Read the Part I here.
I always love to travel in the train when you can see whats happening outside. The most enjoyable part of my innumerable journeys to my hometown always used to be the last 2 hours when the sun is out in the morning and I can see a distant sunrise or farmer at his field or school children waiting at the railway gate. Those are the moments I cherish the most in any train journey. But in this one, I started at 9.30 PM and reached Bangalore at 4.00 AM!!
When you land in a city at 4.00 AM in the morning, you need to prepared well for the next course of action. Bangalore, which normally has an efficient pre-paid auto system at the City Railway station doesn't start until 5.30 AM in the morning. So left to haggle with the auto-drivers of Bangalore but they seemed reasonable. Still a long way to go for them to emulate their cousins of Chennai!
I was carrying a winter jacket fearing that Bangalore at 4 AM would be cold. But to my utter disbelief it was warmer than my expectation. But having carried a jacket, I didn't want to let go the opportunity to wear it because if you wear it in Chennai, people laugh at you! Cutting the story short, reached my cousins place, had a bath, went to the Mandap, which is the club house of their association and joined the small gathering of friends and relatives. Rest of the morning was spent socialising and in the evening packed the bag to reach another relative's house. Kept on rolling like that for the two days in Bangalore.
I think it makes sense to write in bullets few of my observations:
1. Roads are still a mess in Bangalore. Along all the main roads, you see Metro Rail work going on. At 4 AM there is no problem, but I can imagine at peak hours, it would be a miracle if you are able to cover a kilometre in 15 minutes.
2. The weather is still cosy. Going from Chennai, I find the arguments of Bangaloreans that it has become very hot as absolutely funny. It still remains a very "cold" place for me!!
3. Club houses with proper infrastructure to host games like badminton or squash are useful additions to your complex. I saw quite a number of people using the club house in the morning for their daily quota of fitness.
4. My love for living in an independent house got kindled again. I have all along lived in Independent houses before I moved in to Chennai. With the so called security threat, I never wanted to explore the idea of independent houses in Chennai. But after visiting couple of independent houses during my trip, my fancy of having one in Chennai has increased!! I know, it is probably out of reach at these crazy real estate prices, but why not still aspire for that.
5. I reached the railway station at least 2 hours before the train departure on my return trip. Thanks to my father who insisted that I wont get an auto if I leave after 9 PM!! So didn't want to try my luck in an unknown city like Bangalore.
6. Having reached couple of hours earlier, I was as usual observing people and I think I should have looked so naive. Otherwise, why should two people approach me asking to bear their return ticket cost to some unknown destinations.
7. First person to approach me was a guy who claimed was travelling from Bangalore to Tuticorin. He told me that he came with a group of friends but lost them and came late to the Railway station only to know that the train has left. He looked decent enough and claimed he owns a Jewellery shop. Looked genuine and shy while he asked for help. I think I should have helped but before I could really deliberate he was in a hurry and ran in search of somebody.
8. The second person was a typical fraud who smelled of cheap liquor. He was very insistent and spoke in Hindi. I resisted couple of times before I let my temper loose. Then he quickly walked away cribbing about me.
5. If you have a RAC ticket, you can very well conclude that you will get a confirmed ticket in Mysore Express. They added a bogie and I got a confirmed berth on my return trip.