The Wait Still Goes On…

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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…..

 

And the Wait Goes On….

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This time I’d like to share with you a few lines I’d jotted down on a cold July night…


As I stood near the window
Wiping away my tears
How I wished there was
Another pair of hands
To do the same

I gazed up at the sky
Seeking answers
To the hardest questions of my life
Why was I all alone
In a crowd where
Everybody had somebody

And as I watched the
Smiling faces
I couldn’t help but wonder
Whether I was the only unlucky one
With a missing piece in
The marvelous puzzle called life

But I knew that I had you
That you’d soon be there
By my side to complete
The beautiful Portrait of my life

Everyone tells me
That you are not there
That you don’t exist
That I am daydreaming
That my hopes are to get shattered soon


But I know that you are there
That you do exist
In some corner of the world
That you crave for me
The way I do for you

It’s just a matter of time
Before we come face to face
And I find my life complete

Till then the wait goes on
As I search among the crowd
For the face
I knew was made for me-
Only for me

For the smile
That’ll wash away my tears
Making my life glow with happiness

For the person
Who makes my life complete
And me too…

Days, months, years have passed
But the wait goes on
For that heavenly moment
When I find you before me
And the best chapter of my life unfolds
As you hold my hand
With a silent promise
Of being there with me
Through the best and the worst
Till the very end….

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The good news is that the wait is going to meet its end soon… 🙂 🙂

How Khan Helped Me Jump Over the Gate…

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Finally here comes the much awaited second part of the series… I’m glad to know that a lot of people liked the first part… Sorry for keeping you guys waiting forever… But your wait has finally met its end… The second part is here… Read and enjoy and don’t forget to leave your comments.. 🙂

Part II


Everything was going well until something terrible happened on Saturday noon. And this time it happened with me – I fell ill. It all started with a stomach ache and very soon I was down with high fever. I was in a lot of pain not just because of the fever but also due to worries about my gate exam and MNIK. And it was not just me, everyone in the house was worried.

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In the evening, my father took me to a nearby clinic where I was given an injection as well as some tablets. The doctor assured us that I would be better by the morning. Indeed I felt great relief when I reached home- the effect of injection. Soon I got myself  refreshed and started going through some of the Gate topics. However things got worse after dinner. The body pain and head ache was back and I was struggling with pain. And to add to all of it, I was unable to sleep.

I felt that I wouldn’t be able to give my Gate exam the next day. And that meant that I could forget about MNIK. Well, Hindi films were usually screened for only a week or two in the theatres in our town, so I wasn’t sure whether the film would be there when I come back home the next weekend. And I somehow felt convinced that the movie won’t be there. Gosh, everything had come to an end so soon – my Gate and MNIK. I was literally sobbing when my mom, who was sharing the room with me that night, woke up. She checked my temperature and gave me a tablet. I could clearly see how worried she was. And this added to my miseries.

And that was when I remembered an article I’d read in Readers Digest some time back. It was about a girl who met with a terrible accident and came back to life quite miraculously. In her worst times, the girl had kept telling herself that she had to get past all these troubles. So I started telling myself that I’d to recover if not for Gate, then for MNIK. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t lose the chance now. I told myself to fight. This might sound crazy, but it was the only thing I could do apart from praying. I kept telling myself that I’d to recover for the next day.

I didn’t know when I’d fallen asleep because when I opened my eyes again it was starting to dawn. I could see the early rays of the sun coming through the window. And then I started analyzing my physical conditions. Well the body pain was gone and except for the slight head ache, I was fine. I continued lying on the bed, just to see if the body pain would return.

To my surprise, I found that I’d improved considerably given my condition yesterday night. But still I was feeling drowsy. I laid down on the bed pretending to be asleep. I was planning to give my parents a big surprise.

My mother had got awake by then. And soon my father was up too. I could hear my mother telling my father about how my condition got worsened in the previous night. They realized that I would not be able to give my exam. Then I heard my mom going to the kitchen. My father would probably be in the sit out reading the newspaper and it was about 7am. So I decided that it was time to give the surprise.

