The train bound to Varanasi (Benares) began moving almost imperceptibly along the endless platform of Delhi’s train station, with people jumping in and out until the speed defeated the last runner.
In India, many of the trains are the same that circulated during the British colonization, infinite strings of heavy metal wagons.
I made myself space in the always crowded car, and watched my companions with the same curiosity I awoke in them. But, not much longer, that curiosity had led to some reading, having a doze, and colorful mental absorptions.
Among my traveler companions, I was particularly struck by a brother and sister, boy and girl, who came in after one of the many stops. Through the bars of my window I had watched the farewell scene with their parents. Father and son could not stop laughing and joking, whereas mother and daughter hugged each other constantly, both visible moved and with tears in their eyes.
Once seated in the car, I watched the girl (no more than fifteen years old) dressed in her elegant pink dress. Unlike her brother, soon asleep, she was shaking and often broke into soft cries. It was not difficult to imagine the situation: the girl had been “given in marriage” in exchange for its value (the higher the more beautiful and white the bride is). But I could not imagine -not could anyone who hasn’t gone through that ordeal- what she was really feeling inside. In India that is one-in-a-life-time trip. I silently wished her the best.