Getting a train in India is a near impossible proposition without a prior reservation, or without a persistent indifference that could alleviate the numbing exercise of registering on the waiting rolls, where the wait for each car can run above fifty people and several days.
I had planned the trip meticulously with a minor gap stretching West across the dry plains of Rajasthan and into the near reaches of the Thar desert, to Jodhpur. I dithered over this stretch because I wasn’t sure how far we might like to head into the grayish yellow stretch of empty space on the map. But now it was too late for a train…we caught a taxi and headed out in the early evening along the highway.
Jodhpur was dark and quiet except for the dogs. The dark and narrow streets of the old town curved wildly along some unseen axis and off through ruined stone gates past the reach of the lamplight. The buildings were streaked with a sort of phosphorescence that would reveal its color in the morning.
The sunrise revealed a city that offered a reflection of the slowly expanding sky overhead. As the still-red sun peeked into the cerulean sky overhead. The ochre ramparts of the hill fortress looked down on the blue city below.