Isn’t this image too familiar to some of us? The red train, the typical posture of many through train-windows like this gentleman, and slow-pace negotiations with hawkers were the typical scenarios at Dhaka Kamalapur Rail Station 30-40 years ago. There was always an urge to reach an acceptable price for both parties once the train was about to move. The hawker used to walk fast or even run parallel with the window of the running train to settle a last-minute price in a fast-pace negotiation, get paid, return changes, and deliver the goods to the passenger. Super efficient! There was an intrinsic mutual trust between passengers and hawkers at that time –no unpaid and undelivered goods. The facial expression of this gentleman reminds me of various negotiation techniques usually applied by passengers.
Interestingly, there was a strong relationship between train stations and boiled eggs with cha (tea), like the relationship of popcorn with movie theatre these days. I always wondered, why boil eggs were so popular on the train? The red colour and the overly clean train, as well as the surroundings compared to today’s condition, suggest that this image was probably captured in the 1970s.