Its 3.00 am, October 18th,a bit cool and rainy day.I found my fan was not running as there was a power cut. By the time my heart started to beat fastly thinking “If water doesnt come I could do nothing”. Since it was an usual event in this flat. I really felt for not storing water yesterday, but I had reasons for that, I thought, I will run the motorpump in the morning. But I didn’t consider the electricity that time. I went to my bathroom and opened the tap where I found water flowing Oh! thank god things are going fine.I took my mobile which was plugged for charging and checked whether it is charged fully or power cut has interrupted that, but satisfied by seeing it is not affected.
I then started to prepare for the trip under the dim candle light. Suddenly my mind got strike on a SMS from Dhayanithi Babu, which i forget to read the day it was send. Dhaya, my colleague and friend, is the man behind this trip and damn it, I didn’t care for his message. While opening the SMS my mind said to me that “what if the message may contain information on the trip cancellation”. But when I have gone through the message it was opposite to what I was thinking off. The sms read “Trip may have a chance to extend one more day, so take another set of clothes to stay a night”.
The time was rolling out and my watch showed 4.00am. I left my house in the darkness with my broken umbrella. It was only umbrella that i had in my room with its leg broken a week before. But no way, the heavy rain forced me to take the umbrella to reach the bustop. It was untime so found no bus. I waited for some share auto to pass that way to move to the railway station near by. Finally I got one; I was the only rider in the auto. And reached the railway station within 10 minutes and paid 10 rupees for dropping me in the station. I watched people are coming out from the railway station. Suddenly i looked my watch, which showed 4.22, yes I had missed my train that is to pass by 4.21 am. The next train was at 4.51 am. I stood in the queue and brought a ticket to Thiruvanmayoor. As i was moving to the platform, I read the advertisements on the sides one by one and amazed at the creativity.
Since it was early morning, the next train came on time. There were a lot of vacant seats. I seated myself near some guys who where coming back from their night shift. One of them had mobile (Korean mobile) with which they were playing songs. I was to get down at Park Station, the eighth railway station from my boarding station. Although train stopped on every station there were no many travelers in the train. I get down at Park Station and moved towards the Park Town railway station. Don’t get confused both are different stations. Park station is for the trains which run between Taambaram and Beach Station. And a Park Town railway station is for the trains between Velacherry and Beach Station.
It was already 5.05 am, after 20 minutes I got a train to Thiruvaanmayoor. While moving in the train I had a call from Dhaya, asking me to meet Sheik at Thiruvaanmayoor and reach his room with Sheik. Sheik is also one of my collegue, and my friend too. I tried calling him 4 or 5 times but he didn’t attend my call. I thought let him call me. The train reached near Chepuak station, my mind start thinking of the Chepuak Statidum. I went to Chepauk stadium twice. First to watch final match of Cognizant Cricket Cup 2007 with my roommate Senthil and his friend Nandhakumar(aka Nandu). Later to see Chennai Super King Vs Kolkata Knight Rider IPL match. Both gave me a fantastic day in my life.
Sheik called me and repeated me what Dhayanithi told and added to come to his room. I asked him how to get there room. But he is not sure about the station where I have to get down to reach his house, So i told him I will go to Dhaya’s house directly. I understand that train has reached the railway station by seeing the Tidelpark, which is opposite to the railway station. I stepped out of the train and walked towards Thiruvanmayoor Bus Stop.
I got into the bus no: B51. Bus is travelling through Old Mahabalipuram Road (aka IT Highway aka Rajiv Gandhi Salai). The bus passed the Tata Consultancy Services, Karapakkam from where I completed the intial 3 months training, before we were transferred to Chennai One. Lot of IT companies are located in the sides on OMR. Bus reached Sholinganallur.
I stepped down and called Dhaya. He asked me to walk through the OMR and find an HDFC atm. I reached the HDFC ATM and look the opposite side I found a long gate and Yes that is the gate which Dhaya told. I crossed the road there is no much traffic at that time, there is a reason for that since it’s a Saturday early morning. I went inside the gate but seems to be a colony. I called Dhaya agian to find his room. He helped me by blowing his hand through the window. He is staying in first floor.
I was welcomed by his two friends Antony and Sowndar. Both are working in Sutherland. In drawing room three of his friends under deep sleep. Without disturbing them we moved to bedroom. We took some snaps there and waited for Shiek. We discussed about the trip plan. Both Antony and Sownder doesn’t slept after there night shift.
We got Shiek’s call and moved to a small tea shop having a tea and snacks. Since I wont drink tea / coffee I took milk with horlicks and a chat (Methu Vadai). Then we get a bus (No: C51) towards ECR (East Cost Road) and stepped down at VGP bus stop. Within ten minutes we got SETC bus towards Pondicherry. We get into bus and got seat in the last second row, except Shiek who got seat in the last row. All are in a jolly mood. We took some snaps.
In front of our seat a family with a cute little boy is sitting. We played with cute boy. Then I tried to hold him. Suddenly his pleasant face moved to an angry state then he started crying. I gave the baby to his father, he is happy now…We played again with him. Slowly he showed the sleeping signs then we stopped playing with him.
