The taxi that Meenal had arranged showed up early. 25 minutes early. My hair was still soaking wet as I headed towards the cab.
The New Delhi Railway Station was pure chaos. I wasn’t expecting anything else. It all seemed a bit rough at 6am. People sleeping everywhere, shouting. Some guy came up to me. “Where are you going?” “Amritsar.” “What time?” “7:20.” “It’s cancelled.” “What?” He came closer and I pushed him away. “Just go ask.” “Go away.”
It wasn’t cancelled, but plenty of other trains were. The announcements were repeating.
Waiting was a mess of bags and people and people sleeping on the train platform and garbage.
The train showed up 40 minutes early, and we all shoved aboard. Or everyone shoved, and I tried to keep up. This whole shoving rudeness thing is a bit new to me.
I sat down, pretty exhausted.
They started by serving us lemonade. Then big bottles of water. Then tea and biscuits. Then a weird breakfast (a veggie patty with bread that I spread my cranberry peanut butter on) and more tea.
I began reading Lonely Planet, and the woman next to me, although Indian, was reading an English paper. She chatted me up a little, is a spiritual healer and expert. I began catching up on emails offline and writing, and then after a while, she offered to do my chart. My astrological chart.
It was a pretty interesting experience. She told me I’m to do a few things, like buy 12 bananas and leave them in the offering area of the Golden Temple - that will reflect my House of Jupiter and House of Mercury. And feed 10 blind people. And give sweets to children outside of Hindu temples.
We talked about love, marriage (She said I would get married but it would require work.), my career, finances, all that sort of stuff.
Then she invited me to her house. “Just come home with us. There’s a festival tonight.”
I almost said yes. I wanted to, but I had booked a place in Amritsar and was already thinking of leaving tomorrow instead of the day after for Dharamshala. So, ummmmmmm….
And then they left. But the guy she was with is going to Dharamshala, so I might have a friend there at least. He told me it’s one of his favorite places in India.
And it might soon be mine!