Archive for September, 2006|Monthly archive page

Getting lost is always an enriching experience!

Life has a wierd way to throw surprises at you. Sometimes you stand and wonder if there is a grand plan according to which every event in our life happens. I created a blog page on MSN spaces on the 18th of August. I was thinking of a nice line to sum up what would be in this blog and what is my outlook towards life. Thought about it and came up with this one – yes, the title of this blog- Anywhere, Getting lost is a highly enriching experience!.And lo, on 20th August I am lost. In the most silliest of places, easiest of journeys – Bangalore to Chennai. All I had to do was just get on to shatabdi at 6AM, reach Chennai at 11AM. Reach, I did, but at 4PM 🙂 The day started with a wierd sense of irrationality – I went to a station where Shatabdi does not stop; After trying vehemently to get on to a running train and being almost thrashed for that attempt, I was advised by an wise, old man that I can always take the next train. Yet another philosophical revelation – ‘Koi baat nahin, next train le lena’. That one statement sums up the entire Indian attitude to life – ‘Nothing is more important in life than being happy’. Anyway, concepts apart, I had to run out of the railway station to get an open ticket to chennai. Yet another wise man asked me to hurry up lest I should miss the next train too. So hurry up, I did – and probably a little too much than what is required.

I pounced on the opportunity to get on to the train as soon as it entered the platform. Commendable performance needs to be rewarded. And so I treated myself to a plate of hot idli-vada with Tam sambar poured all over it. I am on the right train to the heart of tam land and so I started to nap peacefully. Ticket collectors in our trains have the most impeccable timing – they wake you up to check your ticket just when you think you are going to sleep well, atleast in this journey on train. I somehow think this breed, with a black jacket white shirt and red tie, is here on earth on a mission – to wake up sleeping souls to the rude realities of life. It was true to a T. He woke up and he did wake me up to a rude reality that my ‘achievement’ was at best, midgety. Coz, I got into the train and found a seat, but on a WRONG Train. I was smiling when he told me that. Today is going to be great.

Courtesy, all the movies I watched in general and tamil movies in particular, I made up a really surprised, ‘Oh Shit, What Do I do now’ expression and asked him in my broken Tamil, ‘Where the hell do I get down?’ Like Mahatma Gandhi got chucked out of a running train, the messenger from God, almost threw me out rightaway. However, his kindness or my Tamil, something made him let me sit there till the next station. Time has this wonderful characteristic of moving on and mind a greater virtue to not see it. For me, time stopped and but the train didn’t. Amidst all this helpful co-passengers started giving me sympathetic looks and unsolicited advice on how I can reach chennai from here. Space constraints stop me from listing them but the classic one was – ‘Tiripi Bangalore Ponga Saar, Anginda Volvo editeringa. Supraa oru anja, aaru ganta le Chennai povum nee’..!! For me, it seemed like forever before the elusive ‘next station’ came. DHARMAPURI.

I decided not to trust the collective intelligence of my co-passengers and stuck to asking the simple question ‘Chennai ponnum enaku, Train enge catch pannanum’. Broken tamil, but it got the point across to the STD Booth owner in the Dharampuri station. ‘Saar you go to bus stand from here. Ange Aruvoor povu bus la, Morappore ani kelinga. Anga erangilunamina Rly Tation opposittaa irrukum’ – I understood as much as you did – only that I had problem remembering the strange sounding names. It was test of my management skills and my ability to smile. Smile I did, Management skills require no comment. Got onto a bus and a 30minutes journey on an illusory road for a driver who doesnt need one to drive his bus on led me to village after village. Which one is Morappore? I have never thought so deeply even about my existence on earth as much as I did about this one! WHERE IS MORAPPORE?

Finally, tamil and smile helped me get down infront of a single chai-cum-pan shop? But where is the station, I wondered! Carefully worded enquiries got fingers pointed towards a bunch of tamarind bushes? You must be kidding – there can be no railway station in there? Even if there is, no train can stop there! Walking through the bushes, reminded me of my old +2 days at JC. Couple of steps in one direction and three people stood up out of nowhere. I dodged and walked the other way – another two stood up! Welcome to the real India – I told myself. Finally, I managed to get out of the bushes and into the open where I saw a building, on the verge of collapse. Man, I missed my camera. Folks back home will not believe that I am doing this 🙂 But if heavens ever have doors, they must not look better than these. This is my ‘stairway to heaven’ and there will I get my ‘Ticket to the moon’ (Earth, actually!)

My two hours before the train that takes me into civilization again are worth a different blog at a later point. So it finally did arrive, like an angel. Trains never looked so beautiful. Yesterday, that train was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Checking with four more people, that it is my angel, I got into her arms and fell asleep. Black and White messenger of God- the TC- this time didnt interrupt my dreams, for a change. And the last thing I remember was telling myself – ‘Whatever they do, geniuses do things with some inimitable alacrity’.