Travelogue - 1 : Chennai - Rajamundry - Chennai (Part 3 or 3)

Contd. from here

Was happy that I'm going to reach there on time and not going to miss the bus. Finally, going home was confirmed.

The boy showed his college on the way. Then he told me that my stop was nearing. He stood up and tapped hard on the roof, loud enough for the driver and conductor to hear. Unlike as it would happen in many places they looked back and stopped the bus, without complaining. I got down, thanking him.

Then I saw and knew why Sakshi papers is famous. It is not a OLD paper mart. It looks like a paper factory. Big and functioning even at that time. It seemed like a 24 hours working factory.

Then I went behind the Sakshi papers, taking a steep and stood on the National Highway as I've been directed. So, Finally I reached the boarding point at around 9.15 pm.

And then I remembered that I missed something and it turned out to be 'Dinner'. With all the tension not to miss the buss I missed my dinner. There was not a single restaurant even roadside restaurant or something near the National Highway.

I rang up the driver to confirm that I've reached and he was not sure if I'm on the correct point. I tried explaining him my location and told him that there is a milestone with '300' or something mentioned on it but still he was not sure. Anyway I confirmed him my location and he was happy to know that I'm Tamil, and felt comfortable talking in Tamil after that. I clearly told him where exactly I was standing, he said he would be there by 10 (the actual boarding time was 11).

I had around 45 minutes to find a restaurant or a shop to finish my dinner. With all the travel, I was really hungry. 'Give us the Food', demanded the intestines.

I came off the National highway but there was not even a light on the road. There was a home behind the road, I got off the road and like visiting a neighbour, I walked straight to them to see their faces changing with a question. There was a old woman and a lady and a lad who were discussing something. I went to them and asked them 'Hotel - Nearby?, Hotel - Dinner'. I understood from whatever they were trying to say that there are no hotels nearby, I will have to walk for 15 minutes on the same side I came from to find a hotel.

With not many options left I started walking on the same direction. I had my mobile's screen turned on and held it towards the back to ensure not the one or two fast moving cars or bus run over me. 10 minutes past I reached a petrol bunk on the way and couldn't find any other shop or any place with a light. I enquired a Punjabi lorry driver there and he told me to walk a little further.

And as he said there was a restaurant which was closing when I found it. I tried if I could get anything at least the 'Air-filled-LAYS pack', but I got nothing. They pointed me to another restaurant on the opposite side some 50 ft away.

Then I reached the place where I can get something to feed myself with. It was in fact a roadside restaurant. I guessed they could understand 'Dinner, rice' and they did. I ordered rice and they had Sambar and it was good. I have tasted the 'bulls-eye' in roadside shops and they were in fact good. So I boldly ordered one.

Within 5 minutes they brought me an omelette. I told the server that I wanted 'Half-boil' and not omelette. The guy stood there for a second and went back taking it. The owner who was sitting asked what it was and he came saying it will also be delicious and gave it to me.

I thought he would not understand even if I want to argue.

And as my wisdom suggested that I do not argue but take the omelette considering the factors he was gigantic and he would not understand any thing I would say.

Then he advised the cook that 'Half boil should not be burnt on both sides'. So, that's when the cook learnt how to make an half-boil and I had to learn that when you have no half-boil and served an omelette and advised that it would be delicious by a gigantic figure I should accept it happily.

Then, when I paid the bill he took half the money for the omelette. That made the owner a 'gentleman in lungi'.

I was able to see the Bus stop from where I took the bus to the boarding point in fact closer to the point where I had my dinner. Again I walked all the way down to the boarding point.

Finally, finished the dinner. Nothing more to worry about or anything. The bus would come in another 5 minutes I will take the bus I would reach home by morning 5 and will get a good sleep for 3 hours and then will start for office and claim the 'dinner' bill.

I rang the driver. He said he would be there may be in another half an hour's time. Okay then I would reach a bit late i thought. He said he would call me once he reaches Raval palam (I remembered the place when we traveled the previous day. It would take

about half an hour from there to reach the bus stand. But I was not sure of how long it would take to reach the 'Sakshi Papers').

15 minutes past I did not receive any call from him. So I rang again. He said there was an accident in Raval palam and there is a huge traffic Jam so he would be delayed by an hour.

