Taking the train in India is the mother of all adventures. The equivalent of this adventure in the context of yoga would be something like...the teacher comes in and says, "okay, today we are going to start with one- handed handstand, and from there we'll be doing drop backs, then tick-tocks, and then we are going to do kapalabhati breath for 25 minutes in headstand and then everyone is going to stand as close together as possibly and we'll turn the heat up to 150 degrees and meditate on the word Om.
So, we took the train from Madurai to Kanyakumari and it was the most incredible adventure.
For one, we are unfathomably interesting to Indians. So, we're sitting in the train station minding our own business and the next thing you know 50 Indians are talking to us in Tamil and telling us everything they know about the US (John F. Kennedy, Niagara Falls) and inviting us to their house for dinner. Then when the train comes, (we had already decided to ride in the ladies carriage) all the ladies run full speed to the door and start handing their bags in through the windows. There are no such things as lines in India, you just cram into a huddle and try to push your way to the front. And damn if those 14 year old Indians girls aren't strong as hell.
So then once you finally cram yourself on, and I mean cram, and you have to do so really fast or the train will most likely leave, you find yourself next to the bathroom (um) and again in a situation with a lot of cramming. And all the Indians are looking at you and still talking to you in Tamil and Indian grandmas are yelling at you because your bag came close to their face and Veronika's 3/4 length pants show her knees when she sits on the floor, which is utterly unthinkable.
In the middle of this complete pandemonium I had to step back and take a look. It was so wonderful. Here was this complete chaos, a big sweaty mess of ladies and babies all speaking (shouting) at once but everyone was smiling at us. And we were smiling at them. And several got up and insisted upon giving their seats to us. And we took pictures of the babies and watched to Indian countryside whizz by.
With an open mind and heart I move bravely through the Indian lands.