I sat near the window waiting impatiently. I looked at my watch for the umpteenth time in the last half an hour. It was time. I was restless and kept looking out through the window. Finally, there it was!! I heard the whistle with much delight. And I continued to stare even harder out through the window. Yes, we were moving- the train has started moving and my joy knew no bounds. Finally the journey has begun and my wait is nearing its end- just 7 and half hours more….
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So finally here I am. This is my third attempt in writing a post in the last 3 months. I could never complete the previous ones. So here I am starting afresh with the third one. I really hope that I can complete at least this piece of writing.
The title of my last post read “The Wait Goes On…” The status update is that “The Wait Still Goes On…” The wait starts from Monday and the countdown begins for ‘Friday’. Well, if you ask me which is my favourite day of the week, I will instantly tell you that it is none other than the sixth day of the week, Friday. Fridays always begin delight. The last working day of the week (luckily we don’t have classes on Saturday) and the day when I begin my journey- the journey to the best place in the world- my home.
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I watched as the train slowly moved through the station. My joy was increasing exponentially and I almost exploded with delight as I saw the board which read ‘Kozhikode’. I waved to the board enthusiastically. As I reach this place on a Monday morning, the wait begins- for this moment, when I can bid adieu to this station and this place.
It is not that I do not like this place. In fact, in the short span of 3 months that I have been here, I have grown quite fond of this place, Kozhikode aka Calicut. The people here are very nice and good hearted. They speak with a peculiar accent and you can immediately distinguish the natives of this place from others. Kozhikode is famous for its auto-rickshaw drivers who never take a paise more than the meter charge. They are very helpful and behave nicely to people. I have had some very good experiences with the auto drivers here. And I always wondered about how different they were from the people at our place. Really the auto drivers of Calicut represent the people of this place.
I also love the way in which people stand in queue at railway station for auto rickshaws. I can never imagine such a scene in the place where I belong to. Also the private buses which takes you very quickly to destination is another specialty of this place. (You may get a heart attack at times but don’t worry, you’ll safely reach your destination.)
I tell you, all the good things you hear about this place are very much true. If you believe that good people have ceased to exist on this planet, I would advise you to make a visit to Calicut. I am sure that this place will surprise you right from the moment you set foot on this place. And you’ll change your opinion in no time.
Kozhikode is also famous for halwas and biriyanis. You’ll find a lot of shops selling halwas and they sell halwas of various flavours.
Calicut is a big city. The roads are well maintained and the traffic blocks are very less because the traffic rules are strictly followed here.
You’ll get a peek into the life at this place if you watch the recently released Prithviraj starrer malayalam film “Indian Rupee”. As a matter of fact, when we went to Calicut for my college admission in July, the shooting of this film was going on. And the film crew stayed in the same hotel where we had stayed. But we got to know about this only after we watched the film.
Now if the place is so good, why do I eagerly wait for the moment when I can bid adieu to Calicut? The answer is very simple- the best place in the world for me is where I am with my beloved and the people who love me. And that happens to be my home. I have two ‘homes’ now. Any one among the two will do as long as I have my beloved by my side.
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The train just crossed the “Kallai River” and it was slowly gaining speed. My heart kept telling the train “Go Go Go… Take me to my beloved fast…” Soon the train was running at good speed. I called my beloved who was 399km (via Alleppey) away from me, to tell him that I will be with him when the clock strikes nine, if everything goes fine and the train runs on time. I can’t tell you how happy I was. I had mentioned in one of my previous posts about the love and craze I had for trains and the attachment I had with them. I love trains even more now- especially this one. In fact this is my favourite.
Train no: 12075 Kozhikode-Thiruvananthapuram Jan Shatabdi Express- the very name of this train makes my heart fill with joy. It is a very special train. The Jan Chair Cars make you feel cozy in the journey from northern Kerala to the south. From Calicut, it takes me through Malappuram, Thrissur, Palakkad, Ernakulam, Alleppey and Kollam, to finally reach my home in Trivandrum. The train has limited number of stops and it almost always runs on time.
I still remember the first time I travelled by this train. The train was then running between Trivandrum and Ernakulam. I boarded the train with my parents from Kollam and you know what, I did not like the train at all. We reached Ernakulam quite fast, but thenI somehow didn’t like the Jan chair cars in which the seats were quite congested and I didn’t like the way the windows were kept. So after that, whenever we took a journey to Ernakulam by train, I was always careful not to choose the train.
My father still laughs at me citing how the train which I once hated very much has now become my favourite. He is right. When I boarded Jan Shatabdi for the first time, I never dreamt that after some years this very train would become my lifeline. Life is strange, isn’t it??
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It is more than one year since I made my blog post and life has changed do much in this span of time. I am a married girl now. I have my destined one by my side. I also have a ‘new’ home and a very loving ‘new’ family. It’s indeed a very big change, but thanks to my new ‘father’ and ‘mother’, I am slowly learning to shoulder my new ‘responsibilities’. They have been very kind to me. I feel really lucky to have them all. I have graduated and am now doing my PG course in one of the most reputed engineering institutes in the country.
The only grief I have is this separation from my beloved. Every week, I have to wait for 5 long days to be with him for 2 days. I know that my complaint is not much serious as there are couples who remain separated for years. But still, it is very much unbearable for me. While Friday is the most anticipated day for me, the day I hate the most is Sunday, as I have to take the train back to Calicut on that day. I keep telling my beloved nearly hundred times that day that I do not want to go. I feel jealous about my other married friends who get to stay with their husband always. I wonder why I am taking so much pain- staying away from my ‘beloved’ and taking up all the toil and pressure of studies.
But he lovingly consoles me and tells me about the bright future that awaits us at the end of 2 years. He tells me that all my pain and sacrifice are going to be fairly rewarded. And I believe him. I dream about the wonderful life that awaits us at the end of this short tenure of suffering. And I realize that I am growing mature and responsible.
My friends tell me that I am still the same childish girl whom they knew at college. But I know that I am slowly getting mature as demanded by the situations life has put me in. Maybe that is why, I never get tired of the long journeys every weekend, much to the surprise of my friends and I never felt afraid when once I had to catch a train alone at10:30 pm.
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The person sitting next to me asks, “Are you a student?” I reply back positively.
“Where do you study??”
“NIT Calicut”, I replied with a feeling of pride. I had every reason to be proud. After all, how many people manage to get into an institute of this reputation every year?? My Gate score could have fetched me admission into an IIT. My friends still ask me why I didn’t apply to the IITs. I tell them with a smile that I couldn’t attend the admission procedure due to my marriage and my loved ones were also concerned about me going to distant places. But I never tell them about the disappointment I had then at missing that opportunity. About how bad I felt at those times when I realized that I was going to miss the chance of a lifetime.
I am happy now, even though in a corner of my heart, I still have a bit of disappointment. But I realize that it was destiny. God has His own plans. He knows what is best for me. He knew that I couldn’t be away from my beloved after our marriage. So even though initially I had to suffer a lot of pain, life has now given me the best. And so here I am, doing my studies in a good institute 5 days a week and spending my weekend with my beloved.
But I am happy now. I know that I would have never been happy had I been away in an IIT. And happiness is more important than anything – even the opportunity to study in an IIT.
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The train just passed Aluva- my birthplace and we’d reach Ernakulam in another 20 minutes or so. Half of the journey is done. Three and half hours more to go. The wait goes on…..