I crept out of my bed and walked straight to the sit out. As expected my father was there immersed in the newspaper. I went to him and sensing my presence he looked up at me. I told him that I was alright and ready to give the exam. But he didn’t believe me at first as he asked me about my condition the previous night. He told me that it was okay even if I didn’t give my exam. But then it wasn’t okay for me, after all I had MNIK at stake. Finally I managed to convince him. I could see that he was happy that I was going to attend the exam. He kept the newspaper aside and we rushed to the kitchen. Soon my mother was also updated with the news that I was fit to give the exam. I took a cup of hot tea while my father rushed to iron his clothes. We got ready quickly and assembled for the breakfast. My mother asked again whether I actually wanted to do this. But I had made up my mind.

Now I asked my father if we could go to the movie after the exam. My father was so happy about me going for the exam that he readily agreed. He told me that while I gave my exam, he would get the tickets reserved and on hearing this, my happiness knew no bounds.

I collected my things- pen, pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener and my hall ticket. My mom gave me a bottle of water and also some tablets. My exam centre was just a 15 minute drive from my home. While I sat in the car, I took my hall ticket and looked at my registration number. It was a special number-‘7#$7#$7’ .There were lots of 7s. Even though I didn’t believe much in numerology, I always felt happy and confident when I had a 7 in my roll number – after all 7 was my lucky number. Indeed it was no different this time. So I was mostly at ease during the drive.

We reached the centre and soon found out my exam hall. I saw that some of my seniors in college were also there to give the exam. I even met one of my batch mates  and we had some casual talk. After some time, my father came and told me that he was going to get the tickets reserved for the movie. He wished me luck before leaving. Soon it was time for the exam to start. I went into the hall without feeling any sort of tension. After all this was not my last chance.

I never knew how the next 3 hours went by. The exam was quite easy, in fact simpler than what I had expected. Even though I was feeling a bit weak, I enjoyed cracking the questions. Soon the final bell rang and I went out of the hall after handing out the OMR sheet to the invigilator. My eyes began scanning the crowd for my father. I finally spotted him and literally ran towards him. He could read everything from my face; still, he asked me how the paper had been. I told him that the paper was good and that I’d done quite well. Needless to say, he was also elated. He showed me the tickets he had reserved for the evening show and I became happier.

Everyone at home was also happy to know that I had given my exam well. I realized that I had made the right decision by attending the exam. I thanked the Almighty for helping me recover fast and also for helping me make the right decision. Now that the exam was over, I was excited about MNIK.

In the evening, we all got ready and went to the theatre. Since the movie was released just two days back, there was considerable rush. It turned out to be a boon that we had got the tickets reserved.

Finally the movie started. And my excitement continued to grow with every scene in the movie. After all I had gone through a lot just to make it to this point. I enjoyed every moment of the movie and most of all I admired the SRK-Kajol pair on screen.

I simply loved the movie and so did my parents and my bro. My father, who is a big critic of Hindi movies, had to agree that the movie was really good. I must admit that it wasn’t basically a romantic film. But there were a lot of other important issues being discussed in the movie. It had a message to the audience. Once again it was proved that only love can conquer the world. Hatred makes life all the more complicated and difficult to live. It was an awesome movie and SRK and Kajol had done their roles really well.

So finally my wish was granted. I watched MNIK in theatre with my family. It was indeed a perfect ending after all the miseries we had gone through in the past few days. Yes, that Valentines’ Day became special for me, but in a different way.

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And so, like SRK says in Om Shanti Om ‘Everything must have a happy ending. If not, then it’s not the ending. Picture to abhi baaki hain mere dost…..’ It was no different in my case. When the GATE results came out on March 15, I’d secured AIR 1997 (see another ‘7’) and a fantastic percentile of 98.1. I knew that it was all because of Almighty’s blessings that I got the health to attend the exam. And I expressed my gratitude to HIM. And as I stood amidst all the cheers from my friends, I could not help remembering ‘Khan’. After all, his MNIK had given me the will to struggle through my illness. I silently thanked him.

