After getting the basic details sorted out, and moving onto a second phase of more critical analysis of the plan, the immediate complaint that has surfaced is that, in short, it’s now just too easy. Well, if you really think 2 weeks solid on Indian trains, in whatever class of travel, is “easy”, then we really would like you on the train if you can spare the time. There actually are people who do this kind of trip for breakfast, we’ve got several of them on the train already. But they do usually do it in AC where possible. Those of us wishing for a real challenge are going to do it 2nd Class Sleeper the whole way.
But don’t let that put you off laying down your own marker on this. There are harder ways to do it than that, if you still think we’re just off on a jolly. Mahatma Gandhi used to travel in 3rd class everywhere. The Raj complained that it would have been cheaper to send him in 1st, and I doubt anyone ever plonked themselves, their family, and their entire belongings, right round where the great man was trying to do some yoga. 3rd class no longer exists alas (actually it does, in a way. It’s what the unreserved 2nd class carriages are or were), and I have reservations about making up a “Gandhi Award”, but I’ll be awarding bonus points for anyone who reckons they can do a reasonable stint in unreserved 2nd class.
- The team awaits the down train from Srinagar.
This whole escapade is intended to have a humorous angle to it, we know we’re not going to the South Pole or untamed corners of Papua. It’s a challenge that anyone who loves India, or thinks they ought to at least find out if they do, can have a go at. If you’ve never been to India, or on an Indian train, I suggest you book into club class, and perhaps have a plan B worked out.
Thanks to everyone who has set their tweet or facebook status etc to this. It all helps. The fund raising is in stasis right now as VirginGiving is about to come on line. Dickie charges only 2%. Just Giving charge a whopping 5!. I guess I should have worked that out beforehand. I’ve put up a role of honour for all you wonderful people here https://gcirc.wordpress.com/thanks. The number of serious entrants for the full monty is up to 9. Please continue to mention this to people who might be just bonkers enough to have a go. In the new year I’ll follow those of you who have expressed an interest in doing a section to see if you’ve firmed up on your intentions.