Okay, now on to my recent Bangalore trip. It all started with an email from my cousin that she is having the Upanayanam of her son in Bangalore inviting me to come with my family. It looked like the thing we were waiting for! I and the missus immediately jumped on the offer since its been ages now we have gone out of Chennai. For that matter, gone out of the home. Yes, the second one is taking away all the time and it’s too much of preparation before you can venture out.
As we love to do in all walks of our blissful marital life, we started planning minute details of our impending trip to Bangalore covering how, where, when and what. As the d-day came closer and closer, things started going awry. I had lot of work to do in the office (yes, too many emails to forward and delete) and the little one developed cold and cough. We waited with bated breath for calm to return so that we could go to Bangalore. Hmm, nothing went according to the plan like Indian economy of pre-1991. You plan for something and end up having something else. To cut the story short, missus decided to stay back to take care of the little one and I would represent as a responsible “Head of the Family” (can’t get a better opportunity to assert it in this story)!!
Since our original plan was to drive down to Bangalore, never bothered to check train tickets. But now, with 1 man army it doesn’t make any sense to drive all alone. Went in search of a elusive ticket to Bangalore in an evening or a late night train after completing my office duties as a responsible Officer!! I can’t understand what all these people are doing by commuting endlessly between Bangalore and Chennai, day in and day out and just about managed a ticket to Bangalore. I don’t know why it happens to me all the time, this time too, I ended up in seat number 8. You got it right, I was just outside the second class Sleeper S13 lavatory!! Oh, I should tell you about the travails I have to go through before I could board this Mysore Express.
On the day of journey, the evening looked exciting and I was on my way to the railway station 100 minutes before the departure time. At that precise moment when I left home, I wanted to call up and tell my father that I was leaving home a good 100 minutes before the train departure time. He couldn’t have more happier for this than anything else!! With so much of time left and a single luggage in hand, my crooked brain thought of a wicked plan. Yes, I would take the MTC bus to go to the Central Station. I strolled to the bus-stop and the rain started drizzling. With no power to know what is in store, I boarded a 17C to Central Station. I think the rains were just waiting for me to get on to a god-forsaken bus and started pouring. No, it came crashing from the heavens. In a matter of few minutes, I was cribbing myself why I took the MTC route. The bus started leaking from the top, water splashing through the window and with a drenched co-passenger for company, this is going to a memorable ride.
By the time, the bus reached Valluvar Kottam, I have already lost 45 minutes of my 90 minutes. I consoled myself that it is going to take another 25 minutes at the maximum to reach the Central Station and would still be left with 20 minutes before the departure time. On the VH Road, the bus started slowing down and came to a halt completely with no signs of rains easing out. Time started ticking and my blood pressure started increasing. I should have taken a call taxi and that at least would have taken me straight to the Central Station rather than this 17C showing me historical places of importance like Sterling Road, DPI, Egmore RS etc., Alas, can’t help now. Stuck inside a bus for another 15 minutes with no great progress, I decided to get down only to realize the water level is 2 feet deep on the road. Just managed to stop an auto-rickshaw and requested him to take me to Central Station with 30 minutes to go. To my despair, he took a turn and returned back to be in the same place where we started.
The trip to Central Station was turning into one unforgettable ride with Auto wading through knee deep water now. I was mentally prepared to let go and return back home in case I miss the train. I am not going to take any tension for this. But the Auto driver helped me in a big way and left me at the entrance, no, a good 50 yards before the entrance of Central Station, with just 10 minutes to go. For people who know Central Station, this is definitely going to be a close call. Ran, ran and ran like mad for the next 8 minutes exactly to reach my compartment with 2 minutes to spare. My treadmill sessions in the gym really helped. I slowly started realizing why my father leaves 4 hours before the departure time!!