After all those preparations over the past few days, it was time to leave home and move to the new base in Coimbatore down south. I hate to travel. I, who have boarded trains over 100 times in the last four years, am saying this! But they were just 50 shuttles between two cities, so it doesn't count as enjoyable travel, especially on that boring route. Now, I boarded the same old train (longer route, but couldn't get a ticket on the direct route trains). So, the same old station, same old train, same old environment, but on a different mission and a different location to get down. And off I go. Thankfully I was still asleep when the train reached Trichy, else, i feared i would get down there ( habitually) and take a bus to college . I woke up when the train crossed kulitalai (the station from which i boarded my last train to put my college days to an end) maybe because it was too cold or maybe because I was a bit hungry or maybe because i finally found place to sit (I was lying on my traditional upper-berth).
There were four people in my bay who were going to get down at the next station. So, before they'd leave I went to brush my teeth. And then I enjoyed the cool weather on a day when the sun prefered to stay curtained and the rain clouds were meandering about the place, inspecting, refusing to drizzle/pour. A cool wind helped to maintain a lively weather, much better than the summer heat of madras and trichy (both differently awful). Karur, the rest in my bay left and i was alone :-) and was served breakfast (idly and vada(i) ).
After my breakfast and a few regular phone calls to family, i was back to enjoying the weather and greenery the nature had on offer for my eyes. Lovely! And after quite a while came Erode. A huge railway station/platform it seemed, but it wasn't very neat. As I neared the station, I was waiting for the engine to chug off. After a few minutes it did leave the station!
So, now, again, back to the greenery, and now there were a few huge rocks, or should I say, little hills in the distance. One of them reminded me of the Table-Top Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. This was just like that in shape, rose to a good height (good enough to be called a little hill) and was flat on top. The "table-top" might've been almost 2 km across in dimension. I am not sure, its just an estimate from a point 40 km (at least) away from it! It wasn't inhabited, and it did look good.
Then came Tirupur, the clothing capital of the world... err, someone in Milan and Paris is giving me scorn looks, but I bet if I venture out into every nook and corner of this town, I can own any branded attire that I wished to have in my life!
After a brief stop at Tirupur, where I was day dreaming and in my own world, wearing an authenticated Lakers Tee (which wasn't available in a single showroom in the whole of Madras!), it was time to finally move on, and this time I can only look forward to getting down. It was going to be Coimbatore up next! Now as I came closer to the city of Coimbatore, some more things became clear. Behind the "table-top" Mountain-II , there was a little hill range to become more and more clear as the visibility improved. I was able to see quite a few random looking hills, couldn't recognize any pattern which one would generally try to figure out in the care of hill-ranges. They were of different shapes, and didn't seem to be continuous. A ruffling sound came up in the sky and then came an airplane out of the clouds, and I suppose it was trying to land at Coimbatore. I wanted to see how far the city was by following the airplane till it lands, or, almost lands. It was descending, but then the hills came in the way, and my guessing game came to a halt.
Some countable mins later, the train reaches a station called "Peelamedu", and stays there for nearly half an hour, and my new house owner and cab-driver thin I got lost. I had to tell them that the train is refusing to budge and that I would be there in about fifteen mins. I had to convey this before my mobile battery died off! Luckily it didn't. I was watching the construction work going on in the railway station for about 20 mins and then was happy when the train finally chugged off. I was now ready with my bags and when I saw the next station approaching, I was almost off to the door. The others in the bay, more experienced on this route, stopped me and told that this wasn't the Coimbatore junction, this was the Coimbatore North station. So, another five mins of wait and then it finally arrived at Coimbatore. I was welcomed by a mild breeze and a drizzle spattering across my face. This is surely going to be nice!
I got the directions to get out of the station and right outside I found the cab I had booked, and then out we zoomed on a pretty empty highway. It was a very clean and spacious one. I learnt it was named "Avinashi Road". And the drizzle kept the presumable newly laid road look black, with the white lane markings. The cab then drove me to precisely the location of my new residence, and with some help from the house owner, I was at my new place in two mins.
My new "home"! It in one big room, on the second floor of the two storey building. There were three cots in it, and I was hoping a couple of other college mates of mine would be joining me soon. Well, later I came to know that they had some other ideas.
Nevertheless, after a long talk with the house owner about the place, restaurants, shopping areas, and most importantly about the route to the company from here. And then spoke to my family and the family friend who helped me getting this wonderful room to reside in. It was already past 1 pm, and I was yet to take bath. Normally after a train journey, I would 1. stink, 2. be sweaty, 3. wanting to bathe. But on this day, it didn't seem so, because the weather was so serene!
Well, primary rule of my life - as far as possible, bathe before you eat. So, I took bath in the cold water, and then went out to the shopping zone, as directed by my house owner. I walked. Raw rice shop, a bakery, an ice-cream parlor, a bakery, a pharmacy, a bakery, a bedding shop, a bakery, a fancy gift article store, a bakery, another pharmacy, a driving school and a bakery. Tired of bake-ing under no-sun, I crossed the road to continue my hunt for a place to eat. I bumped into a burger place, and had a good double burger! On my way back, I bought the bedding and buckets I needed for this place and returned to the room!
Was this a city or an open exhibition of bakeries? I found no restaurant over the mile long distance of the shopping area! I asked my family friend, who said there were some near the "Hope College" zone. Aah fine, I will explore that area in the night. I presumed that it was on the other direction, the stretch which I didn't go to. So, I had a long peaceful sleep in the centralized AC like city. I woke up in the evening and walked in the other direction in search of this Hope College and found nothing in that direction. I returned and decided to have Pizza in one bakery (no choice, you see) and a lemon soda. Who is counting my calorie consumption for the day? Need another calculator? I bought a loaf of bread and asked the shopkeeper, "Where is this college named Hope College". And he replied - "there is no college named Hope College! Its just the bus-stop which is named so for no known reasons.". Well, I had to suppress my laughter on my way back to home!
It was an early night for me this time. I had things ready for the next day - tons of documents and their photocopies, and some photos of me for their official work. And with a very happy frame of mind, I slept on the 13th of June, waiting to wake up to a whole new world. I will be meeting a lots of new people, going to a new place, going to do a lot of new things! What? I do not know then, but I sure will know in the days that follow...