I've realised if you are on a 15-hour train that is delayed by another three hours, you no longer bother looking out to see which station you are in. And when you realise this, like when you know you are going to die, you give up. It does not matter.
What does matter is the team in your second A/C compartment, three men who mix rum with pepsi and drink it faster than water. Even that does not matter. It is when they beginning talking that you are forced to come out of your 15-hour journey trance to contend with their alcohol-induced loquaciousness. And then you try to stopper out some. Because they really offend sensibilities. The best way, of course, is to pretend to be fast asleep and wake up only mealtimes. The trick, of course, is to go back to sleep before they spill the coloured grains of their train-biryani all over the seat, floor and themselves. Because, believe me, that could be make you retch.
Alternatively, you can spend your time counting the different kinds of mobile ring tones constantly going off from all sides. I had no clue such a variety was available. But even that can be tiresome, and from the corner of your eye you can see the drunks getting ready for a nap. So it is time to fix on some really efficient headphones, or you might land up with a lot of sound and very little sleep.
Can it get worse? Of course it can. When 15 hours stretches to 18 because, in deference for Cyclone Mala, the Express train slows down to about 20 kmph. When there is nothing else you can do, you learn to grit and bear. Grin is a little too much for the occasion.