I am back. Like the character in The Terminator series says, “I will be back.” Eh? I don't fancy that series, as I don't fancy all sequels. I am back to blogging the traditional way after typing into an email address as I had done the past few weeks only to find that my email hasn’t been sent and the post didn’t appear. Bah!
Okay, in brief, it was a good journey to Kerala and back. There were irritants like: the hyper-active children who aped Bollywood stars on the way to Kerala, and, on the way back, a pack of friends kept shouting to each other at 2 a.m. waking me up with:
“What men, you people not understanding only what’s written in big-big English letters, no sense at all, destroying the peace.”
This from a guy in a fedora and an earring, his biceps like a tree trunk and pectorals like cricket balls.
This happened after another group of muscular youngsters had disturbed the peace with their high-pitched talk in Tamil. They kept blaring Tamil music and one even said (jokingly, I assume), “Kathi enge irukka,” meaning “where’s the knife?” when confronted by someone who objected to the merriment.
Am I imagining things? No, truly as I say to you, this happened.
All this inside a compartment which happened to be a chair car with around 100 people cooped in a space of as much square feet of space. The bum! He divested me – as he did the others – of my sleep which I couldn’t regain. So I went back to reading Outlook’s excellent 15th Anniversary issue (really thoughtful articles on the media from our best media brains, highly recommended reading) and Naipaul’s “A House for Mr. Biswas.” Wonder why Naipaul calls his protagonist “Mr. Biswas” throughout the novel, even the young Mr. Biswas, who should have been called, well, Mohun.
What struck me as unique about this trip was the freshness of the air and water – mercifully Kerala doesn’t have many polluting industries. When it rains it is a deluge in Kerala. I waited out such a storm in my cousin’s home and the music the rain drops made on a million leaves left me in a trance. Go to Kerala to see the billions of shades of green, as mentioned in an earlier post.
The chair car of the Garib Rath is too cramped and I felt the need for a bit more space to accommodate the huge suit cases people carried. When will we – if ever – learn to travel light? Almost everyone in the compartment looked as if they were trading in contraband goods and was carrying excess baggage. I think the railways must penalise people with luggage of more than 20 kgs like they do in aircrafts.