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Sundara Travels April 19, 2008

Posted by Abishek in Uncategorized.
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‘Dedicate’ has become a buzz word these days, switch on any music channel, i guarentee two sure-shot questions our VJs would shoot: 1. ‘Have you reduced your TV volume?’ I could recollect an anchor who went to the extent of suggesting his over enthusiastic caller to dismantle the speakers from his TV, and question 2. ‘Whom do you want to dedicate this song?’  Which is followed by  an indefinite linked list starting kayalvizhi, kumar annan, kanathu kuppam raja, blah blah blah… Whatever, all I wanted to tell is I am dedicating this blog to my favourite companion Alagesh… Most of you might know Alagesh as I would raved about him already, for the ignorant he was born a Yamaha Rx135, lived as a faithful girl friend to his owner for 8 years, then managed to capture my heart and got rechristened as Alagesh. He screams when I am happy and groans when I am sad and is the most exciting one to hang out with.

The first vehicle I remember driving was a scooter tyre. In ‘those days’ it was the preferred toy/vehicle for kids in my area. My obsession with the scooter tyre earned me the title TVS – Tyre (V)Oruti Saniyan (translation: Tyre rolling saturn ). Then ‘Lightfoot’ came into my life when i was in my 6th grade, a Hercules Rockshock. He withstood my abuse for 5 years. My favourite activities with him being driving for hours discovering road side puppies and naming them, I still remember baptising a black puppy as ‘karupaayee’. I also remember driving a bullock cart in my village. The best part was our bullock needed to be driven only on the to-journey, he would always remember way back home eager to meet his fiance gomadha. And we could shift gears just by a twist of his shitty tail!

Travel is always so much fun, I could see many places and many people. Once I was travelling in this Bangalore Inter-city express, Settling into my window-seat i was eagerly awaiting my co-passengers.. how nice it would be if a buch of IT girls turn up! my trip would become einstein-short! The train started but my compartment alone was almost empty… with a sigh i pulled up my mobile for the free time pass called SMS.  And then came this horrible place called Tiruppur. A dozen 70 year old women stacked up my compartment… i could hear my heart burst off in disappointment… Wont Tiruppur have any teenagers at all?? thus started my einstein long journey… I wonder if those grannies had some dress code or what… they either wore an shiny green or blue saree only, same hair style called kondai, and an oc purse given at the shop where they bought their blue/green sarees. Just as I started disliking them one grannie with the traditional south Indian hospitality offered me a laddu. My heart melted and I said to myself ‘grannies are nice after all’… but then came their actual intention… they came up with a complex logic and claimed that the compartment was a ladies compartment as they were the majority. ‘Enna kodumai sir idhu!’ I was pushed to another corner while the unloaded their ever-silver tins containing puliyodharai, laddu, mixture and what not…

General practice among Indian travellers is to pretend they never see their co-passengers. Infact they start assuming there is no co-passenger at all… One common mistake one should not make is leave his seat free for a while… If you do, 100% it would be occupied by someone when you return… and coincidentally after they occupy your seat, you wont be visible or audible to them. Probably they are from tiruppur i guess. Another exciting thing with train journey  are the trans-genders… they are full of terror, but some fun as well… They should be appreciated in one aspect, they always announce their arrival with self-applause. Once we were on a college trip to Mumbai, some wise friends have advised that these trans-genders would come and they wont leave us without emptying our purse… As expected they did come with all bells and whistles… A friend came running announcing their arrival… In a fraction of a second our adrenaline pumped jackie chan stunts into us and 6 of us stacked up in 2 upper berths and pretending to sleep…  There was a friend who was stunned seeing a trans-gender face to face that he got hypnotised to give currency by currency from his purse.

However, the most exciting means of travel is the 24/7 local Government Bus Service. This is how a festival weekend journey would be: If you start from Bangalore around 9 pm, you need to clear the preliminary battle with around 20 people to get a standing ticket till Hosur. Don worry that you are standing, the bus will have two televisions, out of which one tv will be having a reddish hue in its screen. The Pioneer DVD set (as claimed by the screensaver) would play vadivelu comedy so that you dont realise standing for 2 hrs. Since Hosur bustand is supposed to be under rennovation, you would be dropped on a highway which would be masked like a market place. This time the mission is a little difficult. You have atleast 500 people to battle it out. You could approach the bus in two ways: one, give you luggage to your friend and run behind the bus and crawl into the bus. You will succeed in this process if you are athletic enough and you have stamped over atleast two people running with you. Second way, run with your luggage bag along the open window side of the bus and drop your bag on a free seat to secure a place. You will succed in this way if you have good logical/analytical skills plus an appropriate luggage size. Finally you make it to a bus. Its celebration time, as the title song for the TV movie plays. As per my experiene there is a 80% probability for the movie to be Thamarabharani or Thirupatchi. Just as you settle and start feeling hungry the bus will pull over in one of the most exotic places in the world. You wont know what that place is, but the bus conductor will announce a 10 minute break for food and piss. You would be overwhelmed as you get down, the hotel boy would call out the menu loudly. You could hear the cook preparing kothu barota in full swing. Remember to identify your bus at this juncture as there will be several other buses and you should not forget you bus livery. The will be a audio cs shop with large wooden speakers playing loud 70’s hits. There would be a couple of condiment shops with unamed confections of a dozen variety in big glass jars. The manufacturing date for these items would always be claimed as morning that day. There would also be a sugarcane juice shop on one corner. As you leave this happening place, next destination is Salem. The movie will get over and people will start to doze… Not it time for you to play tactics… You neighbour will always fall asleep on you. Best way to handle this is to slide off and make him fall all over, he will be disturbed and retun within his seat limits. You need to do this all night. Finally you would reach salem, much later than the time promised by the conductor… It should be early morning and getting the coimbatore bus should be relatively easy, just hop on and pray 2 things: first, they dont show thamarabharani/thirupaachi again; second, a tirupur person doesnt sit along with you!

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