Wednesday, March 19, 2008

careening in coimbatore

I went to Coimbatore.

What an adventure it was.

We went there because of a wedding. My own mother's own aunt's own son. Of course all this own-ness meant we had to go but a 5:00 am muhurtum and a sunday wasted traveling suggested that maybe we werent that close anyway, despite the own-ness.

So after many 'shall we shall we nots' later (me and my father going shall not my mom going shall) we decided to go. Of course no train tickets were purchased, no air tickets too. So we would go by car. Meaning we got up at 6:30 (on a sunday) and were out of the house by 7:30. My father who likes being the planner/executor in trips (a role he believes he carries with great style; the rest of us just love him too much to tell me what he does actually carry- bags) decided we would take the 'veerappan route'. This was the scenic route, the road less traveled (with reason - earlier it was roamed by veerappan; these days its because the roads are just bad- and there is a nice navigable highway). Anyway when your car breaks down in the road less traveled you are wishing very much you had taken the road frequently traveled.

The car broke down - near sivasamudram falls. A few minutes earlier I had suggested we make a quick detour to see the falls.It was just 2 kms away. With clashes in the sort of music that could be played in the car(i wanted- senti crap with guitarists who imagine they are being soulful, father wanted - nothing, mother- the sound of her own voice), and with my father reading my book over my shoulder, and interrupting me just as i was nodding off with his 'when i was a young boy' stories i was fast getting bored of the trip and would have jumped out of that car. A get down and walk about near the falls seemed to be a good way to advertise and obtain that much needed respite.

Anyway the car broke down just as we reached the falls. Rather considerate of the car - to chose a tourist spot. If it was on the highway it might have been even more annoying. So we saw the falls ate mangoes and nellikas and ran away when we saw monkeys eyeing the said mangoes and nellikas, while father went about making alternate arrangements. (hey! he said he was the big cool planner/executor!). It transpired he managed to get a taxi to come pick us up and drop us o Konnegal- the nearest town with a bus stop. Car was abandoned near sivasamudram with driver given instructions to contact the car company who has agreed to come tow it back to bangalore.

We proceeded to Konnegal. the town with the busstop. It had a busstop but one full of busses leaving 'right now'. Now we needed to go to coimbatore. When we said that they laughed at our faces. (i dont know why really- apparently inter state buses are funny) So then we settled to go to Chamrajnagar. Of course the bus to chamrajnagar was leaving 'right now' and if we dilly dallied we would be city idiots or so the conductor implied. Tough small town folks are always hopping into busses without really caring where it goes he seemed to imply. So my mothers murmurs about maybe we should stop and have lunch and maybe we should wait a bit and check out all the busses before hopping into the 'right now' bus was ignored and we hopped in bag and all into the bus that was leaving to chamrajnagar right now, paid our fare of Rs 15 and sat in 3 different locations in the bus. I could read my book in peace. Over 8 people could now read over my shoulder- except most of them dint really want to, but being mished mashed as we were , they were forced to. Loud Kanada music about a young girl being in love with a man because ' his style was different' and 'his speed was different' blared at top volume and was objected to by no one. My dads 'when i was a young boy' stories were easily igmored and drowned under the loud music and clattering wheels and the fact that he was sitting in front of me.

Then the bus took a curious route. I knew from the map that there was highway type road to Chamrajnagar but we dint seem to be on it. Nevermind we would be eventually I thought. Except we stopped in nowhere and were told we should get into another bus which was also going right now to Chamrajnagar. Of course once again my mothers murmurs of lets see if autos/taxis will go to Chamrajnagar were ignored and we hopped into another bus. This time hopping was a little difficult because people were pouring out of every open portion of the bus. While we were enthusiastic to hop where do we hop. We settled for the last step. My mothers murmurs had raised in both pitch and volume and pretty soon the entire bus was aware of my planner/executor father's planning and executing abilities and someone out of pity (im not sure pity for who father or for mother- id like to thinkit was out of pity for me) offered my mother a seat.

We arrived at Chamrajnagar. Chamrajnagar is a small-ish town, but of course inquiries as to the various means to get out of that town cannot be made in one location. There is the Chamrajnagar private bus stop, the Chamrajnagar interstate bus stop, the Chamrajnagar taxi stand, the Chamrajnagar circle (for general idling and shopping u know... what shopping? u ask...u can shop anywhere is what i say). We arrive at the most uiseless of the locations- the Chamrajnagar private bus stop. So we take an auto- first to the taxi stand where we would try to procure a car to ferry us to Coimbatore. If we failed in this venture we planned to head on to the interstate bust stand. We did get a car. An ambassdor with a most uncommunicative driver who would drop us at coimbatore for a 1500 Rupees. Well , still we are not spending some 9000 rupees which would have if we had decided to fly from Bangalore feeling virtuous and not knowing that the car company was gleefully drawing up an estimate of 30-40 thousand for repairs.

So we proceeded- to coimbatore. grubby and dirty and fielding calls from my aunt whose own son was getting engaged and did not have me i.e his own(no no cousin i hastily pointed out and sharply rebuked for) sister there to welcome girl/bride into family. I was suppoused to do the welcoming by applying sandalwood paste to her forehead neck palms and feet along with kumkum (only forehead) and then leading her away to help her change into sari that would be gifted to her by my aunt and uncle. I felt she would feel the same amount of welcome whether i played my role or not.
(anyway i plan to put up another detailed post on the wedding)
So we proceeded, we reached Coimbatore after one pitstop at Sathyamangalam for some much delayed lunch. My mother despite her sharp insistence on lunch and her near breakdown(s) when it was denied to her in our bus hopping sprees- showed little interest in it now. Though I fell on my parotta with glee (parotta in Tamilnadu u say. well its not like paratha it is a very tamil interpretation of the same and is very good also). We approached Coimbatore and our driver proceeded to suddenly go insane. (and very annoying). We then realized having never been in a town bigger that Sathyamangalam, Coimbatore was baffling him. He kept thinking they were several towns lumped together, since we wanted to go to Ramnagar in Coimbatore. So then he insisted we had misled him by telling him we wanted to go to Coimbatore when we were infact going to Ramnagar. Then the main roads began to frighten him and he wondered how he would get back. Then the fact that we dint know where exactly we wanted to go in coimbatore perturbed him some more. Then the fact that it began to rain drove him ballistic.

Meanwhile i was dying. I just wanted to get to my uncles house and be greeted with some nice hot filter coffee. I dreamt of this fliter coffee, I saw it I smelt it in my mind . We reached my uncles house, paid our driver who was still mumbling and muttering, trudged up two storeys, settled ourselves in the sofas. My uncle said 'of course i told the boy (they have a man who runs their house and makes coffee besides other things) that there was no need to keep any coffee since we shd leave for the engagement immidiately being so late as it is.'


Detailed wedding post coming up.

PS: All in all it was great fun. Really.


  1. Dream about coffee?

    Did you look at all the beer photos ? Are you sure you're dreaming of the right things?

  2. ey ondhe buddhi ninge. i was tired and sleepy and needed rejuvenation that only strong filter coffee can provide

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