I haven’t traveled for a while now. I only dream about traveling. I watch shows on Travel & Living and sulk. My travel plans flop the minute I get excited about it
The last I traveled was to Chennai on an official assignment, that too for a day. I couldn’t really look around the place as there was no time at all. But the good part was I got to eat some yummy food at Saravanaa Bhavan. What a fine place! I thought of getting a Xerox copy of the cook’s feet but they didn’t let me inside the kitchen. Can you believe that? Apart from this minor regret the trip was fun, thanks to my colleagues who were with me.
*note: dare you say- “official trip but traveling by train-aa?” hmph. I work for a start up. This justification should suffice, no?*
The train journey turned out to be uneventful, for us. Our fellow passengers felt otherwise. They almost threatened to throw us out as, they thought, we were talking too much. One man after tossing and turning for hours lost his sleep (poor chap, you’d think) and with nothing better to do he kept scowling at us. What nonsense. Another guy threw dirty looks at us every time we burst out laughing (which by the way happened every 2.67 minutes once). We did not feel guilty though. It was only 11 PM; tell me who sleeps so early?
Talking about sleep it is necessary to tell you that I normally can’t sleep while traveling. And so when everyone went to sleep, I put on my headphones to listen to music. I got bored listening to my own playlist and let my thoughts wander. I remembered the time when I had first traveled to Chennai. That was eons ago.
As kids we never had a choice. We had no decision making power (unlike today’s kids). We were happy with any kinda outing. “Trip-aa?” we’d ask our folks eagerly. The place didn’t matter to us as long as we had company.
That’s how the first Chennai holiday took place. I remember going to the beach and walking down the street feeling clammy. I remember having tough time sitting inside the van coz there hardly was any place to stretch my leg. I remember going to VGP from Chennai. I remember waiting to come back to
Technically it was not a vacation. My uncle had some official duty there and with nothing much to do after finishing his work he thought he might as well throw few stupid kids into the water. No, he didn’t do that. He very sweetly asked us (meaning my entire crazy family) to accompany him on his trip. Amidst all the excitement we forgot it was the month of April. Need I say more? We realized it would be extremely hot and for us Bangaloreans any place above 25 degrees Celsius is considered hot. But none of us kids wanted to back out. Well obviously, how can you say no to a sponsored trip? Besides summer holidays were meant for fun. So the thought of beach in Chennai/VGP got us very excited.
I don’t recall the rest of the tour, except for the humid climate and as a result the urgency to get back to
While we are on the subject of hot places let me also narrate to you about our other expedition to another hot destination. During one such summer vacation we (my family and another friend’s family) traveled to Bijapur, Aihole, Badami and Pattadkal. Summer in North of Karnataka is hot. To put it mildly, we thought of cooking hot BeNNe dosey (Butter dosa) on top of our car. As we didn’t find butter on the highway we decided against it. But seriously, it was burning hot. Coming back to our trip, despite the heat and dad’s friend falling sick we had loads of fun. We all traveled in our Premier Padmini. All of us (eight people including four sweet 'little' kids) were squashed inside the car and we didn’t really mind (more so coz there was no choice). The heat didn’t prevent us from having fun. Between our journey, there was an unexpected stop over at Koodalasangama and with no hotels around we took refuge in a small dormitory. I still remember we slept on the floor and found everything exciting -the spookiness of the night, the dim lit room, the whole idea of an adventurous trip and the constant “ssshhh sumne malkoLI” (shut up you crazy little monsters) uttered by our elders. We even made up a song on Kudalasangama. Boy! What fun.
Now when I look back I don’t understand why most of our summer vacations were spent in places such as these- hot, dry, sultry and humid. Well who cares as long as it made us happy.
This post, my friends, was a leaf out of my travel journal. I do hope to write some more some other time.
Coming up next: Love in Shimla