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.
The BMW Shop
The Volkswagon shop
The honda shop
The chevrolet's are not to be left behind
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
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
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.........