Monday, 11 April 2016

My train travels or travails – to Chennai ?

Shatabdi Express - Photo courtesy
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Hope you enjoyed my trip accounts from Bangalore via Wayanad and Thenkasi!

Am sharing my travel accounts and experiences of 5th April 2016 when I made a business trip to Chennai.

I boarded an OLA cab by 1530 hrs to reach Bangalore City Junction well on time.   The Shatabdi express 12008 always leaves Bangalore on time and reaches Chennai on time. Today was no exception – the train left Bangalore exactly at 1625 hrs.

As the train left Bangalore City Station, I opened and reviewed my presentation. I was doing my best to think and rehearse the presentation contents - shipping scenario/market trends. I also had to reply certain urgent emails when we were greeted by in-house catering staff in red uniforms. They offered us tea, juice and other snacks and refreshments.  This catering service is a unique feature about all Shatabdi trains.

Quickly the Bangalorean landscape of placid lakes changed to rocky terrains in Malur. The train was snaking through hills full of huge boulders.
1730 Hrs : Beep beeps could be heard in the coach as all passengers received the “Welcome to Tamilnadu“ SMS.
I wondered whether the SMS has any relevance as the coach/train in itself was a mini India. I could hear 5 different languages inside the coach.

Hindi - Please arrange a meeting - एक बैठक की व्यवस्था
Kannada - I am in a train ನಾನು ರೈಲು ಇದ್ದೇನೆ Nānu railu iddēne.
Tamil - How are you? Eppaṭi irukkiṟīrkaḷ -  எப்படி இருக்கிறீர்கள்.
Telugu - When are you coming నువ్వు ఎప్పుడు వస్తున్నావు Nuvvu eppuḍu vastunnāvu
Malayalam- I am not coming this week  ഞാൻ ആഴ്ച വരുന്നില്ല
ñān ī āḻca varunnilla

I could see the blazing sun preparing for a sunset…. A few passengers hurriedly reached for the screens as they were not able to bear the sunlight.

The train is now zipping past beautiful coconut plantations near Jolarpettai.
I notice kids coming and shaking hands with passengers and playing with them. They only knew one language – an innocent and booming smile that was enough to connect and communicate with all passengers. A smile is infectious. The kids smiled and that smile spread like a flu through that entire coach !

Chennai Central Railway Station
Now, I can see the starry sky above and a thousand lights shining in Mambalam, Basin Bridge as the train speeds through suburbs of Chennai to reach on time….. I can still hear the different languages. Passengers inform their near and dear that train is on time and will reach Chennai by 2125 hrs.  The kids are now very good friends and running inside the coach singing poems and playing games.

I see my own reflection on the window of the train… I have my own reflections of this journey as it ends here and begins in Chennai. I look forward to a bright new day with new strengths, new possibilities and new thoughts to move forward ! Have a great day ahead !

1 comment:

  1. Chennai is a wonderful place.It was good to know about your train travel to chennai.If you are coming to chennai then visit some of the beautiful places in chennai.You can also travel through bus.Book bus tickets in Leading travel operator like Vivegam Travels and have a wonderful journey.