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Well, so that was the story. The Gate score was important to me in ways more than one. It secured my chances of going for higher studies and most importantly, helped me improve the confidence I had on my potential.

I don’t know how much you can relate with this story. But I would like to tell you something- God sometimes chooses weird ways to bring happiness and good luck into our lives. And in my case, He had chosen Khan and I’ll always be grateful to Him for that………

How Khan Helped Me Jump Over the Gate…

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I know that I’d been boring you guys for quite some time with my travelogues and poems. So let’s take a break and have something more entertaining. Here’s a small yet colorful page from the enthralling book of my life. It comes in two parts and here enjoy the first one… 🙂

Part I

Hey so I’m back with another post with a most confusing title. I love making you guys crazy (maybe because I myself am quite crazy :P). I am sure that you can’t actually make out anything from the title and I can’t blame you for that because, Khan, Gate – now what is this girl talking about??? I know that it doesn’t make sense at all but I can assure you that once you finish reading this piece, you’ll definitely be in a better position.

So let me guess, what do you think is this post all about- someone helping me to jump over some gate??? Now why do I need to jump over a gate??? Okay so now let’s take it bit by bit. So which gate do you think am I talking about here??  The Gate I’m talking about here is… is… nothing but the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, the All India entrance test for admission to post graduate courses in various engineering disciplines. Well the suspense was not worth it, was it???

Fine now think about it- jumping over the Gate means- yes, you’ve got it right there- I’ve qualified Gate exam and that too with a good AIR!!! Well, now at least so much is clear. So what about the Khan part?? Who is this Khan??? I’m sure you all must have heard about him. Yes, you have guessed it right- the Khan of ‘My Name is Khan’, our very own ‘King Khan’!!! Hey, wait a minute, so what do you think Khan has got to do with my Gate exam or most importantly with me???

The answer is quite simple. I am a big SRK fan like many of you, just one among the millions of his fans. And I can assure you that neither does SRK know me nor about this particular incident which I’m narrating over here. Still, I’d like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for indirectly helping me. He’ll never be able to know about how he had made a small yet significant contribution in the life of an ordinary girl – and that’s me!!


I guess it’s time to break the suspense and start with the story. This incident happened a few months back- to be precise on Feb 14th, yes, Valentine’s Day!! So here we go…

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I was very tired when I took the bus home on February 11 2010, Thursday. My first internal exams had just come to an end. The next day was a holiday as it was Sivarathri. Everyone was happy as we had 3 days holidays and most of my friends were going home. But I had no time to relax as I’d to give my Gate exam on Sunday. Even though I was only doing my third year, I took the exam quite seriously as the Gate score had 2 years validity. It was a fact that I couldn’t prepare as well as I’d expected. Still I wanted to utilize the next 2 days properly and give my best on Sunday.

I was on my way home when I got a text message from my friend CS15 who also was on her way home. She texted that she had reached Aleppey and that she could see the posters of MNIK all around the town. She knew how excited I was about MNIK- the movie of the friends, Karan-SRK-Kajol. I had been looking forward to this movie ever since the discussions of the film began around 2 years back. And every time the release date was postponed, I got disappointed. I was a huge fan of SRK-Kajol and was eagerly waiting to watch them again on screen. So when I got to know that the film was finally getting released on Feb 12th, I was naturally much elated.

I hoped that the movie would be released in our town too, but I very well knew that the chances were very less. And when I reached Kollam, the place where I lived, I found my hopes shattered. There were posters of a new Malayalam movie, which was also getting released the next day, all around the town, but no news about MNIK. I sighed- well, it was all expected. What was the use of having 7 theatres in the town, I wondered.  At least one of them could have screened the movie na??I even cursed the new Malayalam film (And it later turned out that the movie didn’t do as well as expected in the box-office :P) I wished we had multiplexes here.

