This adventure started with a Kingfisher chilled beer for me, in a very unroutine way. Usually, my morning starts with a bowl of white oats. Only formals, stirctly simple colors, matching shoes, socks. This practice made me to wear even my undie’s in a matching color. So basically, I created a box to live, as simple as that. I spend my day with conference calls, decisions, reasoning, winword, spreadsheets, power points, exchanging pleasantries with known people, cribbing and a bit of back biting in such a glorious manner. To summarize my expression in one sentence, I had standardized my life to avoid any surprises. Beer or chicken or beef or pork or adventure for that matter doesn’t play a role in my day to day life. Having chilled beer in a bar, when you are about to catch a train is something like, out of the box activity for me. Deep in my bones, I knew, I was scared of these things. . .
I started from my in-law’s place leaving behing my wife and kid to chennai to reach chennai central railway station. Arun reached tamilnad club (opp. railway station), quite early at 20:40 p.m for fuelling his spirits. He usually feels comfortable and secure, fuelling himself with these sprits. I being I, joined him in the darkly lit orange room, with large thumps noise coming from a 28 inch color T.V from where a bunch of half naked town girls dance for a tamil item song. There were a few men who had come alone to drink and I could see their red eyes bulging, with deep depression and a swollen plumpy pot belly. Looks, like these guys are about to commit sucide. I was shit scared. Arun diverted my direction towards our table and encouraged me to gulp half a bottle of beer. We gaily pronouced cheers for our maiden trip. I didn’t hesitate a moment to drink after saying cheers. Thus, my venture started !
Jagan, the planner for this trip calls my number. Inquisitively probes our whereabouts and reitrates the timing of cheran express. Train starts sharp at 22:10. It is 21:50 now. So we have 600 metres to cover, with huge swam of people in the railway station. 20 minutes in hand. Arun suggests that we buy a pair of beef briyani rice packets for our dinner. I was again amused, rather bedazzled with this guy’s intuitive instincts. He hands me his luggage and runs for the shop to buy biriyani packets. I stand there waiting for him. Whilst I like eating biriyani rice, I was acutely nervous about boarding train on time. My insecurity rises again. To be frank, I have never taken such a daring step before any pre- determnied travel schedule. Clock strucks 22:00 and Arun returns gaily with biriyani rice, as if he has won some marathon championship. I say, hurrah and we both run for platform no 10. Cheran stands there silently with all passengers seated, and about to start. We are placed in S2 coach. Arun calms me down, saying, we have 5 more minutes. I turn back and give him a benevolent look , like of a reverend father in the church. He succeeds in pacifying me. This guy must have a lot of similar timeout-runfast-train-catching experience, I say to myself. We caught hold of our other travel partners, Tony, Jude and Jagan. Jagan directs me to our respective seat numbers and we kept our baggages. Came out shook hands with Tony and Jude ! I mean ,including our hand shakes and introduction was planned by Jagan. This guy polar opposite of Arun’s. Early in morning , he sends a message to all of us as to what to bring and not to carry and whose responsibility to do what and where. He even tries to predict slightest change in mother nature. So here I was, caught between 2 oppostite characters, one has a lackadaisical and ‘ come what may approach ‘ versus other one’s plan everything, ‘born to plan’ including peeing at pre-detemined points during our travel.
So we all start, and I could see that everyone, carried their backpacks, bedsheets, towel, pair of shoes and other necessary equipments for this travel as per Jagan’s planner. And the planner himself, brought his guitar, much to my surprise !!!. I said, wow to myself, thinking that, this guy must be in a project management role or something, where he can race against time with his unyielding planning skills 😉
We sat and started cribbing our routine, office timings, manager’s stupid attitude, shifting jobs, aiming hefty pay package. While, we do that, Arun starts changing his corporate dress to sleepers. Jagan invites me to his seat, where we start to plan our final destination. Some say, Masinagudi, others vote for it and Arun suggests ‘Nelliyampathy’. We looked him with utmost uncertainty,but then, in return, he gave us a sarcastic grin. A smile of re-assurance, a vision of almighty. He backs up his plan with an evidence that, one of his pal has gone there. He then recommends, that Palakkad is the nearest junction for us reach. There is nothing much we could bargain. No more rebuttals, we surrender to his idea. We occupied our respective berths. I was about to read something, by then, I realized, the night was chill and fast. I slept, snored and I woke up to see the planner(Jagan), Tony, Jude and Arun all of them ready to get down at coimbatore.
So here comes the junction. Nothing special about the town. It is an another fast progressing commercial hub, therefore, people, crowd, hands, legs, burps, farts, yawns and pollution. We got down from the railway station and went hunting for a lodge. We planned to stay there till, our dude meets his doctor and get’s his angelic advice. So Arun and I stay in the room, while, Jagan and Tony accompanied him to the doctor’s den.
Arun being a movie buff, wanted to watch ‘Velayudham’ movie, a commercial tamil film flick, released during Diwali, in one of the busiest theatre in coimbatore. I accompanied him to the theatre, only to get dissapointed. No tickets available. Arun tries his trick in the black market, but in vain. So we decide to return to our room and get some afternoon nap. Perhaps, we can order a few bottles of chill beer ? We both started drinking and abused this Doctor for not keeping his schedule. Jagan and co were stationed at doctors den, only waiting for his angelic darshan. Somehow, I feel, these doctors are good at making patients wait. I wonder how these life saving pretensious bastards, manage their time. Doctors are as precious as our own lives. Once we understand, our life better, then the value for this profession might come to it’s true value. Currently , the hyper-inflated value for these white men are such that, they might require a 3 bed room duplex villa in Mars or Jupiter.14 :00 p.m – We order one more beer for each of us, with a plate full of chicken, pair of eggs, with some traditional junks. It’s raining while, wegulp our half chilled kingfisher. Meanwhile, Arun comes up with an immaculate yet blatant unfriendly idea. And he proposes the idea with air of aura and arrogance. I was dumbstruck by this man’s intelligence. Especially, when he drinks, intellect and intelligence, plays a perfect full meal combo. I liked his idea. The plan was to start packing our bags and head to Nelliyampathy. And, guide, these 3 folks lying from one of the softest couch from the hill station. Why i didn’t think it before ? So, we start and head towards Nelliyampathy.
Rest is history . . .what we did, feel or experience comes later …