The extract is also reproduced below:
Discovering compassion in India
Went to the platform and the train was already there. It was filling up fast so I jumped on. Found a place in the corridor by a window where I had to sit on my bag as there were no seats left. The compartment was absolutely jam-packed and there was no room to move. Even so they managed to pack in more people at a couple of stations along the way.
We stopped at one when things started to go wrong. I had been perched on my bag reading, getting covered in soot and dirt from the steam engine, when for the first time I had to move as the platform came along on my side.
It wasn’t easy, to say the least, as I battled against crowds of people and became pretty dazed fighting to get away from the door. Only about ten minutes later did I discover that my wallet was missing!
After a search round, with the help of virtually everyone in the carriage, I came to the conclusion that someone getting off at the previous station had picked my pocket. I was upset and annoyed at myself as this was the first time in all my travels I had been a victim of anything as basic. There was R290 in the wallet but at least I still have my passport and travellers cheques.
The people in the carriage were good to me. They first helped look for the money and when we realised it had been stolen they started a small collection, which at first I tried to stop. Everyone put in one or two rupees, quite a lot for many of these people. In the end they collected nearly R80 which was given to me.
I was really grateful and couldn’t thank them enough.