So I was not at all in a good mood when I reached home. The movie which I badly wanted to watch was getting released the next day, and I couldn’t watch it. Gosh! Now what could be worse than that??? I knew that I would get a pirated copy of the film in hostel by next week, but I wanted to watch this film in the theatre.

I was simply lying on the bed when my bro came to me and asked whether I was not excited about MNIK. I expressed my disappointment to him. Well, he had a surprise in store for me. He told me that MNIK was getting released in one of the theatres in the town. I became excited but the next moment reality struck me. If the movie was getting released in that theatre, how come there are no posters in the town?? I remembered that I’d not seen even a single poster of the film on my way home. He told me that he got the information from the movie’s ad that came on the newspaper. Even my father was confident about the news. However, I didn’t believe the news completely as I knew that it would ultimately lead to heartbreak. Still I prayed for the news to be true.

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As soon as I opened my eyes the next morning, I jumped up from my bed and ran to get the newspaper. I grabbed the newspaper and checked the page where the movies screened in various theatres were listed. To my utter delight, the first line in the section read:

Dhanya – My Name Is Khan

Sharukh Khan, Kajol

I can’t tell you how happy I was. I was so glad that I ran straight to my parents’ bedroom to break the news. But there I met with some bad news- my mom was ill. And I could see my movie plans shattered. Even though she asked me to go for the movie with my father and bro, I was not willing. I wanted to watch the movie with all of them. So it was decided that we would go for the movie on Sunday after my Gate exam. Well, it was going to be my Gate treat. We hoped that mom would be alright by then.

I spent the whole day preparing for Gate. I tried solving some of the previous year’s question papers and it gave me good confidence. And my mom was also recovering fast. Everything was going well until something terrible happened on Saturday noon. And this time it happened with me – I fell ill. It all started with a stomach ache and very soon I was down with high fever. I was in a lot of pain not just because of the fever but also due to worries about my gate exam and MNIK. And it was not just me, everyone in the house was worried.

(To be Continued…………..)

In the meantime check out my new pics @ http://evergreen-memories.tumblr.com/

Intelligent Poem I I

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I know that some of you have been waiting for this since a long time.. The wait is finally OVER….Here I’m with some lines scribbled in my notebook during Intelligent Systems hour last semester…. Now there wont be any more ‘Intelligent’ poems as we’ve now moved to a new sem. But the good news is that now you can expect ‘Management Poems’… 😛 😛

So here are the lines…. Plz do give your comments…..

Why does someone affect you so badly

That your smile gets hidden by his tears

The focus of your life

Suddenly gets restricted

To reading the sorrow in his eyes

And you get willing to do anything

To capture his tears

And replace them with joy

But then, what am I to him

Or what is he to me???

Still why do I feel

The way I do

When his face seems to

Lose the charm

That had once brightened my days

Why can’t I stop

Thinking about him

Even when I know

That I mean nothing to him

Why can’t I let him be

One of the ‘anybody’

Rather than that special ‘somebody’

Alvidaa…

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Here is the final part of the Bengaluru series… Do read and enjoy….

We woke up early on Friday, the 30th of April, as we didn’t want to miss our breakfast again. We got ready by around 7:30am. All of us were wearing our team t shirt. Then we went to the terrace to have our breakfast. We had poori, vegetable curry and some delicious coffee. We then took all our luggage and kept them in Asha’s father’s room as the room had to be vacated only by afternoon. After that we checked out off our rooms.

Since no other team was ready, we decided to walk and find out the venue of Award Distribution by ourselves. We were informed that the ceremony was held in Hotel Blue Orchid which was on the other side of the road. As we crossed the road, we saw a board that indicated the way to the hotel. We walked along the path pointed by the board and soon reached the hotel.

