Home > Travel > The long ride past the equator

The long ride past the equator

It all started last Thursday when we started from campus. After a fantastic circuitous trip on roads made worse by the monsoon (and yes, that was my brainwave), I managed to catch the Avantika Express 5 minutes before departure. No big farewells, just a  simple byebye! I start conversing with the 2 Indore residents bound for Bombay. Bombay has always that charming feeling I associate with really big cities. I wonder how much I will experience it. As the train whizzes past Nagda, Ratlam and the last of the MP towns, all my memories of the lush greens of the great monsoons around Indore, the delightful dosas at the Mallu mess in Mhow and the bare foot football games flow in my thoughts. But I feel damn sleepy and I don’t stir when Godhra, Baroda and the Gujarat towns come. I wake up pretty early and await Borivali, the first of the Bombay suburbs where I am supposed to get down. It is 6.15 by the time I get down. My friendly neighbour advises me on what I can do. I would like to feel the Bombay local train. I cannot believe that a local would be so crowded at 6.30. But I manage to keep myself safe and get down at Ville Parle, the station to the airport. It is pouring heavily as I leave the station and I take an auto to the airport, which is very near luckily. I pay him 20, knowing it is indeed high for such a short distance. But I am so happy at reaching the airport without a hitch. I can not keep my luggage anywhere and so I find that I would not be able to see any place in Bombay. I stay at the airport when I see one of my Indore mates and have a nice long chat with him. My Air Deccan flight leaves on the dot. I talk to a couple of Madras businessmen before and in the flight. Abi and Thatha pick me up at the airport and I am back home.

Good food, a quick round of shopping at Tambaram and TNagar make for the 2 days. We all leave home on Sunday at 8.30 and we are at the airport in 10 minutes. There is a big queue for departures and it is 9.30 when I say good bye to Amma, Appa, Abi, Madhu, Thatha and my friend. All procedures work just fine, though the immigration guy checks with another on my visa and I enter the lounge at 11. I help some Oriyan tourists with the form filling too. I call Abi on the free local PCOs at the airport. The Air India Express flight to Singapore starts late by an hour. We get down in Changi at 7.50pm local time. I hardly get any time to do anything in Changi. One vehicle was waiting for us and the 3 of us for NZ from Madras get our boarding passes and get straight into the flight just before departure. The Air NZ experience is wow with me for the first time feeling in-flight entertainment, tasty NZ food and some great juices. My neighbours are an old couple from Chromepet. We reach Auckland before time and the exit is pretty smooth. We feel no hassles with the checks. Our baggage comes in the next flight, making us wait for a few more minutes. I shop at the last Duty Free in the airport. I wait for my friend for quite some time. I get a calling card at the airport and reach the voice mail of my friend. When my friend reaches at 11am, I know I am safe and I have enjoyed my longest ride of my life so far…

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Categories: Travel
  1. sk
    30 August 2006 at 6:17 pm

    Wow Spark!!
    Glad to know you made it safe to Auckland. Hoping to read many many travelogues from you now. :–))

  2. A
    31 August 2006 at 2:10 am

    Nice! So u r in NZ at last! Put that new camera to use and post pics here :-D!

    Waiting to hear detailed accounts of God’s Own Country :-)!

  3. gopi
    3 September 2006 at 10:59 am

    photos please…

  4. Saravanan
    4 September 2006 at 7:22 am

    I second ipog. Photos please.

  5. 7 September 2006 at 2:33 pm

    Linked ya… hope u keep writing!

  6. 9 September 2006 at 1:07 pm

    kooi,
    no updates here???

  7. 13 September 2006 at 7:09 am

    sorry people. i am late. photos on yahoo. drop me your email which doesn’t show up in a comment and i’ll send you my yahoo link 🙂

    govar, thanks for the link. some of your famous traffic might just come over here. having fun?

    jayjay, was busy travelling. hope to be more frequent after a week or two.

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