Sunday, July 19, 2009

Destination is an excuse, Friendship is the reason

Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of God's own country kerala is connected to Ernakulam, the business capital of Kerala by NH 47. Being in kerala all these years means I have travelled to Ernakulam umpteeen times.

Still one such journey is being blogged here, why?
I made a journey which made me feel that -> "Destination is an excuse, Friendship is the reason"

Three of my friends from the college days had agreed to come for another of our friends marriage at Ernakulam. The friends during college days are somehow different from our other friendships created during professional life. We tend to open up a lot more as there is nothing to hide between us. We do have to share a lot of happenings after we all parted. In our case we were meeting a decade after we left college.

The pretrip butterflies usually associated with long rides on two wheels was being felt even though the trip was planned on four wheels.. This time, overtook the alarm by a good 30 minutes. All the parties for the journey rang up each other well ahead of our planned departure time of 7 am, seems like every one was excited about this journey.

At last Mr. Niran jamal came to my house at about 7am. After a customary round of exchanges with family we were off. The next target - pick JK alias Jayakrishnan from Kazhakkoottam. The pick up point was Kazhakkottam police station. He too was waiting for us when we reached there. Once we three were inside the car, the noise levels inside began to increase. Before we could finish our visheshams the pick up spot for next guy - Jose lafentine was up. Surprisingly this spot was again a police station, Quilon east police station.

Wating for Jose to come.

And here he comes, with his customary rythmic walking and polappan chiri (wide open grin)

Some kind of big noises were aired as we all hugged each other. Jumped inside the car and now the fun started. The discussion topic started from our married life, kids, the places visited, the important happenings after college, details about where our other friends were etc etc.

Time zoomed past, so was the distance covered and we were already late for breakfast. On seeing motel aaram near Harippad my legs pressed hard against the brakes to break the journey for a breakfast.

Aren't we happy to be together again

We had a light breakfast of chappatis, pooris and vegetables curries. No one was bothered about the surroundings. We were in a world of our own talking to each other as if it was our home.

Started our journey after the breaking our fast, this time niran was behind the only wheel inside the vehicle which has 4 wheels touching the ground and one wheel waiting for its turn. The result was that the photographer inside me suddenly propped out and began clicking what ever I saw in this route.

The cafe racer model bull.

Again discussions started. And this time it was about our golden college life. We talked about our teachers some of whom got our respect owning to the way they mentored us and some of whom we cannot forget because of their unteacheristic approach. Unfortunately the second category easily outnumbered the first one.
We talked about

  • the electrical circuits lady who gave 200% commitment and who was class teacher in our first year,
  • the electrical theory lady who had all the grace and who was proud to have all the grace,
  • the "dow" madam who our mother earth liked the most because of her feather light steps and who went on and on with partial differentiation whatever is the state of class,
  • the local mathematician who was famous for the local slang and other reasons
  • the chemistry periods in which the highlight was the unique laughter ghe he ghe he....
  • the "least marks in communication" dialogue lecturer who never could give away his childishness
  • the graphics teacher who could never accept her mistakes
  • the sayipp who taught us humanities and who was notorious for his dangerously close association with the local mathematician.
  • the head of all these gems who failed to inspire us on the true value of an engineer.
  • the lecturer who had a harsh look but who was only one of the few who really inspired confidence in us
  • other lecturers of the final years who doesn't even deserve to be remembered because of the way they finished off their jobs just for the sake of getting salary.

Getting intrigued into discussion means we lost track of time.
A short break at alleppey

We reached the four lane road soon. There was less traffic to start with.

Soon traffic picked up.

Paid the toll at aroor bridge and off we go to the ernakulam bypass
A view from the aroor bridge.

Some constructions are going on here, may be for another bridge

The cloud cover was creating unique patterns over the bypass

An effect of globalisation is quite visible here by way of the shops opened by the multinational autogiants, all of which happen to be in this road.

Toyota showroom

The BMW Shop

The Volkswagon shop

The honda shop

The chevrolet's are not to be left behind

The king of all - The merc merchandize

The Le Meridian hotel, one of the structures which changed the face of Cochin bypass

The city of cochin welcomes us

Soon we were nearing Vytilla

From vyttila we turned left towards the heart of city. The roads got worse here

Spotted a rare Mahindra Xylo an Indian made MUV who competes with the vehicle in which we were travelling.

We reached the Durbar hall ground, opposite to TDH hall.

Our throats had a nice workout for the last 4 hour or so.
On entering the TDH hall we found that all the audience is already there and waiting patiently in their chairs. The hall was neatly decorated and the chilling AC made it doubly comfortable. The size of audience was just about perfect for the hall, with no one left standing.

