It was during one of my trips to Rajasthan’s rural outback (travelling in one of the crowdiest of local trains) that I took these pictures with my sexy little Sony Ericsson mobile phone. It was a god forbidden nondescript little place, a halt rather, in the middle of nowhere, where the train took a little breather before resuming it’s tiring haul across the unforgiving desert landscape.
Pic. 1. – A 10 seater Mahindra jeep is the only available transport for ferrying (those who alighted) to nearby villages and dhanis (hamlets)
Pic. 2. – Newton’s Laws of Motion (read this for an interesting interpretation) find practical application as people jostle with each other in equal numbers and in opposite directions at the doors of the coaches.
Pic. 3. – More and more passengers finally touchdown and rush towards the waiting jeep. A couple of women do a spectacular pile vault and disappear inside in a pile. Only if Elena Isinbaeva had seen that!
Pic. 4. – Elite common-dudes of the Gujjar Regiment secure the roof in a jiffy.
Pic. 5. – The jeep now begins to look more and more like Tyreship Enterprise from the movie Tyretrek.
Pic. 6. – Its a display of raw skill as another common-dude hoists himself onto the roof. We never knew Mahindra makes such crash proof roofs!
Pic. 7. – Interim head count: eight on the roof, at least eighteen inside and another fourteen or so looking forward to getting accommodated. The ones on the roof each takes out a jar of Fevicol …
Pic. 8. – The driver (who somehow manages to drive expertly by sitting entirely outside) starts the jeep. Suddenly there’s a mad rush. Somehow all forty people find footholds.
Pic. 9. – They’re off. Forty of them. In one jeep. Sixteen in the back. Six in the front seat. Four on the bonnet. Eight on the roof. And six clinging on to the sides.
The train shudders and jerks forward. I settle back into my seat, take a deep breath and make a mental note of putting the pics on my blog.