Surya’s film is playing inside the bus. Since all of us have seen that movie we didn’t gave much importance to that except some comedy parts which is very entertaining. The Sutherland guys started to sleep. We didn’t disturb them since we know they didn’t sleep from yesterday 2.30 PM. We took some snaps inside the bus. We reached the Pondicherry on 9.00am. Everyone have the same opinion that we must take food first. We find a small hotel and take Idlys and methu Vadai. I thought thinking of my life in Kerala, where I dont like and wont take methu Vadai, but parippu Vadai(aka Masala Vadai). Here most of the hotels don’t have masala vadai, also if it there it won’t have taste.
While taking the breakfast we discussed about the plan. But no one had much idea about Pondicherry. So we called Sivachandran who is working in our company and native at Pondicherry. He asked us to visit Botanical Garden, Chunnambar Boat House and Aurbindo Ashramam. After taking the breakfast we moved towards Pondicherry Botanical Garden.
Botanical Garden is in walkable distance from the Bus Stand. In the notice board entry fees are noted, but no ticket counters. People told us there is no fees now and entry is free. We stepped inside to Botanical Garden, its not much big. And It shows no one is taking care of this garden now. Inside there is a train service but now that also not working since there is not much travelers for the train. We found some corporation workers who clear the litters. But it is evident that the garden is under threat.
Inside the garden we are caught by Pondicherry BIG 92.7 FM team. They asked us to share our views about the Pondicherry and botanical garden. We told him that we just arrived Pondicherry. But he needs our opinion and a tip/poem from us. So our kavingar Shiek came and recite his tamil poem, which reads
Nee yen inamaaha irunthaal, indru naan un uyiraaha irunthiruppeyn. Kadalukku inam kooda yethiriyaahi vittatho…Mathathirkku idayil manaam thavikkirathu ingu” (Translation: If you were my eyes, then I will be your soul. Even creed is against love, I am struggling with this religions)
After spending an hour we moved to Chunnambar Boat House. Nonankuppam bus stop doesn’t give any impression, its like a small village. But the excitement on the beach boating was a memorable one. Beach Boating Rs. 60 per head you will be travelling 3.5KM in the backwaters which is located very near to sea top reach a small island. There you can spend an hour if beach is very rush. But when we reached there are only 30 persons in that island. The other side of the island has a beautiful and a neat beach. In Pondicherry I enjoyed most in this beach. Again 3.5KM travelling this time the boat driver made some fun by moving the boats against the wave.
We returned to Pondicherry bus stand again. There we moved to bus stand and get into a hotel for lunch. After lunch we decided to go to Aurbindo Ashram. The last destination of my trip, we get into a bus which is going to GH, we don’t know what is this GH may be Government Hospital. We take the front seat which is placed opposite to the driver. The bus was heavily packed. we asked the driver to inform us when the stops comes. Till this point we can’t find any difference between a Tamil town and Pondicherry. But we felt the French touch in the areas near to ashram
We stepped down at Ashram stop. As per drivers instruction we have to take right from there. Yes from the bus top itself we can see there is a sea. We moved through the roads, it’s very neat, very calm. We reached in front of the ashram. There is a location opposite to the ashram where you can place your footwear. It’s also divided into two one for self service and another one free service. It’s very hearty that people are taking our chappals and storing at their store which is free, a good service. We stand in queue and is moving towards the entry, we have to switch off our mobile to avoid the ringtones and telephonic conversation, which may disturb the people who are in meditation. I entered into the ashram, absolute quite. There is some plants in both side of the ashram within 10 yards from the entry, we visited resting place of the Sri Aurobindo and the mother Mirra Alfassa. It gave a different experience for me. It’s an absolute silence where people are sitting and doing meditation. Then we move towards the library. We can buy a lot of books published by the Aurobindo Ashram. The next room contains collection of antiques used by the mother and a statue of Sri Aurobindo. Then exit. Although the space to watch is very less things to learn and understand is very big. The inner feeling on such location is really good. There is no religion, no caste, no creed. But people servicing each other, even without making voice.
After that we moved to the beach, which is also near to the ashram. I feel the way they are maintaining the street, the people. I am Proud of the ashram peoples for keeping their street very well and spreading the same to the hearts of the people. I wish let the whole world will be like this are, at least my India and its citizens.
There is a war memorial near to beach. At the beach we can’t find any sand, but only big stones. I think, those stones are placed after the Tsunami to stop the soil erosion. The water hitting on the black stones is gives a beautiful view. More than that boys and girls from Kerala enjoying in the sea shore was a cool one. We didn’t wet our bodies on that beach in other words they didn’t give us the place. They enjoyed in such a way that the beach was of theirs. After sitting in the black stones we moved towards the statue of Mahatma Gandhi which is located 100 meters from the war memorial.
The humorous thing is that our Gandhi’s statue is protected by group of five police. I got smiled thinking at our current system where the statue of father of our nation needs police protection. Then what about his sons? I mean the citizens of India. But later I realized by thinking about the recent news.