Day 1: Chennai & Mahabalipuram.

Day 1: Chennai & Mahabalipuram.

A Chapter by thepurpleirises
"

Just the start of the trip. Read on. :)

"

13th April 2013.

 

I pulled off my parents quilt, causing them to awake. It was 3.15 in the morning and we had to leave in an hour.

Looking at me with sleepy eyes, they eventually got up. I’d hardly slept myself. Lately, I’d been having tons of sleeping problems and I’d totally slept for an hour.

Nevertheless, I squirmed into my skinny jeans while my head was throbbing with an oncoming migraine.

We checked the doors and windows, made sure everything was locked tight. After all, this was going to be a long vacation.

The booked cab was waiting for us, on the ground floor. After descending from the 12th floor, we carried our luggage and really soon, we were off.

The ride to the Bangalore City Station was quiet. The three of us were lost in our own thoughts.

The Shatabdi Express to Chennai hadn’t arrived yet when we reached the station. Quietly, we sat on the platform bench along with the luggage.

 

After about ten minutes, we boarded the train.
Shatabdi Express, essentially known for just its AC Chair Cars seemed perfect. Dad put the entire luggage in the overhead racks while I settled beside the window, with Ma on the other side. The coach looked new and the windows were wide.

 

And so we spent the next two and a half hours, eating their exaggerated served amount of food and staring at the beautiful outside. The train departed at about 6 am and was scheduled to reach at around 11 am.

 

The outsides were pretty. We enthusiastically passed by all the places we knew in Bangalore and after Whitefield, the last station all we saw were fields. Endless fields of farming land, with farmers busy at work. All dressed in colorful lungis and worn-out shirts. We passed countless villages, all scorching in the hot South-Indian sun.

 

The South-Indian countryside mainly consists of a rough terrain, mostly big boulders, all balanced in scary and somewhat interesting ways. The hillocks of boulders took the role of the backdrop and in front, stretched the endless fields.

 

Just as we were crossing another station with a name impossible to pronounce, we saw an upturned train. Ma immediately exclaimed that it was the same train accident she had read about in the papers, a few days ago. Everyone including myself edged forward to get a better view.

 

          ~

 

The heat hit us with a staggering intensity as we stepped onto the Chennai Central platform. And I’m honestly not exaggerating, not one bit. 

 

Struggling with our bags, we finally reached Higginbotham’s where our hotel driver would be awaiting us. We soon realized that Chennai Central has at least THREE Higginbotham’s outlets.

After numerous phone calls and much confusion, we finally found a man clad in white and holding up a placard which boldly read ‘Greetings and Welcome to Mr. Sandip Biswas and Family.’ That honestly left me a little fascinated for a while.
Yes, call me childish.

 

As soon as we left the station, Ma exclaimed that the place reminded her of Kolkata. Cursing the hot sun while squinting my eyes, I sort of understood why.

‘Hotel Howrah’ is the first building that would catch the eyes of people coming out of the station. Considering that as a side note, Ma was generally fascinated by everything. What really annoyed me was the way she compared everything to Bangalore. Living in Bangalore for almost ten years now, I was naturally extremely defensive.
Oh, well. I was happy about the AC car that was protecting us from the heat and our extremely enthusiastic driver who decided to point at random buildings and call out random names. They all sounded the same to me, the names, I mean. They were all long and consisted of an abnormal number of double ‘i’s and double ‘l’s. Although the good thing about the place is everyone speaks in English. Language is hardly a problem, for that reason.

 

The drive down the side of the Marina Beach was brilliant. The sea, in general, sparkled beautifully in the blazing sunlight. And the width of the beach was huge.

We didn’t attempt getting off and walking to the shore. The sand LOOKED hot to all of us, none of us really wanted to get too adventurous and burn our feet.

Later, we learnt that during the 2004 Tsunami, the water had only reached the road while the buildings remained completely unaffected.

 

A statue we’d passed by particularly fascinated Ma. An older elephant embracing a younger one. I saw it in such an angle that it looked like the older elephant was devouring the other.

I teased Ma saying that she was supporting their attempt to promote cannibalism and pretended to grumble about how Bangalore was way better. Dad laughed when I said something about how this city of Tamilians are extremely morbid. [No racism intended.]

                                   ~

 

Hotel Mamalla Heritage. Room 203.

 

It was decent. Decent beds, decent bathrooms and a walk-able distance from all the sightseeing places. All to our requirements.

After freshening up a bit, we had lunch at ‘Waves’, their Non-Veg Restaurant on the 2nd floor.

After lunch, we spoke to the people at the reception who advised us to not go out in the sun. Thoroughly convinced and secretly relieved, we decided to take a nap until around 5. And it was true that we all needed some rest.

When we left the hotel, later that day, the weather was pretty pleasant. But it turned out that all the sightseeing places and temples closed at 5.30 pm and reopened only at 6 am. Changing our minds, we walked around for a bit and finally headed towards the beach.

 

The beach was absolutely beautiful. Not in terms of maintenance, lighting or the kind of crowd present. It was dirty; the entrance was absolutely unimpressive (It was a narrow passage, really. Filled with people trying to sell all kinds of merchandise.) and the place was hardly lit. Nonetheless, it was wonderful. In an absurd way.

 

The sky was clear that night. The numerous stars were brilliantly illuminated, away from the disturbing lights of the city. It was quiet and peaceful.
So I stood there with dark lukewarm waves crashing against my bare feet and the sand wriggling through my toes, my arms relaxed and above me, a million stars kissed the dark sea. Ah.

 

We spent a long time on the beach. Just sitting on the sand and watching the waves form. We also realized that it was the time of the High Tide and this realization was accompanied by hilarious episodes of Dad’s slippers being washed away and them returning.

We shopped for a bit after that. And finally ate dinner at this recommended place called MoonRakers. It seemed to attract a lot of crowd, unlike the restaurants around it. The food was brilliant. Tons of prawns, much to all of our liking.

 

We walked back to the hotel, feeling absolutely full. We finally decided to call in an early night, crashing by 10. It took a while for me to sleep, with the creepy noises coming from the ancient AC.

 

I eventually drifted off into slumber, experiencing dreams of stars and waves.

                                   ~




© 2013 thepurpleirises



Author's Note

thepurpleirises
Please do review. I'm open to all suggestions and criticism. :)

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Added on May 4, 2013
Last Updated on May 5, 2013
Tags: Train, Station, Chennai, Mom, Dad, Beach, Stars, Mahabalipuram, Hotel, Driver


Author

thepurpleirises
thepurpleirises

Bangalore, India



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Hi, I'm Sumedha and I'm sixteen. I love writing, it's something I look forward to eagerly. It makes me free, expresses my feelings exactly. I do hope to put up more here. Also, I recently start.. more..

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