Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Train Journey - Bangalore to Chennai - Vacation 2014

The Yellow Board

I took the train back to Chennai from KR Puram railway station. My host, my friend for life, Kamesh, was kind enough to drop me at the station, early morning on that Christmas Day.

We reached the station just few minutes before the arrival of the train. The queue in the ticket counter was so long that I couldn't want for Kamesh to buy his platform ticket to accompany me to the platform. Kamesh instructed me to find the parking lot of my reserved compartment 'D' from the board in the platform. I couldn't find the board written 'D' on it. I could find A,B and C.I was looking at the small boards that were hanging from the roof.

I walked from this end to that end, twice, looking for my compartment number, in vain. I finally decided to ask some one. I went near two ladies. Looked at the younger one and asked,"Yeh compartment kahan rukega?" showed my mobile for her to read the booking confirmation SMS. She didn't look at my mobile and blinked at me.

I again said,"Chennai Express, compartment D, kahan rukega?". She murmured something which I didn't understand.

I said,"Do you know English?". She smiled and shook her head twice, which meant a NO.

I said,"Kannada?"

She smiled and nodded her head up and down twice. People were watching me strolling up and down with my mobile stretched forward. I felt like an uneducated nomad. There was a family standing next to the girl watching and listening to our conversation.

I walked forward a step ahead and asked a girl,"Do you know where the Compartment D would be parked?"

She answered,"You can find out from the board there. Which train?".

I said,"Chennai Express. But I could see other compartments and not D", pointing at the hanging boards.

She smiled and said,"Oh! you missed the large yellow board that shows the train names along with the parking spot of the compartments. Come with me"

I followed her. The large yellow board was erected right at the middle of the platform. I felt so shy and foolish to have missed that board that I laughed at myself.

She scanned the board for a few moments and said,"Your compartment would be parked in the place where you asked that girl. So lets go and wait there. In fact, I have bought a general ticket, though I have a tatkal ticket booked for me. But it is in waiting list. I shall ask the ticket checker to allot a cancelled seat for me."

I looked at her blankly. She understood and said,"Yeah, when your booked ticket is in waiting list and if you buy a general ticket before boarding the train, you can cajole the ticket checker to allot any of the cancelled seat, by giving him 'something'." I smiled at her.

The train arrived. People who were standing here and there started running towards the entrance of my compartment. The train would stop just for 2 minutes in that station. So,everybody wanted to get in before the train moved. I found no change in the behavior of the crowd.

The Fat Lady

I had a reservation and my seat number was 49, the window seat. I don't remember the name of the station from where this fat lady boarded the train. She looked at me and said,"50,51,55 get up". I looked at her and she waved her hand at me and at those who were sitting next to me. The one next to me was an old lady and she took her own time to get up. Probably she didn't have a seat reserved for her. She was supposed to travel in a general compartment. The fat lady looked at me annoyingly. I actually laughed at her and showed the written seat numbers to make clear that my seat number was actually 49. She shouted until others got up. Her behavior looked so funny to me. She didn't even made an attempt to verify or ask for my seat number, before commanding me as well as the others to get up. After the seats were vacated by a handful of people, her husband, her daughter and herself took their seats and sat comfortably. 
While this fat lady was preparing to sit I heard a loud argument just two rows ahead of me. I heard a girl shouting,"You should ask us politely, Mam. We have also reserved seats for us and we all are friends. We just want to sit near each other."  LOL! I know why the girl was angry with that woman.

Uma, the Observer

I am a kind of person who is interested in observing and analyzing the actions and reactions of persons in any given situation. This fat lady just got inside the train carrying all her luggage. I guess she was tired because she helped her thin husband to carry the suitcases from home to the train. She must also be tired due to her body weight. She was upset because her seat was occupied. She just wanted to sit and relax ASAP. Until then her body would not cooperate with her mind to act in a more polite manner. I was right. Because after sitting comfortably on the opposite seat of mine, she was bit composed and quiet. She stamped on my feet almost ten times before making herself comfortable. She didn't bother to apologize. I know the leg space was too small to accommodate her big feat. I had to sit tight to make more leg space for her throughout the 6 hours journey. She smiled at me after some time. I smiled back at her. She tried to strike a conversation with me. But I was not interested. So I buried my face in the book I bought from Higginbothams, Jeff's 'Kane and Abel'. 

Destined Meeting

I found Bangalore very very very cold. I returned to Chennai, with severe cold and throat infection. I had to pop a pain pill in the middle of the journey to feel better. After reaching the Park station from Chennai central station, I walked towards the ticket counter to buy the train ticket to Pallavaram. The girl who helped me in KR Puram railway station to find the parking lot of my compartment, was walking on the platform.

I smiled at her and said,"Oh! we are here again, together."

