A Journey of a Thousand Miles…

Tickets

This one is for the boys for whom details must be detailed. I had to collect all my tickets and keep them safe for them.

After having made and partaken of Varuna’s birthday masala dosas, I started off from home, walking. The first two bikes to whiz past had three men on them, the third had just one: Perumal. I waved him down and asked for a lift to Karumandurai. He said that everyone was going to the ration shop for kerosene. I walked on.

After I had walked about a kilometre, and was just outside Thekambattu, Perumal drove up and asked me to sit. He had organised someone to get his kerosene and was going to take me to Karumandurai. Very sweet of him, indeed. So, pillion ride to Karumandurai.

Ramani to Salem. 13 to “Sona College”. Walk to Amma and Appa’s place. Post-dinner, 13 to the Railway Station. Yercaud express to Chennai Central.

Next morning, A1 to Tiruvanmiyur. And Madhavan picks me up there in response to my cell phone call as I am crossing the Adayar river (Technology in the service of Man:-).

After breakfast, I head to Mama and Mami’s place. I am dropped by Madhavan, Meena and the kids at the Kasturba Nagar MRTS station. MRTS to Fort. And the local to Kodambakkam. After coffee and snacks there, I take a local to Tirisoolam, and walk across to the airport.

My first flight in about fifteen years. Madhavan had web-checked me in, so I collected the boarding pass, cleared security, and was in, with an hour to go before the Boarding for the flight. I spent the time reading Molesworth, and laughing out loud at times, much to the amazement/amusement of the others waiting. When the flight was called, I went to the gate, presented my boarding pass: smiling faces, nodding heads, “Thank you sir, have a good flight” and all…As I have one foot on the footboard of the bus, a fellow comes running: “Saab, apko saab bula rahe hain”. Someone had noticed (rather late in the day) that my backpack had not been stamped by the security chaps. Rush back, get the stamp, back to (another) bus…

We reached the plane: “So-and-so numbers board from the front, such-and-such from the back” etc. People board. I am behind a nervous lady, who asks the person at the steps (much as one would ask at the Salem Bus stand, “Intha bus Karumandurai pogumaa?”) “Is this the flight to Bombay?” Pat comes the reply, “Sorry, madam, you are in the wrong place, this is the Delhi flight!” Well, it wasn’t she alone, but the busload of us who were in the wrong place. Panic amongst the personnel. A quick check to ensure that it was the Delhi flight. Then, prevent further boarding. Then, get the people who are already in, out. Back to the bus. To the right plane. Board.

An antiseptic journey leavened by Molesworth. Land in Bombay.

An auto to IIT, and there I was in the middle of the Class of ’86 Reunion…

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