Goodbye Varanasi and a train journey

10th February 2018

We are templed out, stupaed out, mausoleumed out, mosqued out.

It is time to say goodbye to Varanasi and to catch the overnight express train to Delhi. It takes 12 hours and the clack-clack of the rails, the gentle swinging of the carriage over the uneven track and the snoring of fellow passengers soon sends us into a dream filled yet refreshing sleep.

Just after sunrise a man in the corridor chants “chai-chai, chai-chai, chai-chai” and it is our turn for a cup of the sweet, heavily scented massala tea; a concoction of water, pepper, ginger, sugar, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and milk.

The sun rises over the countryside; mist rises from the ground mixing with the smoke from the night fires.

New Delhi central station greets us with our friend pandemonium. There is no one to meet us at the main gate. We find out that there are two main gates.

A frog sits in a small pond.  A second frog hops into the pond. The first frog asks the newcomer where he is from.

“I am from the ocean” says the second frog.

“Is that a big pond?” asks the first frog

“Yes, it is very big”

The first frog takes a small hop and asks “Is it this big?”

“No, it is much bigger” says the second frog.

The first frog takes a bigger jump and asks “Is it this big?”

“No, it is much bigger” says the second frog.

So the first frog makes a huge leap to the very edge of the pond and asks “Is it this big?”

“No, it is much bigger” says the second frog.

“Now I know that you are lying” says the first frog. “Nothing is bigger than my pond”.

(I do not know the provenance of this tale so regrettably cannot acknowledge the author)

Vincent van Walt, New Delhi, February 2018

Click on an image to open the gallery.

[Modula id=”8″]

You might also be interested in...

When inches and millimetres matter

18th March 2024

Despite being of an age when we learned metric alongside imperial, I find it difficult to do the mental gymnastics to convert a foot into centimetres. The grey cells are totally overwhelmed when I’m...

Read More

A lesson in Critical thinking..

14th March 2024

Socrates would have been proud of us last week.. The level of discussion and uncertainty that ensued over what appeared to be a simple question evolved into multiple email chains that deserved to be discussed...

Read More

Understanding the requirements

24th January 2024

It’s a common occurrence - we receive a request for pricing to measure a parameter or series of parameters on telemetry. But to do our job properly and give you the best service we need more information,...

Read More