It seemed like a star hotel and our bags were checked before we were allowed to enter into the hotel. We went to the hall where the Award Distribution Ceremony was held. Preparations were still in progress when we reached there. So we kept our bags in a row of chairs and went out to take snaps. The Punjabi team arrived after some time and we also took photos with them. Soon the other teams as well as the guests started arriving. In the meantime the videos of Imagine Cup 2009 were played.

The function started by around 9:30 am. We had a few guest speakers who gave some interesting talk. And then the award distribution started. First they announced the winners of Accessibility Local Innovation Awards followed by the Multi Mouse Local Innovation Award. Before the announcement of the winners, there were elevator pitches by the team members in each category and a talk by an expert about the importance of the technology. Next the winners of Innovate for Women were announced. One of the winning teams was from Calicut. Since their accommodation was arranged in a different hotel, we never had a chance to meet them earlier.

After that the winners of two special awards- Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 Awards were announced. Eight teams were selected for IE8 award and seven teams for the Win7 Award. Some of the winning teams were the finalists in the Software Design category. To our great surprise, we ended up winning both the awards. Needless to say, we were very much elated.

Then there was a short break. All the teams were asked to exhibit their projects before the guests and media persons. We arranged our laptops. We had our application running in one of them while in the other one, we had our final PowerPoint presentation. And we explained our project to some of the guests. They seemed quite impressed by our work and congratulated us.

After the break, we had some more talks by eminent personalities. And then the chief guest of the day, Dr. Madhavan Nair, former Chairman of ISRO arrived. We had a talk by a scientist from IISC Bangalore before Dr Madhavan Nar’s speech. He talked about the achievements of Chandrayan and the future projects of ISRO.

Finally the much awaited moment came: the winners of Software Design category were to be announced. First they announced the Consolation Prize winners. They announced the two winners in alphabetical order and we were one among them. We were a bit disappointed but still we found relief in the fact that we could at least make it to the Finals. The Punjabi team grabbed the third prize, the Mumbai team the second prize and the team from Chennai which consisted of a single member won the opportunity to participate in the World Finals in Poland. The boy couldn’t make it to the prize distribution ceremony as he had an exam in Chennai that day.

After the ceremony was over, we went to the area where our projects were exhibited. Dr Madhavan Nair came to see the projects and we explained ours to him. The cameras were continuously flashing as he stood with us. And then there were some press reporters who wanted to know about our project. We explained to all of them. We then had a chance to meet the Innovate for Women team from Calicut.

After the project exhibition, we went to the lawn to have our lunch. We had buffet and needless to say it was all delicious. For dessert we had ice cream and cake. Next in agenda was a visit to Microsoft Research Labs. It was at a one hour distance from the place. We were to be taken in a bus. We had to collect our luggage from the hotel as we were promised to be dropped by our bus station on our way back.

We were taken to the hotel in a mini bus. But as we collected our luggage and vacated Asha’s father’s room, we were in a dilemma. It was around 3:30pm and after the visit we were not sure whether we would reach the bus station on time, given the Bangalore weekend traffic. We had to reach the bus station by 7:30pm and we were given no assurance that we would reach on time. After much debate, we decided not to go for the visit.

But now, we had no place to go as the hotel room had been vacated. So we decided to go to the bus station first and then do some shopping. We took two autos and reached the bus station. We went to the travel agency office and confirmed our tickets.

Then we decided to go to a shopping mall which we had seen on our way. It seemed to be near to the travel agency and so we decided to walk. Later we found out that it was a bad decision as we had to walk a lot with our luggage and then finally when we reached the mall it was on the other side of the road. Crossing the road was again very difficult as the traffic flow was continuous.

Finally we managed to cross the road somehow and reached the mall. We kept our luggage in one of the shops safely and went for shopping. We spent a considerable amount of time in a textile shop where we bought some clothes for family. And then we went to a supermarket and had fresh juice. We also bought some snacks for dinner. After spending some more time checking out the shops in the mall, we collected our luggage and went to the travel agency office by around 7pm. And this time we took an auto.

