It all began with a desire to break free from the regular routine and have total fun on this one trip that we all were having together. This was a trip with a purpose, for sure, but it was meant for fun, nonetheless.
It was Jincy's wedding. Something we couldn't come to terms with, because I still strongly believe that any one of us who'd get married would be a victim of Baal-Vivaah and Jincy's gone on to live a Balika Vadhu now. ;)
So, we reached Panvel from where we had to catch the train to Kottayam. Two of the gang members had already boarded the train at Kurla and were waiting for 5 of us. They were indeed waiting, and starving and therefore waiting, for us. But unfortunately we did not carry anything "satiable".
After settling down (did we?) we realised that all our berths were side berths, in 2 different bogies, in Garibrath (if you know what I mean). Plus we had middle side berths too. The entire idea of playing cards and UNO in the train was shattered. I was heartbroken.
For an hour or so, I was trying to adjust the berths, convincing people to give us seats together. Obviously there was a language problem, because they spoke only Malayalam, and I spoke Hindi.
After my strenuous efforts I came back to my gang hoping they'd appreciate my efforts, but they said they didn't know me anymore. And then I vowed I’d keep my mouth shut until we reached Kottayam. :(
So, we kinda settled with whatever was available, we all sat in one place despite the sporadic arrangement. The pantry boy would come step all over our feet (side berths!! remember?) and move ahead saying "waater waater". It happened twice, thrice, and the fourth time I yelled. The guy stopped and looked at me. And I knew how deeply sorry he was. But again he only said what he knew - "Waater Waater" and since then, "sorry" for me, had a new meaning and every time these guys came to sell water, the song "Paani paani re, khaare paani re" would automatically start running in the background of my mind along with a sorry feeling in foreground my heart. ;)
Also, our train happened to knock down a man on the railway track, and the man was supposedly on the track to commit suicide (could there be anything more interesting than this :P). I felt so "waater waater" for his family. I wonder whether he survived that one knock ?
When I recollect the time I spent in the train, I remember standing at the gate most of the time, like the ticketless morons who block people's way who get out of their compartments to pee. But I was having fun. The monsoons added to the fun all the more.
The conditioning of the air outside was merrier than that within. I don't recollect the sceneries that I saw while staring out of the gate but I do remember the feeling of the wind gushing on my face. It felt as if my cheeks were carrying a lot of weight, and my lashes seemed heavy. I couldn't keep my eyes open. The hair band proved futile and the wind mischievously played with my hair.
The patch where we saw the
Arabian Sea was spectacular. The coconut trees bordering the beach, the houses which seem to have been built with care - anticipating the Tsunami, and the ladies who walked with pots of fresh water disrespecting the vast spread of salt water, all seemed in sync. Beautiful.
The variety in the route, mountains, waterfalls, and ocean was indeed a proof why Kerala belonged to God (out rightly).
I only wished I could have got the berth where the attendant sleeps… Alas!!! That was too much to ask for….
26 hours of journey finally got over and we decided to explore God's Own Country, the next day.