Thursday, June 23, 2011

Travel Partner

Diary Entry 8

I am so excited to go to Kerala. Its my cousins wedding. I have been looking forward to her wedding because it meant I will get to meet everybody in the family. It is my dads side of the family and he is my travel partner.

Act I

Act I Scene I

Dad: The train is 9:15 Pm. Allepy express. Have you packed?

Me: It will take only 15 mins to pack. I think mom has already packed for me.

Dad: Okay. Get ready. Car will come at 7 Pm.

Me: Okay Acha.

Act I Scene II

7:30 Pm

Me: Acha where are you I have been waiting for an hour. Where is the car?

Dad: The car is here in the clinic. I will be there in a couple of minutes.

7:45 Pm

Me: Acha I am freaking out here. Where are you? 

Dad: I am coming to pick you up.

Act I Scene III

8:00 Pm

My dad finally arrives. He gets down from his bikes and runs inside the house.

Me: Acha! Where are you going? We are going to miss the train.

Dad: Dont be neurotic like your mother. Wait.

Me: Where are you going?

Dad: Let me pack.

Me: WHAT!!!

Driver: Eppo pa train? (When is the train?)

Me: 9:15 anna. Po mudiyuma? (9:15. Can we reach there in time?)

Driver: Enna pa sollarey? Ticket nalla parru pa. (What are you saying? Check the ticket?)

Me: 9:15 dhane na. (Its at 9:15 only)

Driver: Va pa seekarama povome. (Come on lets go fast)

Me: Appavum vara re. (My dad is also coming)

Driver: Ahveriku wait panna poga mudiyadhy pa. (If you wait for him then we cannot reach the station)

My mother calls me in the cell.

Mom: Where are you?

Me: We have not started yet.

Mom: Dont you know about your father. Tell him to cancel the ticket and tell him to book a flight.

Me: I dont think he will listen to me.

Mom: You know the last time he went with your grandfather they came back home because they missed the train.

Me: Sheesh. Amma I will call you back if we reach there.

8:15 Pm

Me: Acha we can never reach the station on time. When I go with amma to catch the same train we go at 5:30 and we sometimes reach only an hour in advance.

Dad: You dont know how much time it will take because you have been going to the central station only with your mother. We have plenty of time. Driver konjam seekarama po pa. (Driver go fast)

Me: Acha lets stop in the bus stop and get a bus to Coimbatore and then we will take a bus from there to Cochin. Its the best thing we can do.

Dad: Dont be so negative.

Me: I am negative? You got to be kidding me. You know Acha, Its not me who missed the train with grandfather.

Dad: That was because there was a lot of traffic then. Besides your grandfather is very old. He was not able to run.

Me: I will have to run?

Dad: You might have to. Think of it as a good exercise.

Me: :| What a great time to do exercise. They must pay you a lot for being a doctor.

Act I Scene IV

9:08 Pm

We are still a kilometer away from the station and we are stuck in the signal. I have no idea how we even got there so fast.

Dad: Take your bags. We will reach there only if we run.

Me: Oh man. Okay.

We run and board the train. When we stepped into the train, it started moving.

                                   Act II

Act II Scene I

Me: Which is our seat Acha?

Dad: Lets ask the ticket checker.

Me: What? Why? Look at the ticket it will be there.

Dad: Its waiting list one & two kutta.

Me: Does that mean we have a seat to sit but no place to sleep?

Dad: Hold on let me go talk to the ticket checker.

Me: Okay

Mom calls.

Me: Amma we finally reached the train hahaha. I never thought it was possible.

Mom: Wow that's a miracle.

Me: It sure was.

Mom: Call me when you reach there okay. What's your seat number?

Me: I dont know amma. We are standing at the moment. Dad said it was waiting list number one & two. I think he has gone to ask the ticket checker where we can sit.


Me: Calm down mom. Its okay we will have a place to sit rite? I do that all the time in the bus. I dont mind if we cant lie down.

Mom: You dont mind sitting on the floor huh?

Me: What? No. We will sit on the seat they provide us.

Mom: They wont provide you with any seat. If they provided you a seat then its called RAC. You are not in RAC. You are in the WAITING LIST.

Me: SHIT!! okay amma. I will call you back.

Act II Scene II

My dad comes to me after talking to the ticket checker to find me filled with rage.

Me: Acha are you crazy? Who in the world will get into a train with a waiting list?

Dad: Our waiting list is one and two so I thought we will get it if we talk to the ticket checker.

Me: Well did you get it?

