Friday, June 09, 2006

Old India, New Indian

The man on the upper bunk snored away as I sat by the window, watching the world-famous greenery of Kerala pass by. Every time the train stopped, he would lower his head and ask me ‘‘Which station?’’ and go back to sleep. Finally, during a longish halt, he climbed down. He smiled at me and asked: ‘‘Where you going?’’ ‘‘Trivandrum,’’ I replied. ‘‘I also going to Trivandrum. My friends booking a resort in Kovalam. We will have some enjoyment.’’ In India, a train journey is rarely complete without fellow passengers exchanging bio-datas. Within minutes, I had his: His name was Velu, he was 29, and he worked as a leather technician in Guangzhou, China. He had a wife and a four-year-old daughter who lived back home in Chennai. He was on vacation, and he was on his way Kovalam beach for ‘‘enjoyment.’’ Read more

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