Thursday, September 13, 2018

At Raj Nivas.

The day had begun at 4 AM, for the three of us. After going through the chores, we were ready by a quarter past 5 and it was Anto who was delayed by about 10 mts. There were five pieces of luggage between Mini and us - which I was a bit apprehensive about being problematic while boarding/disembarking the vehicles and no, I wasn't gonna let the ladies share the burden. Mini would be going to her husband's place for spending the remaining part of her holidays, while we returned to Guruvayur.

Anto had offered to help me with the baggage to the boarding point - our train was parked on platform 3 and hence, it was a long trudge which I'd politely refused - but damn sweet of him. At the entrance, Lekha had zeroed in on the RPF personnel-on-duty, Unnikrishnan, who helped us to get the porter, Kesavan through a call from his cellphone. Mini bought the tickets before the queue got lengthy and she and Lekha had started the long trudge, cutting across railway tracks while Kesavan went through the parked train, in between, with the baggage. I thanked Unnikrishnan for his timely help and trudged along after acquiring the day's newspapers.

The engine driver was a boor all right, he'd parked the train ahead of the normal parking point which gave the passengers a tough time to walk through the last stretch on the track between the stones and the grass. Wonder why guys have to be bad and boorish? I chided him showing how an elderly gentleman had to be steadied up when he fumbled twice on the uneven surface but he didn't seem to care. But after Anto, Unnikrishnan and Kesavan, this boor of a guy was quickly forgotten.

We'd settled down in the fifth coach from the engine and the journey was reasonably okay. I could recite my prayer before the train reached Poonkunnam, the station between Guruvayur and Thrissur and I found that Lekha and Mini, too, were also at it. The coach was packed from Thrissur to Ernakulam Town and then, there were hardly any passengers! We had a breakfast of idlis, a vada along with running chutney and sambar, bought from the platform stall, by about a half past 8. The train was delayed by over an hour when it was halted at Mulanthuruthy and Vaikom Road for two trains to overtake and two to cross! It didn't dampen our spirits, though, as we talked, pulled each other's legs and generally enjoyed the journey as we weren't worried about having to meeting any deadline!

Lunch was at 2, at Kollam, again bought off from one of the station vendors and by the time we reached Kuri Halt, our destination, it was a half past 3. Vijayan, the caretaker, was available with the auto rickshaw and we were at the Raj Nivas by teatime. The workers on our compound - there were only two of them today - George and Sindhu have done a wonderful job of removing the thick and unruly weeds but there's still a substantial amount of work left and we have already consumed 10 man days out of the 25!

I'd my usual conversation with my parents regarding our stay out here, this time and our programme!

Lekha and Mini wanted to go to the Kottarakkara Ganesh temple as it's Vinayaka Chathurthi today and so, I was left at home to interact with the school authorities who'd come to brief me about tomorrow's programme. There were other guests who had dropped by and it was great to catch up with the goings on in our village.


Lekha and Mini had returned from the temple by a half past 8 and looking at their faces, I knew they were happy and contended that they could make that visit to the temple! And that, in turn, made me happy!

It drifted into a late evening as we chatted about almost everything under the sun! The dinner rustled up by them was simply good!!

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