This is neat and feels great mainly because I am blogging after several days. Work for me has been tighter than usual at office and I was not even able to spend enough time for my fun activities in the last 1 to 2 months. Anyway, I got a chance to take a break from the regular gruelling schedule when Abi's team planned to visit their colleague at Nagercoil for his marriage. We had booked the tickets a couple of months back itself but I was still making up my mind whether to go or not till the very last day!
But there we were at the Central railway station and slowly people started to pour in one by one. I met some people nodding politely to acknowledge me and several others (12 in total actually excluding us) who did not know what to do! I was actually one among the latter group myself :) because though I had seen a lot of them before in a party once, that was long back and I am not in touch with them any more.
The journey got underway and once the games ensued (Lingo and Dumb-Charades), we were all gelling quite well before we even knew each other's names :) The trip is quite a long one - over 15 hours one way. So, there were lots of games and people making fun of each other. The cool part of it all was how sportive everyone took the whole pulling-other's-legs part and the way people tried to keep it that way without being brutal. I cannot remember another crowd I have been part of which accommodated me so easily as if they all knew me for a long time now.
There are so many unforgettable moments in this whole trip that it becomes very difficult for me to isolate any - Jey's vivacious comedy, Kala's ever laughing manner, Ramala's almost encyclopaedic knowledge of alphabets, Raj's brilliant organization of seat arrangements, Harini's 'upper berth', Path's 'thinking man' posture, Yunus' slow flowering into a glib leg-puller, Subanki's 'die-hard-vijay-fan-dom', Renji's 'first-time-train-travel-jitters', the reception we received at Nagercoil, Inigo & Prem's wonderful hospitality and the games themselves of course. And I do not think I have done justice to even half of what & whom I wanted to write about.
For Abi and me, the critical part of our journey's success was in assessing how Isha would take in the crowd, sustain the travel and survive the whole episode without falling ill. I believe going by that measure, it is indeed a success for us. She was her usual slow self to get along with people but was fine going with them once she realized(!) this is a long trip away from home and she will be stuck with them for a while :)) More firsts for us parents - Isha was reluctant to even go to a beach or any other waterbody before this trip. This time, she plunged right into the Thirparappu falls once Abi introduced her to it and was enjoying it so much that she refused to come out. The same happened when we went to the beaches at Kanyakumari & Muttom. It was so difficult to pull her out of the waters! She had a gala time.
Of course, all this would not have been possible without the loving support we received from every single person around us. And it really makes me wonder about Sadhguru's grace because I was very skeptical about taking Isha & was slightly harping on His grace being around to protect her.
And hey - I just remembered this is by far the longest journey I have made within India!