Bangladesh: Parabat Express

Hello old friend. I remember you from happy days riding the trains in India for months at a time. There are some experiences that change very little.

You can see much of life on a train: A cross section of a community.

100 taka to an aged sadhu. Receive a low-key blessing as the train lurches forward.

The very few women on the train are covered from head to toe.  A young girl of maybe eight, shrouded.

Cup of tea – in a teacup with saucer and spoon. And in the second class carriage too. Oh yes, I absolutely must have one! 10 taka.

The devout man faces Mecca and begins to pray.

Hard-boiled egg from a bare-foot man, in a lungi and singlet. – peeled in an instant, and presented on a neat square of newspaper with a sprinkling of chilli salt. 15 taka.

The egg is still warm from the pot.

Passing a soda bottle between friends, that may contain whisky, not soda.  Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s not soda.

Lulled by the rocking, the noise of the wheels on the track, warm air gushing through the window, the warm, close night.

Leaning out of the window into the darkness to have a cigarette as we pass over a bridge.

Five hours of train track between the tea gardens and Dhaka.

train tea

Fascination at the train station
Fascination at the train station