Riding the Train

by Martha

We took a train to get from Vijayawada to Hyderabad on Saturday. We were in the AC chair car, which we should have known would be freezing. I did have a hoodie for Kavi and a sweater for Ila but their legs were cold too. The train left at 6:25 am, so by about 10:30 there was a shaft of sunshine coming in through the window and putting a tiny square of warm sun on my leg. I encouraged Kavi, who was complaining dramatically of being cold, to come change places with me. I was in the middle seat; he was on the aisle. Once Kavi was sitting there, clearly trying to put his leg in the sun, the young fellow sitting by the window noticed this. He told Kavi to come sit on his lap where he could get more sunshine and also look out the window. With some encouragement, Kavi agreed. So he spend the last 45 minutes of our ride sitting on a stranger’s lap, feeling much warmer and enjoying the scenery. Later Kavi said, “That guy was really nice.” It’s just another example of how our society is so freaked out–in the US we just don’t encourage strangers to sit on our lap, right? Kids are taught it’s a no-no. Adults are taught it’s a no-no. But here, it was just the most natural thing.

Disclosure–these are not my pictures but from the Internet. This is exactly what the train looks like, though.

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