She smiled back and asked me,"Oh, yes. Where are you going?"

I said,"Pallavaram. And you?"

She replied,"Chrompet."

I asked,"What about the ticket?"

She said,"I have a monthly pass."

She walked away from me and I went to stand in the queue. There were five persons in the queue already. I was the sixth and the last. A guy came and stood beside me. I thought he has come along with some one else who was already standing in the queue somewhere.

After a while, he went to the guy who was standing before me and said,"Kannada"?

This guy looked at him questioningly. He said again,"Neenu Kannada?" and added,"Oru ticket Tambaram."

The guy who stood before me said in Tamil,"Queuela vaanga." (Stand in the queue)

The "Kannada" guy went back to stand in the queue.  Three more persons were standing behind me in the queue now. 

I bought the ticket and started to climb up the overhead bridge to the platform. The train to Pallavaram arrived and came to a halt. I was still climbing down the stairs, carrying my rolling travel suitcase. I didn't want to run down with the heavy suitcase, so I climbed down in normal speed. The train didn't leave the station until I boarded the ladies compartment. I found a vacant seat and went to sit there. The same girl was already sitting in the opposite seat of mine. This time we both laughed.

I said," I am back to you, again."

She playfully said,"Are you not going to leave me?"

I said,"Nope. I feel grateful to you. Because you helped me in Bangalore."

She said,"Oh! that's ok."

I got down in Pallavaram, waved my hand at her and said bye for the last time. She smiled and waved her hand back at me. Some people come into our life for a reason, a season or a life time.

Luv u all

Monday, February 16, 2015

Thrilling Drives - Vacation 2014 - Bangalore

The path to the lakeview holiday home is not much illuminated. So if you plan a late evening drive to the city or beyond Jakkur Lake, then please make sure that you make a note of the turns and points to trace back your way to the apartment from the main road.

This is how thrilling it was when we returned back to the apartment after a late evening drive to the city

The drive to the city was not so thrilling. But it was really enjoyable to watch the decorations on the MG Road for Christmas and New Year.

I had a nice time with my friends & family and the city, Bangalore. I am already looking forward to my next vacation - to Mysore :)

Luv u all

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lake View Holiday Home - Vacation 2014 - Bangalore

I always wished and dreamed of taking a break in a place where there is more nature and less people. I love to live with nature. No, I am not talking about living in a forest. Though I love adventure.

My dreams are
  • to wake up listening to the chirping of the birds and to the bright sun light shining through my window
  • to be invited by the greenness, colorful birds and flowers in my backyard early morning
  • to watch the mother birds and other parent animals feeding their little ones
  • to take a long walk when the sun is slowly raising from the horizon, feeling the cool breeze on my cheeks
  • to laze around or lie in the backyard basking in the afternoon sun
  • to take a long walk in the evening to watch the birds flying back to their nests
  • to lie in the open terrace in the night, to count the stars and to watch the movements of the clouds over the moon
  • to walk in the woods after rainfall
  • to sit on top of a mountain to get the feel of the air and to look at the surrounding land, lake and water beneath the mountain
  • to scuba dive and touch the underwater animals and plants (am yet to learn swimming)
  • to climb a mountain on a horse
  • and many more
I made it a point to spend a few days with nature this vacation in 2014. I chose a service apartment of a friend of mine, which is near to a very large lake in Bangalore, the Jakkur Lake.  The view of the lake is beautiful from the windows, front patio and side patio of the first floor of the house.

So, if you are looking for a place
  • to watch ducks swim lazily
  • to watch little ripples of water on the lake day and night
  • to watch the colorful sunset behind the lake
Below is the view of the sun set from the side sit out of the first floor. It was such a pleasant feeling to look at the ever changing colors of the sky and the yellow ball of fire going down behind the trees.


  • to watch Emu and other birds roaming around your neighborhood

    • to watch the beautiful sunrise from your front patio
  • I am sure you will love this view of Sunrise from the window of the large hall

    • to taste the wine with your partner sitting on the side sit out enjoying the cool breeze from the lake
    • to unwind in a large living room on comfortable couches
    • to chit chat with your partner without interruptions from the barking stray dogs
    • to sleep peacefully sans your loud mouthed neighbors 

    then I recommend you, to call my dear and long time friend and cousin, Vijayan to book the holiday home for you. I also suggest, you should let Vijayan cook lunch or dinner for you. Because he is a great Chef. I literally drank many cups of Sambar that he made for lunch. And the Chappathi's that he prepared were soft and tasty. Rest assured that he has kept the kitchen clean and very hygienic. He also write posts occasionally for this blog. 

