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Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Been out of the blogosphere for a week b'cos of vacation tour.It's not really a tour but a simple trip planned to drain the vacation blues i'm having here at chennai.It went like this:

A DAY IN THE A/C CITY-The trip began on 22nd night.I boarded the Rajahamsa bus belonging to KSRTC.At the mofussil bus stand,passengers bound for bangalore were simply buying tickets for KSRTC and everyone seemed to ignore that corroded sheet of metal called SETC.However the SETC managed to fill itself up thanx to fleecing by the conductor.When will they upgrade themselves,I wondered.

After a rather uncomfortable journey,I got down at indira nagar at Old madras road.My uncle was waiting there to pick me up and off we went to his house in 100 ft road.To compensate for the lack of sleep in the bus,I had a good 2-hour sleep in my uncle's house which was actually a bachelor's quarters.

At 10 my uncle took me to his office at ulsoor.Tried to catch a breathtaking view of the city from the top floor but all i saw was trees,trees everywhere.At 11 I caught an auto and headed to koramangala to visit one of my schoolmates,kaushik.I went all the way into the national games colony searching for his block.Unable to find it,I asked a passer-by for directions.He directed me to the other extreme end of the colony.I walked all the way to the other end,found his block,went up to the storey where he lived and found his house only to find it locked.Waste of time.

At once I came out of the colony and headed to "FORUM".As I didnt have enough cash with me I didnt purchase anything.Spent time watching colourful birds from Christ College.At around 3,I returned to Indira nagar.The cool weather made me sleep for a good 2 hours.At 6 again I went for a walk around the locality.Spotted a good number of birds and at 730,got ready to leave for thrissur.

My uncle returned home rather late and we had to rush to Madiwala.Bangalore's infrastructure woes came into the picture at the airport road junction.The LED signals of this tech-city were switched off even at the peak hour.After a damned 20-minute wait,we reached madiwala 5 minutes before boarding time and boarded it at 820.

This was how my one day at bangalore went.I witnessed with my very own eyes what I had read in Outlook,Dataquest,India today,Business world,Business today,The week and economic times----reports of "Crumbling Bangalore".The sambar at sukh sagar had sugar added in it and the dosa I got was wet cloth.But still I made the most of my stay.
IN GOD'S OWN COUNTRY---The reason why we went to thrissur was that one of my cousins was getting married in guruvayur.The driver who promised to land in thrissur at 6 landed an hour late.We got down and rushed to find a bus stand.We finally found a bus bound for guruvayur and reached there at 8 just in time for the muhurat.Somehow we managed to pop our heads into the marriage hall.Then we went to the guruvayur temple,clad in dhotis and angavastrams.We returned to the marriage hall at 12 and had lunch.

I was pleased to find that traditional banana leaf spread out before me(I'd had enough at sukh sagar).To my surprise,sidedishes kept pouring in.There were in all 15 side dishes.Somehow managed to cope with it.

At 2 we started off for thrissur.Our next stop was to be at nagercoil(for those who dont know,nagercoil is a miniature town in kanyakumari district).We reached thrissur at 3 and went to the station to board the waynad express to trivandrum.The train came chugging in from shoranur at 315.

At ernakulam,one seat opposite to us became vacant.Two girls(one pretty and another seemingly pretty) stormed into the coach and one was quick enough to drop her suitcase on that vacant seat.They both cuddled together in the same seat right opposite to me.At kottayam those two got down to buy a bottle of water.The moment they got down,the train started and they were not seen for about 30 mins and then they arrived.They had probably boarded some coach which came in their way.I boldly initiated a conversation with them and found that those two had completed their first year at cochin university.They asked about me and on the mention of the word "madras",they began asking about it.I spent a good one and a half hours explaining the ins and outs of the city.Finally the most FAQ came---chennai is damn hot,na???

