Wednesday, May 18, 2011

lalbagh diary - musings from the track - part 3

1105 finally arakonnam and this is the last leg of the journey ; though another one and half hours to go . An old man is holding on to his dhoti which is tripping him  and he runs with a green sack of baggage on his head. Funny I thought the massive luggage is balancing fine, but his dhoti is not. Another man holding a red tray full of colourful cool drinks was making quick business

1115 my co pax and I finally began bonding as we joined together cribbing abt these men who have changed the coach into a local train . They are standing crowding around us and there's no place for even the pantry guys to come in . Incidentally we spoke abt our lives and chatted about our jobs and our monthly trips between the two cities - we did have something in common besides the cribs , altho she prefers bangalore and me , of course madras

1130 I decide to look out of the window to distract myself and see the scenery drastically change from forests and fields to real estate plots - every beautiful landscape has been stripped to form these societies - depressing ! A kid wails and her mother tries to distract her . Trains slowing down again and we see some compounds of small houses - its thiruvallur now

1140 I am now hungry - but there's no sign of the veg cutlets - the vendors walked in just twice - bajji , onion vadai, masala vadai, some soup too and even holige or boli , the sweet - but no veg cutlets . Those guys also have disappeared; there's no place for them to walk through the crowd standing I guess

1145 airtel has already welcomed me to chennai - I see the chennai from the window - vast open spaces with towers all over ; reminds me of my maternal grandfather, an engineer of his time who travelled the length and breadth of our country and even abroad building towers . My dads father was another great traveller of his times - a visionary , he had been to so many countries . He would be comfortable in a big city , an electricity less remote forest and villages . Both of them loved nature and heritage and were men of never ending energy and passion . I inherited the wanderlust from them .

1155 finally the outskirts of madras and places I'm familiar with avadi , ambattur - once remember being stranded in ambatttur when I was a difft me, someone who was scared to even get out of the house alone , someone who was always protected and lived a cloistered life .

1200 the bags come down as everyones getting ready to leave - now the local stops will start . This is the difference with the shatabdi - it stops only at central - the coffee , tea, soup, mineral water and cool drinks sales ends .

1201 perambur - always been my dream to see the coach factory here ; fascinated by trains and esplly goods trains - don't ask me why .

1205 - Another 3 odd stations now ; quite a long stop - all the jokers who were standing refused to gv room to those who alighted ; remember travellg by this train a few years ago in a normal non AC compartment and it was a nightmare after katpadi- arakonam - it becomes a local unreserved train with people standing sweating - worse than the most crowded pallavan 29C

1210 finally at basin bridge , speaking to one of the men who is standing near our seat - heard that the group of men waiting here are headg to madras fm katpadi for a meeting . I asked why they didn't organise a coach for them - irony that they were standing all this while and he just shrugged and instead spoke about his life - he was fm bangalore and he is now in the communications dept in katpadi ; he told me the man in the sunflowery badge was their leader called kanhaiya . He started bragging about the guy but we were already approaching central

1215 pulling into central station and the crowd outside the platform is more - the lalbagh leaves as the express and already the gen class compartment is teeming with people who are ready to leave for bangalore . The sea breeze is so refreshing as I step out and breathe the fresh air - I just love this city .

1 comment:

KParthasarathi said...

Wow.Got the feel of an actual travel in the train with your vivid description of the scenes.Thanks