Yatra Diaries [Part 2]: Of Showers, and Settling In - Saanya Gulati

Photo of Yatra Diaries [Part 2]: Of Showers, and Settling In - Saanya Gulati 1/2 by Saanya Gulati

The morning routine of Londoners unravels in front of me as I sit at my window-faced desk. My foot taps to the rhythm of Kalki Kochelin's most recent viral video, The Printing Machine, which I just finished watching. Chrr tak tak taka daka tak chree. The tune transports me back to Day 1 on the Jagriti Yatra, when 400 individuals woke up to the music of a moving train.


Seven hours ago we had boarded the vehicle that we would soon call home. The momentum of the train is now steady. Meanwhile its passengers scramble to set the pace for their own journey.

Sitting half upright in my berth, I hear the call of chai. Vessels clang against each other as our catering staff makes their way down the narrow passage dividing our compartments. These sounds will soon become part of a morning ritual.

As luck would have it, my suitcase is stored right next to the corridor that people use to walk through the train. Thus begins the balancing act of swiftly removing items from my suitcase without blocking the pathway for others.

The seemingly mundane details of one's day become a complex challenge when living on a train. If removing clothes from a suitcase is the first, showering is the second. Too much has been said about Jagriti Yatra's makeshift showers, the epitome of jugaad, to not experience them firsthand. My feet shower before my body thanks to the ankle-deep waterlogging. Buckets and mugs have not yet arrived yet, so it's double up your old water bottle as a two-in-one. But one litre of water and a speck of shower gel later, I feel invincible.

Photo of Yatra Diaries [Part 2]: Of Showers, and Settling In - Saanya Gulati 2/2 by Saanya Gulati

I am immune to the 'You didn't need to shower on Day 1!' exclamations that ensue as I walk down the corridor cleansed and chirpy. Having won the shower battle starts my morning on an unfathomably positive note.

Back in my compartment, I ponder over how easy it is to view a challenge as minute or monumental depending on one's mindset. After all, mindset is what will get us through the rest of this journey.

This is the second part of #YatraDiaries, a mini-series chronicling my 15-day journey on the Jagriti Yatra, 2015. Read part 1 Jagriti Yatra is an ambitious train journey of discovery and transformation that takes hundreds of India's youth on a 15 day, 8000 km national odyssey to meet diverse social and business entrepreneurs in the country. Their vision is to build India through enterprise. As a Yatri-2015, I will be chronicling snippets of my journey in a blog series called Yatra Diaries. You can also follow #BombayDelhiGirlxJY on social media for some of my photographs capturing the yatra.
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