Thursday, June 30, 2016

A script that went wrong.

The day had begun at 4, as I got ready for the trip to my dad's place. Anto came promptly at 20' past 5. The queue for purchasing the tickets was thankfully short and by 6, I was off. As has been the case in the past, getting a newspaper was out, as the train that  brought the papers in was late by more than an hour. We saw it running into its designated platform at Thrissur!

Since it was raining, the crowd in the train was less but I could have the sandwiches, packed by Lekha, only after reaching Ernakulam. The journey was uneventful and I reached the school at the appointed hour. I was shown the books bought by the committee consisting of the Head Mistress, reps of the parent-teacher's association and the children. There seemed to be a wide spread of subjects that were covered and I lauded the team for its good work and choice.

At the meeting I told the children about what I'd learnt from my grandfather and my father by narrating a few episodes of my life peppered with a fair number of anecdotes. There were four other speakers but the entire meeting was over within 11/2 hrs.

I was dropped at Raj Nivas soon after and between the caretaker and me, the weeding - the new saplings have a great amount of weeds around them and they need to be removed but the break in the monsoons just doesn't seem to come around - schedule was worked out and I handed over the cheque to him . He also took me around his son's new venture on coconut processing. He has given me a formal invite - in fact, the three of us - for the inaugural function in the second week of July. Unni, the auto rickshaw driver who'd taken me from the station to the venue also facilitated my return. The train came on time and we raced towards Kollam.

But one station short of the destination, the train was kept waiting for want of platform clearance, ahead at Kollam. Yet another tantalizing situation of 'so near yet so far'. I dunno why I nursed a positive outcome but in the process missed the connection train from Thiruvananthapuram on which I was booked. I could have easily caught a bus, an auto rickshaw or a cab to reach the station and boarded the train. The sheer inaction baffled me as I recounted the moment again and again, subsequently. But my long wait at Kollam, that followed, enabled my man Vishnu to collect my signatures on the official papers prepared, earlier in the day, at the Foundation in Thiruvananthapuram. The comprehensive report could now be sent to New Delhi tomorrow itself!

My hopes of reaching 'The Quarterdeck' by midnight, however, were dashed.


A night being spent in the train!

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