned out to be spacious accommodations and there was a strong breeze which eliminated most of the smell.

There were some children sitting next to us and one boy shared some of his food with us. Touched by their generosity, I gave the boy a children’s book I had brought to give out in situations just like this. Twenty minutes later I was handed a meal from their mother and we were surrounded by all five of her children. The family knew enough English to talk to us a little bit. The mom definitely knew enough English to ask me some pointed questions about my personal life. After a while Steve asked the kids if they knew any songs to sing. We spent the last hour of the train ride with the kids basically sitting in our laps singing songs to us. By the end of the train ride we had made friends with the most beautiful Muslim family you can imagine. The kids insisted on carrying part of our luggage to the end of the platform so we wouldn’t have to say goodbye until the last minute.

This train ride will be one of my favorite travel memories from any of my travels. I told Steve, who has arranged my trip, that the next time we are on a train I would like to hold a baby for a couple of hours. I was informed that it would cost me extra. If you are interested in having adventures in India, check out his website: www.onelovetours.net.

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