The pretty one got down at quilon and the other one bid us farewell and headed to the next coach.We arrived at trivandrum at 1030 in the night and luckily found a TNSTC bus waiting in the bus stand bound for nagercoil.Another 2.5 hours of a sleepless journey on NH47 and finally reached nagercoil at 1 am.

This was my one day in kerala.It was raining 24 x 7 in the state.Sometimes heavy sometimes drizzle.Tamilians who have not seen pure water for decades would envy the sight of rivers and backwaters running full.In case u dont know the meaning of "excess water",see it for urself here.
A TALE OF TWO TOWNS---It was saturday the 25th.My uncle accompanied my grandpa to the eye hospital for his cataract surgery while I stayed at home taking care of my grandmother.I spent the whole day in the house flipping through ESPN,HBO,NGC etc.

On sunday the very morning,i headed to Warrens the popular ice cream parlour in the town.Here ice-cream is made with cow's milk.Milkshakes and hot drinks were also available there.Devoured into the fruity ice-cream the moment it arrived.

At 2 my dad came all the way from trivandrum to visit my grandpa.He left at 7 but not without me.I accompanied him to tvm.

Nagercoil is connected to trivandrum by the national highway-47.It is not worth being called an NH since the entire stretch of 68kms resembles a street that forms 1/4th of mount road.That's the reason why it takes 2.5 hours to traverse the distance.

Next is trivandrum.It is the capital of kerala but doesnt seem to be.Cochin seems to be more prominent than tvm.(Like mumbai has more prominence over delhi).It doesnt fit the description of a city.Narrow roads,potholed roads,roads w/o street lights all exist in this town which is poised to be kerala's IT hub.Example of lax governance.

I stayed overnight with my dad and the next day(monday),I visited my grand-uncle no.1 at a place called thycaud.Stayed there for about 2 hrs and then headed to jawahar nagar to visit grand-uncle no.2 which also was where that newly wedded cousin was present.A huge gang was present there.The newly wedded cousin's in-laws were present.One of his in-laws turned out to be an IIT-M grad.I was engaged in conversation with him for most of the time.Amidst all this was present,my sweetest cousin from bangalore.She was of my age and visiting her was my first priority and as planned,a major portion of the time was spent with her.She too asked about chennai and I gave a neat description.She was amazed at my knowledge of localities in bangalore.

I left at 6.She was the only one who saw me off.The others just bade me goodbye.I left her with a heavy heart.I reached home at 630 and switched on the TV to find--"NATIONWIDE STRIKE TOMORROW IN VIEW OF FUEL-PRICE HIKE".Doubts started reeling in my mind.Will buses run??Will trains run??I was to board the kanyakumari--egmore express from nagercoil.My dad arrived at 8 and assured me that vehicles would run.Leaving all doubts to rest,I slept off.

BACK TO MADRAS---The next day I was happy to find cars and buses rambling.Lorries and autos stayed away from the roads.I went to the bus stand by town bus and boarded the first bus bound for nagercoil.The journey was completed in record time of 1.5 hours thanx to the lorries.

As usual I carried home 3 packets of banana chips,2 kgs of tirunelveli halwa and some milk-khoa.At 5 in the evening the train chugged into nagercoil junction from kanyakumari.I checked out the reservation chart.No young female co-passengers.So I bought a copy each of India-Today,the week,Frontline and outlook.Was reading these books till Virudhunagar.Finished them at Madurai.As soon as the train left madurai,I hopped into the upper berth,closed my eyes and awoke the next morning at Chengalpet.I brushed my teeth and since two old people were still sleeping in the lower berth I stood near the entrance watching the GST road outside.At 6 the train reached tambaram and at 630,mambalam.I got down at mambalam(tried spotting the dreamydryad but couldnt) and hired an auto rickshaw which carried me all the way to Besant nagar for a flat rate of 70 bucks.I tried bargaining but the driver said "Petrol vela yeri pochu sir(Petrol prices have increased,sir)".Needless to say,I went on.

Property of Sheks @ 11:20 pm  
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Name: Sheks
Home: Madras, TamilNadu, India
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