Our train back to Delhi for Jaisalmer caused yet more problems. It turned out that we had booked our tickets for the wrong day and had to buy Sleeper Class tickets instead of Second Class AC, which was a big downgrade and meant that we didn’t really have reserved seats. However, with our luck, we managed to find a super friendly Indian man who spoke to the ticket officer for us and made sure no one got to angry when they realised that we were in their seats. We were looking forward to reaching Jaipur, when most of the men would be getting off the train, but as we neared the station, I was more reluctant to see them go and wondered who would replace them. The friend we made told another guy to keep an eye on us when he had to leave the train and for a few hours, we managed to get some sleep. Yasmin and Claire were on the bottom bunks, so when they awoke, they noticed that other passengers were sitting on their seats next to them, which was a bit of a shock! I didn’t experience this, as I was on the middle bunk. The train had become packed in the brief time that we were asleep and many people were standing up in the corridors, so you couldn’t even walk down them.
When we arrived in Delhi, the traffic was horrendous and it was rainy and muddy. We passed the slums and saw many disabled beggars and people missing limbs as well as a group of boys shooting up, under a bridge. It was not a particularly nice welcome to the capital city. We were feeling absolutely disgusting, have been on the train for 18 hours and not being able to shower. Yasmin arranged for us to meet Aishwarya Dravid, Editor of The Viewspaper, a newspaper written by young people. She took us to a really nice part of town for lunch at the Smokehouse Deli, and as soon as we got there, we rushed to get changed and freshen up. After lunch, Aishwarya took us to the airport to get our flights back to Bangalore!
In my last week of working at Indulge, I typed up my interview with Arundhati Ghosh, the Executive Director of the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) and went to a cooking course media event with another intern, Paige. It was a really fun event and we got to meet some other journalists and photographers, such as Thammy Raman, who we later went with to a club called Loveshack and met some of his DJ friends, as well as our friend, Viren.
Thammy also came with us to UB City for an Art Bengaluru exhibition, which was amazing.
Viren invited us to a Mini Cooper Fashion Show at F Bar the following night. I was expecting it to be a catwalk show but it seemed more like an after party, where the shows were displayed on the TV screens but it was a club night with an open bar. Due to the 11.30pm curfew in Bangalore, we ended up at an expat after party, so I had about three hours sleep when I got back before I needed to leave for the airport and fly to London.
It was really sad saying goodbye to the other interns and my colleagues at Indulge, as well as the friends we made in Bangalore. I am very much looking forward to going back to India sometime when I finish my studies.