Tamil Nadu Trip October 2011
This trip was planned two months before, as it involved many train journeys. Our tickets booked through 62 express always materializes & this one did too. This trip started with Vadodara on 22nd Sat with Appa & Amma. On 23rd, we boarded Karnavati Express to Mumbai at 06-45 am. Train comes from Ahmedabad & stops for 5 minutes at Vadodara. The coolie at Vadodara refused to budge below Rs.150; but we coolly got inside the train. Luckily, ours were the last seats which provided extra space for luggage. We had Veg ‘Cetlace’ as it is pronounced by the cutlet vendor. The coach was almost full with many people coming to Mumbai for Diwali vacations. The train was running minute perfect.
We got down at Borivalli. Srivats’s driver had come to receive us & drop at the airport, for our onward flight to Chennai. It took us some time to locate him. We reached airport in 15-20 mts, very soon than what we had expected. We had two choices for lunch, either at Food Court inside the airport as advised by Srivats or Balaji Restaurant outside the airport. But we eventually settled for Udipi restaurant very close to the airport. Food was OK. As usual, following our tradition, we were at the boarding gate, almost 70-80 minutes before the flight time. The gate no. printed on the ticket was not matching with the display; but all were very close, like the old airport style. Eventually, we boarded, forgetting which gate was it; the printed one or the displayed one. It was a Jet Connect flight to the displeasure of Radhesh. I could not find anything wrong with the craft, except that it did’nt have an in flight entertainment system. The snacks were free; (thank God it was’nt Indigo) and enjoyable- Samosas in Chole gravy with fruits. The flight landed; we were a bit perturbed to hear that Chennai is cloudy. After reaching Chennai, we got a pre-paid Taxi to Anna nagar (west), which took lot of time due to heavy traffic. We had the wildest thought of covering Mylapore temple on the same day, but the very sight of traffic & also when the driver told that this is close to the airport, this thought was abolished within no time.After reaching Guest house, we got a room to freshen ourselves, after waiting for a while in the lobby. We also had dinner, which was very simple & tasty. The guest house guys could not provide any cab driver contact for Thursday’s trip of Kancheepuram & Mahabalipuram ; they were only having Fast Track phone number which was very costly. The guest house people got us an auto for Rs.200 for going to Chennai Egmore. We reached Egmore again 90 minutes before the train time, but we could not take any chances for the Deepavali traffic. On Meera’s and radhesh’s insistence, we avoided the 1st class AC waiting room & waited outside the platform. But the wait was not very long as the train barged into Platform 4 ( surprisingly, this is the first platform at Egmore). The AC coach was far. I took milk at the station. Our seats were at the end of the coach resulting in disadvantage in going up the upper berth.AC in our seats were not effective, only one plant was working, plant 2 started after the train started. Plant 2 was vibrating and making noise. But the cooling improved substantially, due to which I got good sleep.
Early morning at around 4-15 am, I could see through the station name, which was schedule at 2-15 am. I signed & thought that even on this small distance, train is late by 2 hours. So I retired to sleep more, but a little later, I could see the train reaching Srirangam station. I asked the attendant about the expected time to reach Trichy; he quickly remarked to my surprise that train is on time. Then only I noticed on the time table that the last leg of the journey has lot of margin, something like covering 5-6 km in 45 mts. This makes all trains recover & reach the final destination on time.
We alighted Trichy station as usual first among all the passengers, to be greeted by the sweet...
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