[ I usually do not post about personal things like my trips.. but today I am feeling a little “un-heard”.. So my blog bears the brunt! 🙂 ]
21 April 2007: Amma, Raghu and I set out for Chennai. I miss my Appa, especially at railway stations. He would be after my life asking me to eat mirchi bajjis, or samosas, or medu vadas, even as I vehemently shook my head: NO!
Anyway, it is a pretty uneventful trip.
22 April 2007: We reach Chennai Central, catch an auto to Egmore. As usual, Amma grumbles about the auto drivers.The coffee in Chennai tastes heavenly.. We help ourselves to a cup each. Breakfast is yummy pongal and idlis from Saravana Bhavan. We get on to the Koodal Express. I make friends with two cute kids, Pradeesh and Sarika, and dole them out Amar chitra kathas. The boy decides to keep one of them, in my ‘memory’.
We hop out of the train at Ariyalur. There is no platform to greet our tired feet, rather, we have rocks. We run across them and the tracks, trying to escape a train chugging onto our way. We come out unscathed. Only, Amma’s chappal goes kaput. My hair is dishevelled and my backpack hangs down quite ungracefully. We run out of the station, baggage in hand. To our luck, there is a bus to Thanjavur waiting right outside. We rush in, take our seats.
An hour later we reach Thanjavur bus stand (old). We get into a mini bus. There is some nice music playing. I am feeling thoroughly entertained. We get down at EB colony and walk half a kilometre to my aunt’s ( my mother’s sister) house. This is their new house. I do not like this house very much, I liked their previous ones better.. especially the one on Vilar Road. It had red oxide flooring and an attic cum store room on the first floor. This room had all sorts of unimaginable things: a broken fan, notebooks from 1950, books with notations for various kritis ( my thatha was an artist with the AIR ), cockroaches, lizards, bags of rice, vadams from last year, workbooks from Sacred Heart High School, old sarees, kutti empty bottles of “kasturi”tablets, old mugs and buckets, the lot! I miss rummaging through all that, which seemed like great treasures…
We bathe, eat, dress. I somehow feel like dressing up, which is a rare moment. I wear a printed silk saree and put on kajal and eye liner. I also wear jasmine in my hair. We take a qualis to Swamimalai temple. The ride is extremely pleasant: A.R. Rehman music in the background and roads lined with green fields and coconut trees.
We reach the temple at around 5 pm. It makes me very nostalgic, because I have visited this temple many times as a child. I remembered all those “running races” from the entrance to the top floor where the main sannidhi is, those fights over the cheap “kaleidoscopes” we bought outside the temple, getting blessed by the temple elephant, the scramble for prasadam, the peacock they once had.. We have a very good darshanam.
We stop by for tea. There is a beggar who is begging for tea: Amma, tea vaangi kudu! ( Mother, get me tea!). I am very amused. My mother, the beggar and I have tea. It tastes very good. We buy sweets from Bombay Sweet House on our way back.
We rest for a while, chat. At 8 pm, we have a sumptuous dinner of idlies with sambar, yum! We set out for the bus stop. We catch the 9:40 bus to Chennai. The ride is horrible, totally rash driving. He stops at 2 am at a small stall. The guy there plays all “hot”numbers, typical “midnight masala” kinds. For eg, deyy, kaiyya vechukuttu summa iru daaa..deyy.
23 April 2007: We land in Chennai, precisely at Ekkaduthangal. I am woken up ( yes, I manage to catch some sleep, in spite of everything!). I hop out bleary-eyed, one slipper in my hand, the other dangling precariously from my foot. We catch an auto to Alwar Thirunagar. Now, this is one house I absolutely love. With my sweet athai (father’s sister) handing out endless cups of amazing coffee and the different animals that roam inside the house, it is totally chaotic and totally blissful! They have two dogs and a cat and a cow that occasionally stops by.
I chat with my cousins, Prabha and Seenu. I get teased and ribbed like crazy. It is fun. I then take a loongg bath and get dressed. At 9:30 am, we set out for shopping. EEKS! We go to T. Nagar. I am already feeling sick… The shop is extremely crowded , I feel like running out and away. We manage to finish all the shopping and get out. We stop for bhelpuri and milk shake at a kutti café. Prabha and I take an auto home, just the two of us, where I get juicy details of her love life, without prying adult eyes, hehe!
Back home, I initiate her into Neopets. We spend the rest of the afternoon haggling for pet products and trying to satiate poor Picchoo’s hunger.. He’s been hungry for more than two months now! We do a lot of giggling and laughing. It has been a long time since I did those too…
At around 4:30 pm, we set out for the railway station. We catch the 6: 10 Charminar Express to Hyderabad. Again, a very uneventful night on the train.
24 April 2007: The train is more than an hour late. We reach home finally at 9:30 am.
Phew! Not a very interesting account, I am afraid! 😛