The Elephant Cloud


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Harri Krishna

May 5th, 2008 by · No Comments · Asia, India

Leaving Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, in attempt to catch an overnight sleeper train to Varanasi led us on a wild time chase with our Harri Krishna taxi driver. Thinking 12km = 20min we had no worries, until the smell of rain engulfed our senses. The beckoning lightening storm closed the skies just as govt. road work narrowed our passage. Our determined driver whirled us through games of chicken, swerving opposite traffic, and par for the course, no head lights. We were cruising until a grid of cars, cows, rickshaws, trucks and bikes came to a halt and chaos ensued, 5km from the station. He shook his head, prayed to Krishna, I prayed to Krishna…. We would never make the train, not tonight. Rain fell, horns screamed, people coursed, we were all stuck. What seemed hours later, Krishna answered our prayers, parted the streets with his hand of blue and blew the clouds westerly aside. We whirled on, brainstorming the next plan of attack.

Skidding into the back side of a dark alley, our driver jumped out of the car, yelled at some kids who came flying over, grabbing at our luggage and ready to take foot. “Station,” he pointed, “Go, Go.” With that, I grabbed my porter and we fled, toward the dark station, up the stairs to our track and there we found the delayed train. Smiling in between rapid breaths of relief, we tipped everyone for their gallant efforts.

This is India, Indian time and the train was later than our furtive driver, 4 hours later to be exact. At 1am we finally pulled from the station, jostled through sleeping passengers and found our beds, 10 and 11; of course we had to oust a squatter from my bed, but that’s another story.
Namasté Krishna.

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