The most beautiful journeys in life are the ones that come least expected.
That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I woke up this morning and peeked out of the window from the train. i smiled to myself, having been greeted by the familiar sight of God’s own country. The earth was carpeted in foliage, as long as my eyes could behold. Its probably the rain, I was thinking to myself. Lucky folks, for whenever I ride down my own blessed state (even the so called vala naadu), all I could see was parched earth, apparently yearning for some water, with some thorny shrubbery thrown in here and there, as if in charity.
How the world must have changed? In earlier times, I assume one must have carried adequate food and water, among other things, and traveled in platoons, on horse or bullock driven carts, and taken an indefinite span of time to travel a few miles. Much in contrast, here I was, having traveled across the peninsula, from one coast to another. It is another thing that the distance isn’t much, what, 400 odd kilometers or so. And yet, I was already on my way back, on the train, trying hard to smoke a cigarette on the sly, for smoking is prohibited on trains.
Telicherry. It is spelt now in many different ways, so much so, one hardly knows how really to spell it in English. I suppose that’s the problem with trying to anglicize our languages. But I digress. It’s a small little town, like most other towns are in state. And with a little more than 7 hours to spend, business included, that’s hardly any justice done. And yet, I would only consider myself blessed having had such an opportunity. The school, boy, I am not sure what kids would be learning there. And I wouldn’t care if it were me. For it is my firm belief that learning goes much beyond the four walls of the classroom. But here was this little temple of learning, perched on top of a tiny little hillock. At first sight, it was a moderate looking place. But what struck me was the little playground right in front, from where, one could look at the sea, and me, I never wanted to leave that blessed place.
The people here, they’re something. The men are usually dressed in nothing but a simple mundu and a shirt. It’s a typical sight, the men holding one end of that one piece garment in one of their hands, making sure it isn’t dirtied. For this is one place that the seems to be perpetually blessed by the rain God. The womenfolk, well, what does one say! It’s a sight to watch them trot around adorning their black curly locks of hair, just washed and let out in the typical keralite fashion.
It was this one person that made me write this post though, ironically, about whom I have hardly spoken as yet. And yet, it’s apt, for there isn’t much to talk about such people. They’re there. They tread this earth, hardly making a fuss. It’s not difficult to miss them – for they hardly make an effort to make their presence felt. And yet, go about doing so perfectly well what they’re meant to do.
Here was this guy, who went about his work with so much ease, I could hardly do anything else but admire him. And his health was troubling him, mind you. He was visibly in pain, and yet never stopped smiling. I was so inspired by his dedication, and yet, it’s his simplicity that puts even the so called bums like me to shame. For here I was, sitting cozily in my train, already on my way back to the east coast, having made sure I have just about everything – food, drink and a place to rest before the day beckons again.
I am glad for having been blessed with this completely unexpected trip. A mundane marketing call thus turned out to be the most enriching experience.