Uday made his entry in traditional mundu and white shirt. He was escorted to the mandapam by neatly dressed girls holding the lamp. Soon the Uday's queen appeared. After the customary blessings from parents the exchange of garland happened, followed by Girls father's formal handing over of his daughter to the mate for the rest of life.
All these events collached here

For a change there was no rush for the sadya. The sadya hall was open always, and we could walk in any time and have the stupendous meal followed by payasam.
After the sadya, went to see Uday once again.
There were some eminent personalities in the audience.
Famous poet O N V Kurup

Celebrity couple - Mrs and Mr Nikhil

Had a photo session with newly wedded couple, bid goodbye to them for the day and off we go.
We were back at the Durbar hall ground, with our full load tummy.

The Durbar hall grounds where we had parked our vehicle had a very well laid out lawn. A photographers paradise because of the color of the ground and the shining sun offering the maximum possible natural light.
We (I) started posing for some photographs

Jose soon made an X Jump

A timer photo depicting all the chullans of this trip.

Then we made a visit to niran's newly purchased flat. On the way caught a glimse of Chennai Silk's recently opened showroom.

Niran has a den at the third level of this high riser.

A showpiece at the reception.

After a examining carefully the beautiful construction we ventured out. Found this classic jeep outside.

The next stop was at Tata Motor's showroom. Mr Jose wanted to have a test drive a fiat grande punto. Ciji cc agreed to meet us at the showroom.

Reached the showroom where the much hyped 1 lakh car was present. Fiat Grand Punto was the shining star in that showroom. See for yourself.

Ciji CC marched into the showroom without anyones notice with his wife and cute daughter.

What followed suite was some heavy automotive related discussion with all of us trying to spit out whatever little we know about these stunning machines.

Jose and myself test drove the fiat grand punto.

Time was running faster than Mr.Bolt. Ciji cc soon bid goodbye and we decided to start the return journey. Everyone was thinking in lines of prolonging the return journey eventhough all of us had some family commitments in the evening.

We had crossed Edappally and on to the bypass when we saw the victims of an accident which happened some minutes ago. It was a bike vs bike accident and all four occupants were lying on the road. The very sight of the victims had an impact on all of us. Somehow the noise levels subsided a lot and it was almost a silent journey for the next hour or so.

Decided to have an extended tea break when we reach alleppey. By instict drove in to the yogam presidents hotel - The travance palace. A hotel with traditional ambience, but unfortunately my camera's battery was not able hold enough of electrons required to pass current through the camera circuitry resulting in me not able to store the exquisite ambience in 2D frames

Spend around 1 hour or so in the chilling ambience and we got chilled with the soft drinks on offer.

Slowly the intensity of the man made pressure variations of the atomosphere resulting in mechanical vibrations, was increasing and the natural transducers of humans was having a lot more work to do. Soon we began travelling down the memory lane to the four years which we spent in Valancherry & Kuttipuram.

  • The makeshift college buiding near the KVM arts and science college.
  • The story of "the bull" holding up the workshop building when it fell down on him.
  • The parotta sandwich which we had during the breaks
  • Our "strategically" located college hostel at Valancherry.
  • The three popular theatres around and the way we celebrated the release of "films" by being the first to watch those films and that too in the first show at "12 noon"
  • The volga and ambika restaurants which quenched our thirst by those shakes, the bread jam of KR bakery, non veg treats of Taj and above all the thattu kada food after midnights.
  • The padang cricket ground.
  • Shifting to the new college building and the new hostel.
  • The infight between our batchmates and the subsequent reunion.
  • The kenwood story of subwoofers, amps and wwf style pickup and throws
  • The international cricket stadium at painkannoor
  • The aval vellam of gafoorka dhost.
  • The thiruvegappura trips, the good food at sabala restaurant and so on and oooooooooooooon...

Gulping of fuel for body was directly proportional to the decibel levels and data retrieval operations from backup memory. It was already dusk when we got out of the hotel.

The fog like atomosphere outside, created by a camera trick.

Another round of discussions started, but this time outside the hotel.

By about 6 we again started our journey. This time I was driving the vehicle as if there is some award for the worst timings in highway cruising. We began calling all of our batchmates who are currently in India over phone. They all got a taste of the mood we were in and the speaker phone made us think that they too are travelling with us. Another stop followed suite for a karik break.

By 8 pm we reached kollam, Jose have to alight here. We decided to have one more dinner together at some thattukada before we part. Found out one thattukada and enjoyed the food just like we had during our hostel days. The yummy egg omlets deserve special mention, not to forget the "Put" and potty. After another 1 hr at thattukada, Jose bid goodbye.

