I traveled to Ratlam from Varanasi by train a few days ago to attend a wedding which means over 24 hours of journey. I take train all the time but usually I avoid train journey if it is more than 13-14 hours but this time I had to take this 24 hours train because I had no other option as my ticket was booked by the person getting married and we were going to travel in a group which is always fun. There are several classes in Indian trains such as general class ( no reserved seat for any passenger), Non-AC sleeper class, 3 AC, 2 AC and 1 AC and usually I prefer 3 AC as it is the cheapest comfortable class but this time my ticket was booked in Non-AC sleeper class.
The journey from Varanasi to Ratlam was kind of okay, and to be honest I never got bored because I was with my friends. The journey from Ratlam was kind of an experience. When the train arrived at the Ratlam station we saw that our car was locked from inside and there were people sleeping on our seat. We asked them to open the door but all of them were pretending to be not hearing us. Finally we had to enter in our car through another car’s door. When we asked those people sleeping on our seat to leave they just did not want to hear us. All of those people had wait-listed tickets which means their seats were not confirmed yet.
We requested them first, then started shouting and finally we had a fight with them. Finally after 45 minutes of requesting, shouting, fighting and war, we got our seats:) I had already traveled several times in Non-AC sleeper class but this time it was an unique journey as I saw something that I had never seen before. In Non-AC sleeper class, anyone is allowed to come hence all kinds of services are offered by unauthorized people. Someone comes selling chai, someone comes selling books, someone comes begging… but this time I saw snakes in the train.
I saw a group of snake charmers showing snakes to the people and asking for money and people were offering money to them as snakes are related with Lord Shiva and are considered holy in Hindu religion. I was really surprised but was laughing at the same but it seemed really strange to me. Snakes in the train and no one to stop them? Anyways, I was able to film it. Enjoy!