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Archive for the ‘Journeys’ Category

Date 11-03-2009 (Time 6:45 am)

The sudden jerk of the train woke me up. I tried to look through the gap between the window cover and the glass. Light was very dim. At first I thought it was in the middle of the night as I was not finished with my sleep. But soon as I pipped throuh the window more clearly, I realized that the train had stopped in the middle of somewhere to give away the green signal to some other important train. As I looked into my watch, I understood, I woke up early, early enough to call it as one of the earliest rise of my life. It’s 6:45 and I usually wake up at 8. Sometimes, during weekend, you will find me sleeping upto 12 o’ clock or even 2 or 3 o’ clock. This does not mean that I sleep quite a lot; in fact my time to go to be is quite late. The usual time is 1:30 to 2 o’ clock at night. Sometimes, I keep awake till 3 o’ clock.

Hmm, lets forget about when I go to sleep and how much I sleep, and come back where we were. So, at 6:45 in the morning as I opened my eyes, I found that the train was on a halt somewhere in the middle of a place. As I tried to pressurise my brain to think where possibly could we be by that time, I was already in grasp of my dear sweet sleep. Next time I opened my eyes when Yasmin woke me to have breakfast.  I got up and got freshen in no time. As usual, we ordered non-vegeterian breakfast from the pantry. Soon after breakfast, our train reached Nagpur. It was almost 9 a.m. by then. The train waited for around 15 mins in Nagpur. After having breakfast, both yasmin an I got back to our beloved job, i.e. reading our books. The rest of the journey was as usual; nothing needs special mentioning. Just we took our lunch, kept immersed on our books, and talked in between. When we reached Kajipeth, I felt that we were about to reach Hyderabad. I remembered the name of Kajipeth from my previous visit to Hyderabad and I recollected that it didn’t take more than an hour or two from Kajipeth to Hyderbad. Actually it’s not Hyderabad but Secunderabad. It was around 5 O’ clock in the evening when we reached Kajipeth and by 7 pm we were in Secunderabad. When we were in Kajipeth we booked our hotel. Out of the station, we found ourselves in between the crowds of autos and taxis. Wasting no time, we took an auto to our destination, out hotel. It was hardly 10 mins drive to our hotel, which was situated in the heart of the Hyderabad city. It was an OK type hotel having all the required facilities.

We didn’t waste much time in the hotel. After getting freshen up, we left the hotel to explore the night life and have our dinner. We directly went to Prasads, a mall having multiplex as well as shopping complex. Being movie buffs, Yasmin and I are always ready to watch movies. So, there also, we first sneaked into the box office to enquire about the movies being available at that time. However, to our disappointment, not a single hindi or english movie was playing at that time. Though we were not language fundamentalists, we prefer not to give much pressure to understand a movie, which is in a language both of us didn’t understand. So, we gave up the idea of movie and went directly to our second favorite option, good food.

Since Yasmin is quite familiar with the restaurants in Prasads, I asked her to decide our eating spot. After moving randomly across the food courts as well as the restaurants, we decided to have our dinner in Ohris, which was according to Yasmin one of the good spots to have food of my choice. I, as usual, ordered chicken biriyani. My motto is eat hyderabadi biriyani if you are in hyderabad. You’ll not get the taste and aroma of hyderabadi biriyani in any placy, be in delhi, jaipur or agra or any other place (I haven’t gone to many places), if you don’t eat the biriyani in hyderbad. According to me, biriyani has the trademark of hyderabad. So, I ordered biriyani and also ordered chicken sizzler for Yasmin. Within 15-20 mins our food was ready. It’s was really very gud food. After having our dinner, we just roamed around for a few minutes inside Prasads. At around 10:30, we decided to call it a days and searched for an auto to our hotel. Within minutes, we reach our hotel. Since, we were quite tired of the train journey and our immediate outing thereafter, even though we thought to continue with our books, we couldn’t. When I lost myself in my sleep I don’t remember. So, in this way the most non-happening day of our journey came to an end.

This far is the part of our journey from delhi to hyderabad. But our main work will start the next day. Also, something happened that we were hoping but not expected that it would become possible.

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Date 10-03-2009 (Time 4:15)

Although our train was at 5:30 PM, we reached New Delhi Railway station (NDLS) quite early. I must thank Yasmin as she managed many things in very less time. By afternoon she completed the packing as well as some last minute shopping. Though it was last minute shopping, it was very important as she had to purchase some gifts intended for our friends. I wasn’t really able to contribute as I had to go to office at least for half a day. I reached home at around 3 O’ clock and after that we took our lunch and headed for the station. It was a normal day in NDLS, but we didn’t find the kind of rush we usually encounter. It was a bit surprising, as we were traveling a day before Holi, that too on a Friday evening and the station was not packed. First we checked the platform number for AP Express (we were traveling by Andhra Pradesh Express). It was platform no. 5 and in we rushed to the designated platform, making our way through a thin crowd.

So, by now you’ve guessed where we were heading. It’s obviously Hyderabad. But the main destination especially mine was Bangalore, where we planned to go as soon our (more precisely Yasmin’s) work in Hyderabad got over. I was hoping her work in Hyderabad University would be over in a single day, so that we could spend more time in B’lore. B’lore is special for me coz, most of my good friends are putting up there and I’ve not met most of them for near about four and half years. Yasmin is also excited about that as most of my friends are in good terms with her and also, some of her friends are working in B’lore. In a way, both of us were very excited about this trip and you will not believe if we tell you that we have been planning this trip for more than 1.5 years. But due to many reasons, it didn’t happen till that day. But finally, the day arrived and we were just waiting for the train.

In a few minutes we reached platform no. 5. An announcement informed us that the AP Express will be ready for boarding in the next 15 minutes. After sometime, the AP Express arrived in front of us. There was hardly any rush and on entering our compartment we realized that in our boogie there were at the most 30 people. More surprisingly, there was only a single person besides Yasmin and me in our compartment.

The train started sharp at 5:30 and our journey kicked off. Both of us are fond of train journeys and we were traveling by train after near about 6 months. Being a book buff, Yasmin always has books accompanying her whenever she travels. I also fall in that category, but only to a little extent as I get very less time nowadays for reading books. However, she can manage her work and reading very well. So, she picked up The Right attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith and I picked the Feluda Series vol 2 by Satyajit Rai. Both of us chose the two lower berths as they were empty and stretched our legs to start our reading. Soon, I was in deep sleep with the book wide open over my head. As I opened my eyes, it was about 6 ‘O clock in the evening and the Pantry boy was there to take the order for dinner. As I’m an ardent non-veg lover (including my wife), we ordered a non-veg dinner. Also, I do believe that if I’m spending money on eating out then it should be on non-veg. You can call this my own theory, idiosyncrasy, or what you will, but I try to follow this very strongly. Spending bucks on eating vegetarian food is something against my ethics.

We then discussed our ongoing trip and our friends. We were curious if they were the same or had changed with time, as more than four years had passed since we had last met them and we were now married; how would they receive us; had we changed in their eyes? We also planned out our itinerary for our short stay in Hyderabad.

Dinner was served by 9 O’ clock and by 9:30 Yasmin was on the upper berth and I was on the lower berth ready to sleep. Both of us were immersed in our books. I’m a fan of Feluda and I was re-reading the book. After a few pages, I didn’t exactly remember when, I surrendered to sleep. So, the first day of our journey was very plain and simple, yet we were very excited and were looking forward to meeting the people with whom we’d spent a few of our beautiful years.

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