I, apparently am shortlisted to the second stage of oktatabyebye.com. They wanted me to send them a 150 words travelogue. I quote “The next step requires you to share with us a 100-150 word write-up on your most relished travel experience. Please email this to priya@oktatabyebye.com within next week.” I sent the piece below. You decide!

A Slice of Life

Traveling in trains through terrains and towns is like watching avant-garde theatre. The grilled window reveals a slice in the lives of people outside as it moves swiftly.

My early train journeys were predominantly across the baked Deccan to reach Gujarat. I have watched the shadow of the train quiver over sands of dry river beds, farmers in an argument on a red landscape, boys being slapped by grandfathers in white turbans, vacant wait of cyclists at the crossing and dust clouds of a distant bus with cargo on top.

Recently I had to visit a leather and sugarcane town at the northern corner of Karnataka on a photography assignment for a Flemish magazine. The town drunkards and smell of dead buffaloes being tanned drove me out of Athani. I fled on a bus to Belgaum.

It was that ethereal red flat landscape again. We stopped for a break and there were people with me who looked like the slapping grandfather and waiting cyclists.

There was a train at the horizon. Somebody was watching this slice of my life.