*~A Runner-Up Prize Winning Entry in ‘Around the World with Expedia!’ contest
The toy-train ride to Shimla is quite an experience. The narrow-gauge rail snakes around hills and valleys and you need to slide windows to prevent a wild bush from scratching your cheeks. However, the experience gets some ‘flavoured’ fervour when you have a seat right next to the train loo. I got a chance to go through as much while travelling to the lovely Himachal capital years ago.
For one, the loo was very basic – devoid of fancy fresheners, if you please – and for a second, it wasn’t scaled up to cater to a dozen full bladders. I covered my face with a handkerchief every time someone opened the door and a whiff of air brought in fresh perfume. The old lady sitting opposite us offered a tissue to her old man. I looked at her keenly as she tugged at the sides of her black handbag.
“I had no idea we would get such bad seats…”, she sounded upset, “you aren’t even able to enjoy the view.”