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"I'll find my way home while exploring the galaxy"

Day Twenty-One: First Trek by Train, On to Khajuraho

We left Agra today en route to our next stop, Khajuraho – a small town of 5000 people about seven hours southeast by train.

I had lots of anticipation for the train, as I’ve heard stories of how much of an experience it is (also, think Darjeeling Limited). We boarded over an hour late, and weaseled our way through the skinny dark corridor to find our seats.

What followed was a deep appreciation for the experience – for the first time in India, I felt an active silence and stillness through movement. When you’re on the streets riding in either a rickshaw or car, the movements are abrupt and sharp, accented by jagged sounds and noise pollution. On the train, the opposite unfolds – a smooth, linear, forward glide through countryside. The only sound comes from the man who travels up and down the aisle after each stop to sell chai (“chai malega, chai malega”). Also, each seat is essentially a smaller twin bed with curtains to keep you separate in solitude if you so choose.

Not sure why it took so long to realize this, but I actually have access to my Spotify playlists! The happiness I felt listening to music for the first time in twenty-one days is indescribable, and I immediately fell into a deep trance, absorbing every sound and song. Mystically, I’ve also been reading the book “Sounding the Inner Landscape,” and came across a beautiful quote by the legendary Ravi Shankar:

“This is the magic of our music – its hypnotic, intense singleness of mood" -- My Music, My Life

So much to learn about Indian music and its colorful ragas (melodies) – I’ll be adding that to the top of my bucket list as something to explore much more while I’m here.

Below are some ramblings and glimpses from my personal window…

(Also, here’s a link to the playlist I was talking about, co-created by Wylie and I when we first met: “Put a Bird on This Playlist”).

The face of someone who's just boarded their first train in India

The face of someone who's just boarded their first train in India

Getting comfy in my little train nook with my little notebook

Getting comfy in my little train nook with my little notebook

Charting the emotional ride that's been India in twenty one days.

Charting the emotional ride that's been India in twenty one days.

Rambles on paper

Rambles on paper

The moment you hear music for the first time in twenty one days.

The moment you hear music for the first time in twenty one days.

And then two seconds later, find the most mystical quote from Ravi Shankar...

And then two seconds later, find the most mystical quote from Ravi Shankar...

A casual advertisement for arranged marriage meetings

A casual advertisement for arranged marriage meetings

Cars and motorbikes stopped on the road as our train rolls by.

Cars and motorbikes stopped on the road as our train rolls by.

Nothing but time to pass on the seven hour journey. Lonely Planet rated "White Tiger" the #1 Indian book.

Nothing but time to pass on the seven hour journey. Lonely Planet rated "White Tiger" the #1 Indian book.

Tiffany Wen