Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm back...



Hey'all!! long time no see eh? Well i've veen a bit busy lately. Good news is that I've cleared all my exams. Bad news is that term started already. Had holidays for just 12 days. As all you people might have guessed by now, i could not make the trip to Trivandrum, we simply could NOT break the jinx :(
I did take a trip though; i went to Mangalore and visited my grandparents and aunts there after 2 years!.. Hey, why dont i tell you people all about it? Brace for a long read folks, here goes...
Day 1:
Technically, it began when i was fast asleep in the bus:P It's a 6 to 7 hours journey from here to mangalore. The bus started from here at 10 30 PM and I had reserved a good window side seat up front. Its a good thing really because the some parts of the road is so bad that it can break the unsuspecting passenger's back...
I did bang my head against the window glass many times in my sleep though. It can get very cold out there in the middle of the night, and trust me, you do NOT want to be sitting in front or behind a moron who wants the window open! When i pushed back my seat, my face would be level with the window of the guy behind me. Unfortunately, that person would open the window a bit. That blast of cold air on my face would give me nightmares of hell actually freezing over!
Minutes after i made clucking noises and shut the window, i'd find it opened again and the nightmares continued...
{thats whn i decided it was time for drastic measures and so i latched the window, puled the curtain over the latch and slept on it, so he wudnt reach the latch. Resourceful bugga aint i? ;) }
I woke up again {yea it actually worked, i could sleep}, when it was around 4 30 AM, half an hour away from Mangalore. My grandparents' house{ referred to as "my house" here on } is about 40 Km from Mangalore, a small-ish town called Mudabidri. Connecting buses are availablr from two different places on the way to mangalore. One at Mangalore itself, which will mean an extra journey of 40 minutes, or at a place called B.C road. Thats nearer but at 4 45 in the morning, i'd have to sit out till maybe 6!
So i decided to go all the way to Mangalore itself. I got off in Mangalore at a place called Jyoti, finding a lone stray dog who didnt seem to notice me and the chill of the coastal early morning. A nervous wait for about 15 minutes followed and one astonishingly nearly-full bus turned up. Thats the longest you may have to wait for a bus from anywhere to anywhere else around here. The conductor was very friendly and stylish!... 22 rupees took me to Mudabidri, at full speed, with a glorious sunrise thrown in.
I've made this journey many many times before, but this time it was different. For the very first time, mom was home and I was alone. Also for the very first time, i had a cell phone with me, so i spent a good part of the time hunting for network, and texting people and troubling them. Oh I also managed to wake up Ranjani,about whom you will hear a lot in this series, for something i wanted her to do. It was around 7 30 AM when i came to Mudabidri bus stand. Its another bus from here to the deviation on the highway to my house. The bus 'stop' is a fire station 15 minutes from the bus stand{4 bucks}. When i got off the bus, my blood froze...
Gone was the small forest trail like road that i had to take for about a kilometre into the wilderness to reach home. Nowhere, also, was the ramshackle hut that served as 'convience' store. Instead there was a neatly tarred road , and a decent looking shop. The lush greenery on either side of the road was unmistakable, so i set off through the road

That was when i ran out of network... @#$^&%%#@#%^
Not that i minded too much, because, while i was walking through the path, i was actually going back in time, back to those yearly visits as a kid, dreaming of the freshly fried, home grown cashewnuts that would be waitinf for me at home. Those compounds,the run down mansions, those huge trees on the path that i used to rest against, all seemed to just float by. One left turn took me towards the graceful, but now dis used bore well where i spent most of my summers playing with my cousin. A little further was home... sweet home, blue against the greenery that surrounded. I ran the last few steps towards the gate... And then,finally, there in the distance, standing tall at the door was grampa. Two, sorry, 3 and a half years after i had last seen him, i was expecting something else... I realised i was rooted to the spot and we just stared and stared. After what seemed like minutes, i waved. He waved back, smiling, a smile that exuded dollops of the pent up love for his only city-bred grandson, whom he got to see very rarely.
I walked up to him slowly, did something i never expected from me, bent over and touched feet. It came from the heart i tell you, that was when i truly realised the powerful feeling felt when the very first person touched the feet of someone he revered. I expereienced fully the love for the man, who has weathered all kinds of storms, rising more strongly and shining brighter than ever before...
Grandma was there by then too, and i touched her feet, to hear about how i had bcome so thin. Amazingly, she hadnt aged one bit from the last time i had seen her. The happiness i saw on their faces made me forget the long journey and everything else that i had encountered the days before.
It was plain and simple;
I was home at last
{more to come...}
btw, Happy birthday Sandeep Shekar, beloved bro...

6 comments:

ranjani said...

welcome back first .... !! and u had one hel of a night ha!! we also enjoy the same benefits of an open window while travelling back home!! atasi waiting to come and reply to u r blog....

sanjana said...

heyy....couldn really fig out wot u wantd ranjini 2 do??!!...:):P..;P..

neeta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nikki said...

awww.. that was incredibly sweet :) wheres the continuation? h and u have internatioanl readers now :P

Pooja ...... said...

hey cuckoo whistle :) i just re read this post (couple of seconds after we spoke) ... and i think its lovely . heart-warming is the term i'd like to use actually . u've done it again cuckoo whistle .. ur my most favourite writer and im not sayin this cuz im biased ( a tad ;)) ! i absolutely love this entry ..i dunno why , but i dont remember feelin so strongly bout this the last time i read it ...anyways i cant wait for u to post some more stuff ! love ur writing ..*big hug*
p.s : werent u spossed to have a part 2 or somethin ? :P

falguni said...

ok... this is long overdue..
i'm so happy u got to experience first hand the joys of riding buses on the almost killing roads to mangalore.. i say almost killing coz u wish u were dead rather than endure the back ache.. next it's nice to see the love between u n ur gramps.. n stop bugging ranj at 7 in the morning by nitk standards that's still sleeping time
:P