I usually actually don’t tend to bring out the expeditions (Huge Word, Yes!) into my blog soon after they’re done even though I would’ve desired otherwise. This I’ve felt was probably due to the hangover I would be in right away that dramatically would give way to hustle and bustle of daily life before I could actually be penning them down. Knowing such of my tendencies, I’ve always tried saving memorabilia from my travels be it bus tickets, entry tickets to places I’ve been to, notes by others and else. Someday I hope to sit down and start penning them down one by one with the obvious motive of reliving them.
For now, the wanderlust has bit me again. And it is so different from all of my past escapades. It actually signifies the turnaround for me. It is the first time around that before commencing a journey; I am actually putting it across to all of you.
It all started from a casual remark that I made to our Malayali gang back here in Shisham about how exciting it would be to travelling home from Doon by bus. Their first reactions excepting one or maybe two were generally that of dismissal. They must’ve assumed it to be another joke that I was supposedly pushing across. I even made a fleeting remark about it to my sister when I was onboard the return train to Doon. As time passed I took to heart and head what I’d said and dwelt about it in all seriousness. Whenever I would be mentioning it amongst my friends, Vishnu was the one who’d be pushing me to do it in all earnestness whilst others probably didn’t comprehend what I stood to gain from the adventure I was about to undertake. But, beyond the apparently exciting expedition it was to be, there were ‘n’ number of things (Yes! I’d missed using that) that were yet to be figured out if I was to be reaching home with my life and limb intact.
I counted out the opportunities that I could be exploiting in the journey. I could be meeting up dear friends right on from my early school years to now, putting up with them, do some local hitchhiking at most places, Bus-fanning throughout the length of the journey (the many States to be covered and the multitude of Buses! OMG!) And finally do some random crazy shit as is usual for me on such expeditions.
Once it was decided that the expedition was on, now came across the task of charting out my journey. Considering the options at hand I first planned it out something like following: Dehradun – New Delhi – Agra – Jhansi – Jabalpur – Seoni – Nagpur – Hyderabad – Bangalore – Mysore – Sulthan Bathery – Ooty – Coimbatore – Sulthan Bathery – Thrissur – Ernakulam – Thiruvananthapuram. Agra, because six years in Delhi and I could never visit the Taj. Jabalpur, because I needed to be getting my certificates from the university and Sulthan Bathery because I wanted to ride on the Nilgiri Sulthan to Kovai beyond Udhagamandalam, return and then to make the descent to Thrissur in the morning via the Thamarassery Churam. I secured contacts in most places thanks to my mates in FRI as well as my KV upbringing.
But alas, the plan wasn’t to materialize atleast for the time being. The lack of State transport in Madhya Pradesh being a major setback and long sections of non-stop travel involved was there as such then came in the news of Selvi. Jayalalitha’s sudden passing away, that put me in a quandary about the state of affairs in Tamilnadu. But when the bug had already bitten, there was no looking back, the journey was rerouted promptly in a span of days, new contacts secured for the places I was to be in. Tamilnadu still stays very much with priority on the list, with me being hopeful of things improving soon. I set about with the preparations, almost on a war-footing for I didn’t have much time. Surprising was the fact that I indulged in it all when my examinations were on and I was supposed to be studying rigorously. But I could see the energy that sprang out from within, a wave that I’d been missing. I was happy with myself for that exact same reason. The route for now was restructured as Dehradun – New Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Pune – Bangalore – Mysore – Sulthan Bathery – Ooty – Coimbatore – Sulthan Bathery – Thrissur – Ernakulam – Thiruvananthapuram.
That’s quite a ride even when travelled in the tourist mode, I dunno how that’s gonna turn out for me. I am setting out anyhow with the belief firm that in the end, it will be one long memorable journey to home sweet home and that the Almighty will take care of what I’ve missed and the rest! Hopefully, I will write about the journey itself in one grand post once it attains completion.
So, Godspeed is the one that will help me in taking this post from anonymity to where it truly belongs! And I need it the most, from every one of you!