To begin with I don’t miss my country, but I miss my family and my friends. Cheltenham, where I’m going to be at for a good 11 months, is a town in Gloucestershire county. In comparison to the Indian cities I’ve stayed in the place ain’t big so I assume I would not get lost at any point, even if I were drunk. But nevertheless it is too well organized, amazingly planned and most importantly it is beautiful. Eventually everything would be up here on the zine. Amidst all the cultural differences and not-too-crowded bylanes the weather here is irresistibly cold. But then one gets used to everything in life, right? If we are disappointed with someone, and we are able to dust ourselves and move on, which is tough, then a change in weather, environment, surrounding and the like are definitely not ‘issues’. Life should be anything but artificial and a slap once in a while, in any shape or form, is necessary to become aware of what is happening around you.
Al right, so in a week’s time here I’ve already experienced a temperature of zero degrees and have started cooking my own food. 10, Grosvenor House. That’s where I’m having a time of my life, and its contrary to what the name might suggest to you. Let me take you through the residence. Cheltenham is known for horse racing and there is an annual festival that happens here some time during the month of March where in this city witnesses a huge influx of tourists. ‘Sources’ told me this same house is rented out for around 800 pounds a night during the fest. Sweet.
Even though you have already seen the interiors I’d still want you to knock the door before coming in. You never know what I’m indulging myself in!
Returning to Bombay from anywhere has never been as painful as this particular journey. It all began with me and my friend picking up our lazy asses on 25th evening to catch a train from Chengalpattu station, Chennai. Travelling by train was a mistake, we went one step ahead and boarded the train with our tickets still not confirmed. And we all have seen how waiting passengers are treated.
Train departed from Chennai at 6 pm and we were told by the lousy ticket examiner that we cannot rest our butts until Tirupati which was four hours away. Disappointed and already tired we started looking around only to realise almost the entire train was to get empty at Tirupati. Relief.
We stopped at one bogie and sat besides a certain Mr. Ramesh Chandra. Was a sweet man aged around 55 and was from Jammu. Told us they are a huge group who had to pay 6K to some guide for a south-tour. I was interested more about the place he hailed from as J&K has always intrigued me. I diverted the conversation
me n Mr. Chandra. extreme hair colors.
to the constant unrest in J&K and wanted his views on the same. Born and brought up in Jammu, Mr. Ramesh – a shopkeeper – told me how badly certain Pakistani muslims in Kashmir want to separate Kashmir from India. Its these particular group of anti-social irrational muslims are responsible for every unrest, and even though Jammu has more of hindu population as opposed to less muslim population in Kashmir, these muslims manage to grab maximum seats in the constituency. They get to call the shots each time. It was nice to hear all this first-hand.
Four hours flew and we did not have a hint of what was to follow. Train halted at Tirupati and all the passengers unboarded except for maybe just two of us. And in no time close to seven hundred bald people took over the entire train. They were supposed all travelling back to Bombay after their annual trip to the bald town. They sure did remind the rich god of Bombay‘s existence in India. Imagine my horror of watching seven hundred bald heads, all travelling to the same place.
- start counting !
At close to 2 pm, one of them offered the two of us a seat so we could sleep. And we immediately surrendered ourselves to our puny eyes. I spent the entire next day (that is 26th) watching them making fun of anyone who was not one of them.
Nevertheless I have managed to complete this seemingly impossible journey back home and I am all set to chill now. Lessons learnt – Get confirmed tickets and make sure nothing religious falls in between my departure and destination points.
I am taking a much needed break. Forecast for this weekend and the whole next week – escape
Chennai. Heading to Bombay on the 25th, i.e. tomorrow. From my experience till now the industry I am part of is unrelenting. Got this break after slogging my ass for almost 4 months now.
Unfortunately I could not save up enough to fly back home. So its going to be one hell of a tiring train journey. Travelling long hours by train has its own advantages and disadvantages. Advantage – all through the journey this beverage termed tea is consumed in excess and at the end of the day you don’t pee you tea. Not funny ? That was stated as an advantage because a well made cup of tea turns me on. Disadvantage – you have a lot of free time which gives your mind enough reasons to think and that is exactly what I am trying to avoid, you do not feel like taking a dump for obvious reasons, and my iPod battery-life is only a couple of hours. Anyways, the rate at which Apple is going battery-free iPods don’t seem far.
What awaits me back home – family, friends and booze. Also Burzum’s next release Belus has leaked, so downloading the same is high on my agenda. Have to steal some time so I can visit Pune for a day to meet some friends. Amidst all this and against my wishes is the painful Holi and a day will get wasted as I cannot step out of the house.
Keeping everything aside, I am going to make the most of the forthcoming week as I know how it is going to be once I am back in
Chennai. Its just not the place for me.
Chennai‘s had enough from me. For today. 24 hours to go. Bombay, tujha vadil kaun ?