Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Madras bound

The misty mornings in the outskirts. The slow drizzle starting to pour. The welcome messages of my cell phone company as I cross two state borders. The sudden warmth in the air. Rays of the Sun glistening over the coconut trees. Terrace plantations on the small hills. The meeting of the three parched river beds. The endless hills in the background of the beautiful plantations of crops. The petty fights for space in the coach. The unique tune of every hawker trying to sell their goods. The kid who is amused by the goings-on. The old man who's just waiting to get off. The visibly annoyed man trying to elbow for more space for himself through the crowd. The unmistakable indicator of entering the leather manufacturing district - the strong stench from the tanneries engulfing the whole region. The TTE struggling through the crowd to do his job. The woman who asks me if I'm Chennai bound, going to secure a seat for herself if I weren't. Her face turning from a hopeful smile to a frown of disappointment. And now I get back to reading my newspaper, quietly, with hunger pangs starting and quenched with just water, avoiding the stale looking railway food. The humidity hits and it hits one hard, but one wipes it away. The view of local trains - romantic. After the umpteen over-bridges, the passing through basin bridge station. And you you know you've arrived. The city may not be home and one might be just a visitor, but it definitely gives you a strange sense of belonging.
That's Madras for you.