Ahmedabad to Jaisalmer Friday 13th

Ahmedabad to Jaisalmer

Everything was going swimmingly, although the train was already one and a half hours late when we got to the station just outside Jodhpur. Indian train timing, shanti shanti. Working on single track rails you have to wait patiently until you see a train hurtling past, then you know it’s your turn to start moving again.

We spent our time learning crochet. So many people ask me to teach them crafts and so many people present with stories of failed tuition. Teachers impatient to teach their style without that sense of coaching the pupil to find there own way. So when Colette said she wanted to learn I first started by finding our her learning style.

I often feel the anxiety in pupils eager to learn, racing ahead and replaying in their minds failed attempts to pick up a new skill. ‘Please give me lots of encouragement, show me slowly’. Crochet is mathematical, counting the chain loops, keeping in mind the design and sensing each next step, assimilating a new skill. And to take time to learn, slowly in your own time. And waiting for that ‘Aha’ moment, ‘I’ve got it’. As the countryside hurtled past, a chain became two rows and then three rows. And then ‘that’s enough for today’.

Day turned to night and we still were not in Jodhpur, more delays. I wondered out of the carriage, why had we stopped...and then, a crash. I was nearly thrown from the train, a man I was talking to narrowly missed being hit by a flying bin. Colette emerged, concerned we were ok, baggage had been thrown from the luggage rack, we were very lucky not to be hurt. Another train had hit us head on. If it has happened on an open track at speed we would have derailed. Signal problem no doubt

A friend came to collect us and we took a cab to Jodphur. Hot food and cold water was a welcome relief although the two and a half hours waiting in the heat of the night at Jodphur further tested our patience.

We finally boarded our original train as it pulled into the station at 12.30,our arrival in Jaisalmer was now to be at dawn not dust of the previous day. 22 hours instead of 12 hours, it felt as if Friday 13th had been an unfortunate date for a maiden voyage.

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