I could understand that he has nothing to do with this and none can do anything about this but to wait. It was 11 and I received no updates from the driver.

There was one another guy who came after me and he got picked by some other bus when I thought it could also pick me, but left me behind.

I rang the driver again he was kind of irritated with continuous calls and the traffic jam. I could understand that as well but what are my other options?

'He was not sure if I'm at the right boarding point' and I could not afford to miss the bus.

It was around 11.30 and then 12. No calls and the number of buses/lorries on the side I'm standing decreased and reached nearly one for every 15 minutes.

Well, unlike when I stay at home awake till 2 am or 3 am while online, I felt tired and sleepy of course.

I have been standing since 9 pm and have been walking to and fro with the Heavy bag for more than 30 minutes and I wanted badly to sit for sometime. The road that I was standing on was not meant to sit. There was a big pit behind me and it looked like 'Chennai's Koovam'. The boarding point was in fact the 'unloading point' for the passengers and lorry drivers.

I could only stand there.

There was one time when I was not sure where I was standing and I thought I slept standing. I in fact would have fallen on the road or even on the pit behind.

Standing on one point seemed to dangerous then on. I called the driver by around 12.30 just to know that he has not moved even an inch from the point where he was when i called him by 11.30. It was a major accident with a 'lorry hanging out of the bridge', and the lorry needs to be cleared for the other vehicles to use the road.

Standing on one point being decided to be dangerous I decided to walk across the road to and fro. I left the bag as the mid point and started walking 10 feet to the left and then 10 to the right. Was feeling better. It was cold, and i had a towel which was good enough to cover my neck and shoulders.

But walking was also making me more tired.

Then came the wonderful idea.

That day I realised that 'Music can save one's life'.

Well you know about Sony's battery capacity. I had to decide either my life or phone's life. I knew the phone would be dead in about 2+ hours. But, if I don't use it then I would be even before that.

I plugged in my apple earphones and started playing songs, a bit louder than normal to ensure that I don't sleep.

3 or 4 songs past I started feeling sleepy again.

Then I decided, to live long
I have to sing along.

I started singing.

Well it was in one way good that none was around or none travelling will hear me singing. So I started to sing along and really aloud.

Never knew that I could sing the whole Hindhi song. Language or 'not able to understand what the lyrics are'  was no hurdle to me.

I sang along all the songs. Hindhi, English and Tamil with whatever words that was closer to the lyrics. I was really amazed with my ability to sing full songs.

I continued singing for the next one and half hours and my phone was almost dead. The LED light started to blink red every second. Ignoring that and even forgetting that I was singing just to keep me awake, I enjoyed my singing skills and appreciated myself at the end of every song and continued singing.

I did not look at the watch as it would not make me or the situation any better. Then came a bus with the name 'SRM' travels.

The driver stopped and was explaining why the delay was even when i did not demand for an explanation. 'kochikadheenga annen, oru lorry paalathula kavundhiduchi, thongitu irundhuchu, nambaludhu than adhula 4'avdhu vandi traffic la mattikiduchu'nu he explained and he didn't even ask for a ticket. Then I went in.

For the record this was the first time I was travelling on a 'Sleeper' bus. It was like a train and there could be roughly only 20 passengers in that bus. It looked like a train coach and I realised why the ticket cost was that much when I went in.

I went to my seat (in fact bed). Then falling right on my bed slept within minutes.

When I woke up it was around 6 and we were still travelling. I went to the driver and it was different guy. I thought for a second if anyone has changed me from one bus to another. It was like when I was a baby I would sleep on the floor and wake up from the bed.

Then I understood that the driver has changed and this guy could not speak English or Tamil but only Telugu.

The place I was crossing was not familiar to me. I came to know that it would take around 2 more hours to reach CMBT.

Then I came back to my bed sat there  for some time then pulled my bag and came out to sit on the front near the driver.

I saw a toll gate and I remembered it was the route from Nellore towards CMBT via Retteri junction.

So I sat there and waited for Retteri and then finally I reached home.

Sound and safe.

There was one thing I did not understand then.

Why should all the journey's I make is different from others'?

Everyone plan a travel and travel according to the plan and why only in my case there is always a change in the plan?

Now I realise that it happens for me to create a travelogue and remember everything that only I've been through in place of a simple 'Travel as per to the plan'.

*** END ***

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