My weekend just gone was dominated by the 28 hr train journey direct from Pune to Howrah (Calcutta) on the duranto express. It was my longest train journey to date, approaching 2000km in distance covered, but pleasant enough with mostly wet rice fields for scenery all the way and not too many cockroaches for company as they seemed to have been limited by the larger than normal mouse population onboard this train. Food was plentiful, if not fantastic, the AC however was slightly uncomfortable reminiscent of my time spent on the trading floor at Winton Capital where the hot headed traders favoured a fridge-like 17 C° even in mid-winter. I wasn’t prepared clothes-wise but thankfully hefty blankets were provided for sleeping.
Arriving in Calcutta and stepping off the train, my water bottle immediately condensed up like it had just been plucked from the fridge. After spending more than a day in the chilled train carriage the heat and humidity of Calcutta provided a stark contrast and a welcome one at that. The city has remnants of the historical British influence everywhere, much like Mumbai, and that includes the SRA campus where I’m staying. It is thus quite charming contrary to the picture I had in mind.