A short piece on the attitudes & advantages of sadhu chillum-smoking & railway travel in India in the 1960s …. perhaps slightly tongue-in-cheek.
Early Indian summer 1968. Delhi is getting hot & although Bombay & Goa are no cooler, it seems time to make a move.
Maybe we had outstayed our welcome somewhere. It may have been that summer when an Ashram on the Modi estate at Modinagar was lent to Ram Giri as a foreign-baba centre; didn’t last long – within a month we were all kicked out – too many hippies invited off the Delhi streets; no discipline & too much uncontrolled drug taking.
The Nagas like their rituals ….. not spur-of-the-moment hippy experimenting. Word got around quick & Modinagar finished. No money ……
So Ram Giri, Acid Michael & I decided to take the long slow sleeper train to Bombay ….. and to travel ticketless in third class, acceptable in those days. Third class was the poorest of the poor accommodation, hard benches, crammed luggage racks, overflowing toilets, as many passengers on the roof as inside. Nobody would mind crazy Westerners travelling without tickets in third.
But third was full, no way of climbing on board; Delhi station crammed, bustling, hotter than hot. Things looked bad.