Sunday, May 14, 2017

A day of travel and attending weddings.

I'd got up a trifle past 6, making everyone wonder as to why I was taking it so easy. I'd distances to cover and appointments to keep - attend the weddings of the sons of two dear friends, Satish Kumar and Mathew George. Sumesh, a youngster from here and a professional tipper driver, was gonna be my chauffeur for the day. He'd arrived on the dot at a quarter past 8, cleaned up my sister's car and by a quarter to 9 we're off to Thiruvananthapuram to attend the first wedding.

We reached the convention center within the Mar Ivanios College premises a trifle after 10. On entering the glittering marriage hall it was the bridegroom's father, Satish, who was there at hand to receive yours truly with a bear hug. There was a smattering of my friends from the University College, a few of whom I was meeting after those heady days of the early '70s. Time had done its act and some of them had changed considerably. It was wonderful to rekindle the relationships and meet up with the families. The one lingering shot of the wedding that shall remain etched in my mind is the confused look on Sanjay's face as he tried to put the 'thaali' on the bride's neck because of the manner in which his dad had handed over the ornament to him! Trust Satish to confuse a simple and straightforward situation - for a good laugh for the entire gathering!!

After the ceremonial wedding lunch, we'd set off on our way to Ernakulam, the venue of the second wedding followed by the reception. We're coasting at a comfortable speed when an emergency cropped up, all of a sudden. The vehicle was low on fuel and due to a snap strike by the petrol pump dealers, all the bunks enroute were closed. We made it into Alappuzha town with the fuel gauge blinking dangerous fuel levels and the humid heat wafting into the car because of the shutting down of the air conditioner, to squeeze more mileage out of the remaining fuel. On checking with the first cluster of auto rick drivers, understood that the only government owned pump was open and we rushed to that bunk to join the queue which was, thankfully, short!

I reached my cousin's place soon after 6 after a couple of deviations from the national highway, thanks to the repairs on the road being carried out! It was a humbling effect to spend a few quiet moments with my grand aunt, who of course, didn't register a thing. After a short interaction with the others, I set off for the venue after 7.

The next two and a half hours were a nostalgic trip down memory lane! The interaction with my classmates, friends and the newly wedded couple was simply great . After conversations, an almost continuous photo and video coverage session  and a spectacular dinner, I'd made a quick retreat with Sumesh behind the wheel.


It was a smooth and speedy return home with me punching in the day's experiences on my laptop! But a very satisfying day, altogether! ..........The total distance traveled was an impressive 425 kms!!     

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