On November 30, 2012, we took an overnight train from Kolkata to Delhi. Ramesh dropped us of at the train station and came onto the train to make sure we got the compartment and right seats, etc. We finally said our goodbyes and the train started shortly afterwards.
We shared our first class compartment with two guys. We had hoped to have a compartment to ourselves, but it was not to be. The train was totally booked. One of the two fellows was in his mid-forties and the other guy was a retired MP who had represented the State of Bengal, who got on after the train had been going for an hour. We thought that we, PC and I, both had the tickets for the lower berths, but apparently, since the older man was an ex-MP, and older than me, he had priority. So, I had to climb up to the upper berth which was not the easist thing to do. The ladder was very narrow, stuck on the edge of the berth, and you barely get your foot onto the rungs. It also tended to swerve outwards as you climbed up. You had to hang on tightly or fall off. I only had to come down once after I settled down to sleep. Thank goodness!
The younger fellow was an engineer, a Bengali but living in Delhi. Very nice to talk to and we had long discusssions about the Indian government prior to the ex-MP boarding the train. He told us that MP's, and particularly Bengali MP's, tended to be very long-winded. They were intellectual and smart and had many interesting ideas but were totally ineffectual. The young man was correct in that the ex-MP was a very long winded. He was a member of the communist party and talked on and on, and and barely gave himself time to eat his dinner. The younger man finally got impatient and told him he should eat his dinner because it was getting cold! Luckily, the ex-MP was interesting to listen to.