Soon the discussion started to revolve around how great our unexpected reunion trip was,eventhough it was just four of us. How we stripped all our professional egos and became plain simple college guy again, how strong bond is their between college mates.

Kazhakkoottam was again on display in the windshield, which means that the next gentleman Mr. Jk has to get down. It was drizling a bit to cool of our minds which had a nice workout the whole day. And within no time I was again back in my den after bidding bye bye to mr. Niran also.
It was as if, I went back to the good old MESCE days again within a span of one day. The excitement was so much that at times we even forgot that one of our best friends marriage was witnessed by us in between.

Long live our friendship.......... Expecting to meet the old pals again sometime, somewhere, the journey continues.........


pinkpearl said...

Beautiful! Very well narrated. Even though i don't know many of the places you mentioned, your snaps helped me imagine. I now have a feeling of having met my old college pals too.... Also i didn't know you had a blog, well this blog is going to my bookmark list for sure.
By the way i am chanjal. one of your friend's (Sajeesh) wife.

collegegirl said...

Great narration and nice photos. great to see kochi...Excellent blog, nice post. I love the contents and great photographs. Keep writing.. I am so proud to vote for this beautiful blog. I VOTED FOR YOU, I recommend your blog to many of my friends. They too Voting for this blog. I hope you will grace me with your precious Vote.Just copy this link to your browser said...

thx pinkpearl for ur comments. Wrote this before all the excitement of meeting my old pals died down. said...

@ collegegirl
Thanks for ur visit and comments. will reciprocate ur gesture for sure !!

valyamotta said...

talle adichupolichode....missayi poi. if not for this dead end job i would have got in at kayamkulam.
miss you all guys.

Anshad said...

Dear Subodh,

Excellent, well narrated. Felt like travelling along with you guys.
Took me back to our collage days.
Really miss the occasion even though I was planning to attend
As you said really wish to meet everyone some time, somewhere …..


Salahudeen said...


Nice narration, seems, you have an excellent skill which was not well utilised, how come you guys missed the Sajjad muthali for the trip.

Salahudeen said...

@valyamotta - cool name (LOL).such trips are not to be missed.

@anshad- hi contact nowadays.don't u come to calicut. well i simply expressed my feelings

@salahu- sajjad muthalali was down with fever. whatz that under utilized skill? ;)..heehe.. well these musings are created out of passion and will come out only if put down b4 the excitement dies down..:)

Anshad said...

i didn't have ur contact number.
I'm planning to come next month to Calicut.Give me your mobile number, i will contact you once i reach there.

Hope to meet u there

N J said...

Dey Machu...i read this many many times....which makes me travelling back on a time machine to reach that particular day which was the most beautiful one during my last short vacation....we really missed Unni, Sajjad and few, we tried to contact....otherwise just imagine the fun inside the car, on the roads, at the wedding hall, the TDM Hall ground, Tata showroom and yeah at our presidents restaurent...a prolonged day from morning 7AM till 11PM with pals whome we wish to meet often but getting after years...And yeah by the way congrats to u for getting fans around the world :))...thats great...and yeah u said on comments saying "Wrote this before all the excitement of meeting my old pals died down." can da...this wont fade down

Shiyas Rehman said...

Hey Subodh

Don't know if you still remember me..I was your Junior in college.ECE 95-99 Batch..I work for NeST here in Ernakulam..Where do you work now??

Your post was excellent..Reading through the narration it felt like travelling with you guys...It's good to see that you find time to pen down things in so detail..That's really marvelous.Hats off to your effort

I had contacts with Niran some time back.He is in gulf right?Might be home for vacation now alle?What does these guys jose,JK and Ciji do??I remember that siji hails from Aluva which is were i also hail from but have never had a chance to meet him after our college days...

On last saturday, our old class mates (guys and gals of MESCE ECE 95-99 Batch) got together at our old college..It was a splendid re-union.Almost 50% turned up with their families..It was really nostalgic...I plan to post some photos into the MESCE Yahoo Groups soon...

Sudip Aravind said...

Nice descriptions. .! Thanks for all the updates....!

Shibu said...

Subbu...nicely written I see that you have quite a few travelogues out there..I m jealous but hey glad to know that you guys had a grt time

Shihab said...

Thankalude yaathravivaranam vayikkan innanu samayam kitiyath. it really took us to a decade back. Felt that we were also with u four during that trip :)

Hope, we , the ECE 94-98 batchmates (at least some) could meet some time in future, like this said...

@ Niran, shiyas, shihab, shibu, sudip thx for the comments. gr8 to c that lots of mesce ians got to read this :)me the happy.

@shiyas..plz send me an email at

@anshad.i will mail u my number


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