    Luv u all

Monday, February 9, 2015

PISASU with a handsome stranger - Vacation 2014 - Bangalore

It was Christmas holidays, so my princess was staying back at home. It's always fun at home when kids are around, as long as they listen to us. Ash, was a very obedient and sweet girl. She and Santhu went to participate in one of her friend's Birthday celebration in the neighborhood. Santhu said she danced in the party merrily. Sadly Santhu couldn't record it, because she left her mobile at home.

Afternoon was our appointment with the PISASU, the Tamil movie directed by, Mysskin, one of the most admired directors, by the present younger generation, in the Tamil film industry. The movie had all the interesting features such as comedy, suspense, thrill, action and romance. I enjoyed watching the movie in Gopalan Cinemas in Bannerghata Road.

A Handsome Stranger

We had three seats reserved for us, the adults. Ash had to be carried on either Kamesh's or Santhu's lap. When we found our way to our seats, I saw that our seats were in the middle of a row that had approximately ten to fifteen seats. There were four unoccupied seats. A handsome young man was sitting next to the third vacant seat. I know Kamesh would decide to occupy a seat, so that he could sit next to a man. So that either Santhu or myself could sit comfortably without worrying about being seated next to a stranger. But what would he do, if the other vacant seat is going to be occupied by a man?

I didn't leave either Santhu or Kamesh to tackle the situation. I went straight to sit next to a handsome stranger. Santhu sat next to me. Kamesh sat next to Santhu and carried Ash on his lap.

I looked at the stranger, only when I went to sit next to him. I have to admit that I was attracted to him. He looked nice. I had to calm myself and had to stop myself from turning towards him to take another look. I didn't want him to find that I was attracted to him. Because I knew I have to sit next to him for another two and a half hours. I knew I have to share the same arm rest of the chair. I knew I have to be very careful that my knees don't touch his knees when I sit comfortably. I knew I have to make myself as comfortable as possible without sending any wrong signals. I have the habit of squatting on the seat while watching a movie in a movie theatre. But this time, I had to force myself to not to do that while watching the movie for two and a half hours. It was tough but I succeeded. I was very decent. LOL!

Our lunch was Pizza in a Pizza Corner in the same mall. The last time I had a Pizza was on Sep 20,2012, my birthday. One of my close friend, with whom I spent the day, bought a Pizza to celebrate my birthday. I don't eat junk food. I learned that day, that Santhu loves junk food. But that's okay. She is still young. :)

Luv u all

Monday, February 2, 2015

My Hosts and The Twits - Vacation 2014 - Bangalore

Friends For Life: My Hosts

I felt so happy to see one of my best friend's family. I met his beautiful wife and his gorgeous daughter for the first time that afternoon. Oh my! I must admit that Santhu made me feel that we have been friends for years. She was so nice to me. I got another sister in this life. I feel very thankful for the love she showered on me.

Santhu's Love

The day I arrived in Bangalore was very very cold. I was not used to such a cold weather, that I was literally shivering. She didn't hesitate to lend me the bed sheet, that was presented to her by Kamesh during their honeymoon, to cover me. She offered a new bed sheet to me that first night. I refused to use it saying that, that was new. I used an old one. When I went to bed the next night, the new bed sheet was lying over my pillow with a new bed spread on my bed. I was so touched with her love that my eyes were moist with tears. The cold weather, the water and the food left my throat sore. I was suffering from severe cold. When she looked at me and saw me suffering from sore throat, she readily offered me to give me a bottle of hot water. I used it for dinner and she again gave me a bottle of hot water when I retired to bed that night.

She took such a personal care of me, that she reminded me of my dear sister, who always make it a point to take a cue from my facial expressions and other body languages to take care of my every need. I love my friends' family. :)

Kamesh, Santhu and Ashwi

Kamesh, my dear friend

Kamesh is very fond of watching movies, reading and writing stories and watching stage plays. He is an aspiring story writer /script writer/editor. I wish him all the best.

Kamesh had the ticket booked for the stage play 'TheTwits' at Jagriti Theatre  on the evening I arrived in Bangalore.

Ashwini, my adorable princess

We call Ashwini as Ash with love. She is young and smart enough to understand and speak in English. Isn't she looking like a princess? I adore her. She is such a lovely child. She liked the pink dress so much that she told her mom, Santhu to stitch a dress for her in the same fashion. 

Just as any loving mom would do, Santhu bought clothes to stitch a dress for Ash. Santhu is learning sewing. This is how Ash looked at me when I told her to look at my Iphone camera. We were on the way to the Jagriti Theatre. 

An evening with 'The Twits'


That is Mrs.Twits with her dirty, entangled hair and my princess, Ash, in her favorite pink dress. She really enjoyed watching the show. The play was enacted very nicely by the kids. After watching the stage show, she couldn't stop herself from chanting 'roly poly, roly poly'. She watched the 'The Twits' cartoon play on youtube endlessly, on her dad's laptop, after we returned from the Theatre until she went to bed.

Luv u all