I had an opportunity to travel by Electric train today - after a very very long time...
I travelled from Beach station to Guindy, a blissful 25 minute ride around Chennai with a whole compartment almost to myself, smiling at the chatter of a group of school girls going for exams, watching thorugh those iron rodded windows couples sitting on the benches, vendors selling, all that greenery and multiple perspectives of Chennai from an electric train. Even during my first ever journey in an electric train, that struck me quite starkly - the perspective of Chennai from a Bus and a train are completely different, I like the former better.
Talking to myself ( monologues have become a way of life, which makes me a great company for myself) during the entire journey reminscing about the good old times in the past, I didnt realise how the 25 minutes passed by.
When the electric train crossed the highcourt busstand and I was reminded of a very funny incident that happened when I tried being naughty while I was travelling in a bus,( a moement when I forgot myself and my surroundings), 56H to be precise, after college with Jigila. How I almost got caught and was let go by a magnanimous pillion rider who ensured that as one of the best moments of relief in my life. ( what a surprise, as I key in this line.. Jigila called on my mobile ... Amazing!!) - I am thankful for these graces in life - friends who call me when I think of them, but Jigie is not just a mere friend !!!
Chetpet reminded me of MCC school, where I had my first professional training as part of my job, memories of all my friends there Suresh, Gokul, Jane, Jayashree, Uma, Bindu, and of course Khan ( how can I ever forget him). Thats when I started travelling by train extensively. Wimco Nagar to Central, Park to Chetpet and back. I loved those journeys. I loved those training sessions, friendships, the bonding, the challenges, the fun, the camaraderie, the learning.. Whoa...
Egmore reminded more of the Doveton Corrie days of training, Khan and I used to manage the logistics of training, to Khan's dismay I ended up managing the finance, Daniel, Binda, Naomi ( she passed away tragically), vijayalakshmi, Pearly, Joe kuriakose, Chackochen, Austin, Jamuna, Jane, the corner shop, Waikiki complex etc., It used to be so easy to meet Petula there. Its close from Perambur.
Nungambakkam reminded me of my MBA days - Some of those MBA days i used to travel from Numgambakkam to Guindy. It never used be pleasant, cos' I was most of the time anxious to reach home, teach dennu and complete hundred other things, always occupied, planning what to do next - but it reminds me of my grit, my perseverence and my potential. If I put my heart and soul to something I will get more that what I aspire for. My Gold Medal is a constant reminder of that and the grace of God. I still cant beleive I did a part-time MBA.
While it was the PTC bus that I used during school and college days, it was the electric train for 3 years while I was working but my favourite definitely is the greenish PTC bus. I still love them - the green coloured ones. they are so rare these days. I dont connect to the the new range of MTC buses that are now going around Chennai.
Kodambakkam always had reminded me of Fatima, as there were so many stories that I have heard from Jigila about her journey and other interesting anecdotes about her journey from here to Wimco Nagar during her school days. Later my sister also did her schooling there. I used to remember Jigila's stories during my MBA journey days too!!!
The Mambalam station was quite empty today contrary to the regular sight of crowded madness. Maybe because of the timing that I travelled... I crossed CTI quarters near Guindy, which is the place where I went to first time on a bike with Joe to Chetan and Chechi's place.
So finally this 25 minute journey turned out to be a Joy ride, reminding me of some good old days dating back close to 2 decades and during this thanksgiving weekend helped me remind of yet another grace of a happy, carefree and a lovely youth surrounded by friends, cousins, family and lot of beautiful memories !!