Posted by: Dev Krishnan | August 31, 2007

Onam – A Memorable one!!!

Although almost every year I try to make it home for Onam, I was over-excited this time – may be coz this was the first Onam after my status got changed to ‘employed’ from ‘jobless’. I have been eagerly counting down the days to go home – had reserved tickets for the to and fro journey the day the booking started. There wont be anything special at home for Onam; it will be me and my mom (dad usually will be with his mom for such special occasions), still it feels good to be home 🙂

I got out of office early – hurried home, did some last minute packing and started early coz it was a Friday evening and din want to take a chance – as expected, traffic was horrible as usual; reached station well before time though. The place was over-crowded because of the weekend and also since it was Onam and most of the Keralites were heading home. The coach too was overcrowded, and the TTR was making some extra bucks out of it (he took 500 bucks as ‘advance’ from a person and assured him a seat!! The guy would have grown rich overnight!).

Somehow managed to get some sleep although I was woken up several times by the noises around me. When I opened my eyes after a while, I coudln feel the train moving; from the people around me, I came to know that the train had not moved for almost 2 hours. I had heard that there was going to be a rail-roko hartal in Tamilnadu for some stupid reasons – that was scheduled to start at 6 in the morning and hence I had not taken that seriously; but alas! They re-scheduled their activities and here we were – in some jungle kind of place in Tamilnadu (guess the place was Uttukkuli, some 15-20 kms from Tirupur) – there was nothing there except the railway station! People had already given up hope and had started to get off and look for alternatives to get home since the hartal was supposed to be for 12 hours. One of my friends @ school (Ajay) was also traveling in another coach with some of his colleagues – we had not met for a long time; man! What an occasion for a re-union!!! 🙂

We decided to start as early as possible since there were rumors that even the road transport might be affected; we walked some ten minutes to the nearest bus stop – there was a huge crowd already; and the locals were making bucks – even pick up vans were plying to the nearest town with passengers (by the time we got down, another train from Chennai had also been halted at the same place). We all got into a not-so-crowded bus to the nearest town; some of us were towards the back side of the bus and some towards the front – it was too overcrowded by the time we reached the town and when it was time to get down and the ticket checking was going on, we realized that there was some confusion and we had not taken tickets 😀 yup! Paid 100 bucks per head and pushed off to another corner of the bus stand 😉 after a while came another bus to Coimbatore – this time there was no communication gap and all of us had tickets 🙂 yes; travel in TN is very cheap! Traveling the same distance in Bangalore would have cost double the amount, if not more. We were in CBE within an hour and half; decided to have something coz it was around 10 30 AM and none of us had had anything. It was 11 by the time we came to the bus stand – as expected, there weer two huge Q’s to board bus to Palakkad – we lost hope and decided to take a cab; luckily one of my friend’s colleagues had some acquaintance and they arranged for a cab; we reached Palakkad at around 1 30 PM – all were damn exhausted after the long tiring journey! We had to continue in different directions from here.

Finally when I reached home, it was 4 in the evening and fully drained out!! Then I came to know that the strike was called off after around 3 hours; the strike was led by a minister – they damaged the tracks and signals; left hundreds stranded for hours! There were families with small children; people like me going home just for a couple of days… is somebody’s time SOworthless that you can waste it? Will India ever become a better place? Something to think about…

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Responses

  1. Hei,

    Real gud one… This is India…
    Nothing else to say..

    Hakuna matada..

    RKR

  2. Dey, its not actually India’s problem alone…we are blessed if we look from some one else’s perspective, say Pakistan, Afganistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Algeria and a 100s more… here we do have issues like this strike in which you were a victim…Recently a kid died in north india as the ambulance that was rushing him to a hospital got stuck in a strike scene by some political paties…And of course we do have terrorism also…but if you look into the countries that I mentioned above, you will feel happy for living here. Life is just a worthless term there, not to mention time then right? They spent their lives playing with bombs and ammunition from childhood…no education, no food, no shelter etc…came to read recently that females get gang raped commonly in some countries…Lets pray that India never becomes one of those countries…Wish we all could do something to make it a better place for everyone…

    Happy to see your blog after a loooooonnnng gap…do write once in a while… [:)]


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