When we reached the travel agency office, it was already crowded. Since it was weekend, there were many people going home. They were all standing outside the office with their luggage waiting for their bus as many Volvo buses came and left. Asha’s father went to ask about our bus and he came back with shocking news. He found out that the bus reached our place at 8:30pm and it actually started from the place from where we’d got our tickets booked at 7:30pm. We realized that we could have actually gone for the visit to Microsoft Research Labs and still would have made for the bus on time. We felt disappointed at our bad luck.

There was still more than an hour left for the bus to arrive. We decided to wait inside the travel agency office. We were able to find seats for ourselves within the small crowded office. And to make matters worse, it soon started to rain. Everyone standing outside rushed inside the office to avoid being drenched in the rain. Needless to say, there was no space left within the office. And then people kept coming in and when a bus arrived, people struggled to move out of the crowd. To summarize, everything was in chaos.

It was getting to be 8:30 as we waited for our bus to be announced. Finally it was announced that the bus to Ernakulam had arrived. We struggled through the crowd with our luggage to get out into the downpour. We got wet when we finally managed to get into the bus. And after we kept our bags in the rack and went to find our seats, I and Asha found our seats occupied. The people who occupied our seats claimed them to be theirs. So we took our place in the seats in the next row. Soon a couple came and claimed the seats where we sat to be theirs. Then we found out that we had boarded the wrong bus. We took our luggage and went out into the rain. Since the office was already crowded, we took shelter outside one of the shops nearby.

We were almost fully drenched by then and we struggled to keep our luggage safe. We could see that there was a traffic block in the road and we wondered when our bus would come. The transport buses were full with people struggling to reach home fast.

Finally our bus arrived. And this time we were careful not to repeat the mistake. We kept our luggage in the bus and occupied our seats. We had our dinner (snacks). It was still heavily pouring outside and after some time, the bus started to move. The journey was not very comfortable and I found it hard to sleep. I took my i-pod and started listening to songs while watching the rainy city through the window. I could see that people were trapped in shopping malls due to the downpour.

I didn’t get a good sleep as I kept waking up every now when the bus stopped at various toll booths. I could see that it was still raining heavily. Finally after what seemed like ages, it dawned and I woke up into the familiar sight of the hills of Palakkad.

In Palakkad, we took another bus to continue our journey. We finally reached Aluva by around 10 0’ clock. Asha and her father had got down near their house in Angamally. I and Niranjan got down at Aluva where my uncle had come to pick us. We went to my grandparent’s house where we had our breakfast and took rest. Our uncle dropped us at the railway station after our lunch by around 12:45pm.

The train was late and we had to wait for more than half hour in the railway station. Finally, the Hyderabad – Thiruvananthapuram Sabari Express arrived at our station. Since it was crowded, we kept our luggage securely and stood near the door. As I stood at the door enjoying the cool breeze that blew across my face, I found myself refreshed after the tedious journey that started yesterday.

When the train reached Ernakulam Junction, I got a seat. However Niranjan preferred standing near the door listening to music from his phone. From their conversation, I could make out that my co-passengers were a group of students who had just completed their degree course in some college in Coimbatore. There were discussing plans about meeting again and also about going to Coimbatore for their convocation after a few months.

I took a book and began reading it. When the train was about to reach Kottayam, Niranjan came to bid me goodbye. I became immersed in my book again. When the train reached Mavelikkara, I got a window seat. I spend the remaining time looking out through the window and enjoying the cool breeze. In about an hour, we reached Kollam. I’d been enjoying the journey so much that I never felt like getting out of the train. Still I gathered my luggage and went to the door as the familiar over bridge near the station came into view. As soon as I stepped out of the train, my eyes began scanning the crowd for my father’s face and I soon found it. He came and collected my luggage. As we crossed the railway tracks to the parking area, I was more than relieved that the journey had come to an end. But I was glad that things had turned out quite well. I was now excited about the gifts I had got for my family and the treat I was supposed to get from them. Yes, I was back into the normal mode again…..