Dad: He said that if the ticket was booked through the internet, it will be illegal for him to provide the seat,  because the railways will refund the amount, if our name was not on the list.

Me: How the hell did this happen? Did I not tell you to book the ticket 6 months ago?

Dad: Well no point talking about that now.

Me: What do we do now?

Dad: We get down at the next station and take a open ticket to Coimbatore and then a bus from there to Cochin.

Me: Open Ticket? Does that mean we will have to go in unreserved?

Dad: Well we decided to go so lets just get there.

Me: If you knew this would have happened then why did you not listen to me when I told you lets take a bus to Coimbatore?

Dad: How am I supposed to know?

Me: What do you mean how are you supposed to know?

Dad: What kind of postmortem are you trying to do?

Me: (&@#$)

                                                                   Act III

Act III Scene I

We get down at the next station. It is in the middle of nowhere. No bus, no taxi nothing. I am mighty pissed. We go and get the ticket to travel in unreserved to Coimbatore. My dad realized that I will not put up with anymore bullshit or bad decisions, so he left everything to me.

Me: Lets take a ticket to Chennai and go to Coimbatore from a bus from there.

Dad: Why?

Me: Going in Unreservered is better than not going at all.

Dad: Okay

We go back to get another ticket and to cancel the one we already took. That is when the guy tells us the next train back to Chennai is at a 2am. 3 hours from now.

Dad: Instead of waiting, if we go in the unreserverd we will be half way through to Coimbatore.

Me: Have you ever been in a unresereved coach Acha? I have travelled in it and let me tell you that it is not like travelling in a luxury cruiser.

Dad: We will do what ever you want. We can go back if you want. I have no interest in going. We are going only because you wanted to go.

I felt really sorry for him. Maybe I have been too hard on the fella and maybe he deserved it but people make mistakes and some people dont learn no matter how many times they make the same mistake. But we always have to find some heart to forgive them right? So I decide to stop blaming my father for all the trouble and decide that it is upto me to find the most comfortable route to get to Cochin.

Me: Is there a way to get to Coimbatore from here?

Stranger: Well you can take a train from here.

Me: (We are in a railway station and I was hoping for the less obvious solution). We can travel only in unreserved and we dont want to travel to Coimbatore all the way from here in Unreserved. Is there some bus we can take from here?

Stranger: There is no bus from here even to Chennai which is only an hour away, leave alone to Coimbatore which is 7 hours away. You have to take a train back to Chennai and get a bus from there.

Me: What about stations in front? From which station will we get a bus to Coimbatore?

Stranger: Salem. Its 3 hours from here. You will have buses even at 2am in the morning.

I tell dad all about the new plan that the stranger had helped me draw up. The stranger was an angel sent from the heavens. This still meant we had to spend 3 hours in the unreserved compartment before we got into a more comfortable bus. But it was either that or waiting till 2 am to go back to Chennai. I felt that I should spare my father the guilt so I decided to put up with the torture in the UR compartment.

We reached salem at 2am. Got a bus to Coimbatore and from there to Cochin. We reached Cochin at 1pm. If we had travelled in the train that we were so desperate to catch earlier then we would have reached Cochin at 8am. It was not the shortest journey but we later got on to a 6 wheel Volvo A.C bus and it sure felt like a heaven when compared to the UR coach we travelled in before.

The day spent in Cochin made the entire ordeal worth it. The food, especially the karimeen (see picture) was heavenly apart from the other things that I cannot risk describing. But the best thing was the sense of belonging that family brought. The unreserved compartment was not that bad after all :)

This post is an entry for a contest by CupONation, an online retailer of discount coupons, and The Shooting Star travel blog

Previous Post - In the land of the Super Star

11 Comments for this post:

Deguide said...

Good travel diary with dialouges, and curry mean pictures

Cindrella said...

Ha ha That was another cool read!!

the other side of me said...

Oh man..why I didnt get to know about your blog earlier????

i had fun walking in your blog:):)

Confused Soul said...

Nice read... paavam your father :D

Khushboo W said...

Ok, what does "paavam" mean?
And, the post was super duper funny! =D
Loved it! :D

The Narcissist said...

Lol thank you :D Paavam means something like innocent i guess :D

The Narcissist said...

LOL believe me, it dint sound very funny then

The Narcissist said...

My father PAAVAM? have u read this post properly? Read it again :D

The Narcissist said...

I am glad you enjoyed strolling through my blog :)

The Narcissist said...

Thank you :)

Its Karimeen by the way :D (not curry)

The Narcissist said...

Thank you very much :)