August 17, 2016

'...Matter illaa'

...another Puducherry trip. Kyunki first time me jitna kata tha - that wasn't enough.
I often relive the heat of that first trip here: <Le Puducherry Trip>  ..and hence was never particularly keen on revisting.

***

After a Friday-night that was done right - waking up early on Saturday morning was like messing up all the omens. Not for the lack of efforts though - the planning was elaborate - it started off with Pondicherry ...and the train of wishful thinking took us to Srilanka - Thailand - Australia - Pluto - Varkala - and then we hitched on Kunnur (Kerala). This was uptil the moment I passed out after having out-smoked and out-drunk myself and nearly falling off the edge of creepiness that Friday night - only to wake up and find that it (the plan) was Pondicherry again.

We wanted to have a good time. In all honesty - we did. But the fact that I m writing about it should tell you that it was more than just a touristy-weekend.
Being #DataGuys, we know that things dont always have a smooth sailing. Churn is inevitable - suffering is optional. And we believed in what Linking Park once said -
I tried so hard and got so far..but in the end - 'matter illaa'...

Part 1 - #YoDeepushSoCool
We got the car. And then googled how to put it in the reverse gear. Once that was sorted - we were at the edge of Bangalore in no time. As law abiding citizens, who cringe at the very thought of not being able to publish the WBR incase we got apprehended for not having paid the road tax, we spent an hour crawling up the line leading into the RTO checkpost - only to find that our form 49 was missing. We found it and went back - only to find that the form 47 was missing. Luckily we found a photocopy of form 47 and went back in again - only to find that it expired at the end of 2015.

Calls back and forth to the car-vendor ensued.
'...Matter illa' - we calmed ourselves as we waited for the replacement vehicle. Deepush explained how he had to literally stand on that rock of a clutch and that it was for the best that we were getting another vehicle. To kil the wait time, we trudged into the eatery nearby for a hearty meal. My hangover masking my hunger - I settled for a light bite. How was I to know that it was going to be the last meal of the day...
Damn!

Part 2 - Patli Gali
George Harrison once said - if you dont know where you are going, any road will take you there. But obviously, he never lived to see Google Maps.
We were shown three routes to our destination. Two of them were proper highways -a the third one bisecting the two paths - seemingly shorter than the other two. We chose the third one after careful analysis of path patterns, basic application of pythagoras theorem, increase in gravitational forces due to change of latitude, rotation of earth and a little influence of Robert Frost to take the 'road less travelled'.
We reached Pondicherry at 9.30 PM - 7 hours 25 mins 31 seconds after we thought ki 'patli gali se nikal lete hain - jaldi pahunchenge'. The road was divider-less and Deepush did all the driving (I had the hangover excuse - remember?). Shariq did all the navigating, and DJing, and snacks passing, and the mandatory glaring at every vehicle that overtook us and every goat/cow/buffalo/human that crossed us. All this while i lay sprawled at the back (hangover, remember?)



The time taken was 2.21 times greater than what it would have taken us if we had stuck to the 'road much travelled'. But it was ok. We were there and for the rest - 'matter illa..' 

Part 3 - Hotel Rajan - Cuddalore
Cuddalore is a shore town about 28 kms south of Pondicherry. How did we get there? No, not because Deepush drove stupid-ly (Deepush is cool #YoDeepushSoCool). It was fate and Murphys' law combined with Chu FuckingShitovsky's Law of the damned.
A really heavy downpour awaited us in Pondicherry. We utilised this rain time by clearing permissions in the RTO office (just to avoid any chances of being in the wrong and not being able to publish the WBR in the coming week).
The rain subsided and our hunt for the accommodation began. We dialled each and every hotel. None of them had any vacany (apart from one of the places which offered us beds in their parking lot which we graciously declined). The other suggestion from those kind people was to look for a place in Villipuram or Cuddalore.
It was already bordering midnight, so we set off for Villipuram. One wrong turn later, we found ourselves on the way to Cuddalore.
It was the same story even in Cuddalore. NO Rooms. We walked into kind of lodges and coops i had only seen in  movies and documentaries. Long dim alleys - shady caretakers - dingy rooms - but still no vacancy.
Just when we were almost settled in a parking space and calling it a night in the car itself - we sniffed possibility in a not so far - Hotel Rajan. The room was decent (our definition of decent had dipped like India's Olympic Gold medal hopes in the last few hours). We took it and slept. Dinner illaa ..matter illa.
In the morning when i woke up, i was displaced from my original place on the bed by a good 30 cms. It was either a ghost or those damned mosquitoes.

Part 4 - Puducherry
We headed back to Pondi as soon as we possibly could - the only stop being the eatery. This time we actually ate thinking it might as well turn out to be the last meal of the day again.
The rest of the day was pretty normal - it felt good to be doing the normal - Paradise beach - A good lunch (second meal - Yay!) - Auroville - Some Church i dont remember the name of (a Deepush force fit in the itinerary).

Udta Deepush #YoDeepushSoCool

Shariq trapped in a beer glass
And then the accommodation search again. It again took 3 hours, but we found something in Pondicherry itself. All this hassle left us with just enough time to get dinner (third meal - Yay!) and then stroll off along the trademark Rock beach. The day and the trip closed in on us. Early next morning we started back for Bangalore.

tl-dr;




Epilogue
The return drive took us the acceptable 6 hours. Thankfully so.
The blue skies turned to grey. Bangalore was here. Despite all that happened - in summary the trip in itself was still better than the five minutes for which i drove and Deepush's strangling of my ukulele at every opportunity.
It was time to shed the sun-burnt skin and then get back to being the busy and the tired and pursuer and the pursued.

 ****************************************************************************
Do not read between the lines.
Rights to exaggeration and bragging reserved.
Its not how it happened; its how you remember it.
No characterisation intended
Data and information may have been skewed to suit the storyline
Everything is relative to your perspective

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