A train in India

Bars in front of the windows, big blue benches which serve as bunk beds, brown dust on the floor. The ceiling is decorated with ventilators, a common place to put your shoes on if you are on a top bed. A mother and her adolecent boys share with me a small compartment. Two bunk beds facing each other and across the path another three high bunk bed along the window. I ask whether they would like to draw. The youngest son starts to draw with his card on the window. The rest doesn’t feel like it. I take a book, not noticing my open marker box with cards next to me. When I look up the other boy has started to draw. Curious faces from the other compartments appear. A few men ask whether they also can draw. Off course.
In the evening I do a question-answer game with a couple of children. They ask everything from whether I’m married to the foods I like. It’s getting late,r I fall a sleep on my bunk bed, it’s the lowest of two. Also an older man sits on it, I don’t mind. The first thing I see when I wake up is a big gun in a holster. A guard is probably doing a round and is talking to the older man. According to the guard the man shouldn’t be sitting on my bed since I payed for my place. He didn’t check my ticket though. The elderly man walks to another bunk bed and sits on there. I look around and see more bunk beds shared with more people. But my bed was the only one the guard stopped. It’s strange to be treated different because of the way I look. And I don’t feel comfortable with it. Why should I be treated differently? I can’t think of a good reason. Furthermore, the man was doing no harm. On the other hand my foreign appearance also triggers a lot of curiosity. So in the morning the kids come to me. With amazed eyes they see the drawing box sitting on the bench. Time to draw.

2013-12-30 15.18.20

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