why do i worry about travelling alone with a child. indian railways and co-passengers zindabad! everyone helps out. from the pantry car service men who keep giving extras of everything, to the uncles and aunties who travel.
so this time it was a family of four -parents and teenage daughter, and twelve year old boy. ten minutes after i got into the train my child left me. First it was didi she wanted to befriend, and then bhaia and then aunty. she went to the top berth with didi while bhaia jumped from berth to berth to amuse her. and didi, she was her champion- taught her to click her fingers. a wonderful way to keep her busy, enchanted, hypnotised.
all the books i carried to amuse sanah, the family took charge of them and read them to her. she was not mine, through most of the journey.
in short, all i did was , READ MY BOOK, and sip endless cups of tea!
the berth was still too narrow for my kicking child and me. and at 4:30 am, she sat up and declared, nahin sona, didi kahan hai? it was kota, thats where the train had stopped, and the bright lights of the platform had spilled onto our faces. this is my birthplace, kota, so at 4.30 am while i pleaded, threatened, pleaded again with sanah to go back to sleep i thought of you dear mother...in kota it was that you and papa would have pushed me to take my first baby steps. and see, now i had a baby stepping on my sanity, sleep, and whatever else!
and for the fairy tale type train travel story to end happily is a cop out, right? just as the train rolled onto the station, barely two hours before my screening, and me anxious like hell...my child who is potty trained declared ,potty! how the story ends is an easy guess, so will let this one pass...