Some plans are wild, others wilder and yet others wildest. But the wildest are actually the outcome of dumb actions and unplanned, informed decisions. And I discovered this in the heat, actually in the heat of the moment, in the heat of the desert and in the heat of summer. It was three-fold effect which unfolded in the local train from jaipur to Sikar.

jaipur to skiar on metre gaugeIt was the June of 2000. I had loads of problems and someone suggested that we visit the temple of Balaji in Salasar. The red monkey god had solutions to all problems. And this was different from the Balaji temple in Mehndipur where exorcism is the main agenda.

I asked about the route and didn’t get any clear direction or the best mode of transport. So using little brains and more enthusiasm, I opened a map to see the best way forward. Delhi to Jaipur was a piece of cake, there were lots of trains. And from Jaipur, we had to reach Sikar and then another mode to reach Salasar which was round 45 minutes by road from Sikar. It didn’t look difficult at all when thought like that. But it was dependant on the right choices which we didn’t make.

Excited as we were, we took the Pink City Express, painted all pink and good seats, the AC worked well and it was the most comfortable journey. My sister and I chatted along the way and ate and drank. Very happy, we reached Jaipur. And we didn’t know which train would take us to Sikar. It must have been around nine in the night. Making our enquiries, we found out that a local train would begin at 4 am. Well considering it just two hours on the road from Jaipur to Sikar, we would have reached the city around 7 am that was our common sense plan. But with Indian railways and local trains, the little common sense becomes not so common. So we hung around in the waiting room, washing our face in the smelly bathroom, each taking turns to shut our eyes and get some sleep.

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