Wednesday, October 8, 2008

India Trip 2008 (1)

Jet Airways is good. That was the flight that took us to India. The whole night i was restless in excitement or in despair. I don't know which. Despair probably as i would not be able to see my beloved son for 5 days. Well my wife too (better have her documented as well). I couldn't sleep well. No thanks to Poratasi which means as i have mentioned in my earlier blog i'm a teetotaler for a month.

But i know that was not the reason. I was excited. Yes, excited. Not like i've not been to India but some kind of excitement. Was it because i was visiting Lord Vengadachalapathi for the second time or was it seeing Kanchi Kamatchi Amman for the third time? Whatever it was, it certainly kept me awake till 5.30am. Our flight was at 9.30am.

Got to the airport, checked in, had expensive breakfast at KLIA that cost RM 70 for four of us and boarded the plane. As we all know, planes are nothing different than an express bus, only that it plies the air. What is different though is the fact that we are served by beautiful waitresses and this particular flight yes indeed, mum told me to pull out my handkerchief and keep my eyes low. All the seats were equipped with mini tv where we can choose what we want to watch. KUNG FU PANDA. That was what i watched. My wife dearingly calls my son Kung Fu Panda because of his affinity to kicking.

The food served was definitely better than Indian Airways or Air India. After the movie it was soothing time as i was hearing to old hindi tunes most of which were my favourites. We arrived at 11.30am local indian time which means it was 2.00pm here in Malaysia. 2 1/2 hours difference.

We had lunch in Chennai itself at Vadapalani. Vadapalani is famous for its many actors and actresses staying there as well as the well know AVM Studio. From Chennai straight off to Kanchipuram, home of the famous Kanchi Kamatchi Amman temple and also sarees. Sarees here are cottage business like.

We met the priest that same night and had asked him to perform a special prayer the following morning and we were told to be at the temple at 5.30am. Which means we would have to get up very early in the morning. As the temple was near the hotel we stayed i set the alarm on my handphone at 7 am malaysian time - 4.30am Indian time. I did not change the timing on my handphone nor was i wearing a watch. At about 2.30am there was a knock on the door. It was my dad. He cautioned me that we were running late. I looked at the time. It was 5am malaysian time. Dad had not changed his timing on the watch. It showed Malaysian timing. I smiled, he smiled and we went back to sleep.

As was asked of us, we were the right smack on time at 5.25am. As you would all know and as most of us Indians will mention indian timing, the priest arrived only at 6.15am. But the special prayers went well where we were seated right opposite of the Goddess a mere 5 metres away in the sannadhi (the inner area). It was beautiful and lasted about an hour.

After the prayers it was off to Saravana Bhavan for breakfast. Please take note. The only thing that is cheap in India today are the handphones (cell as it is popularly known in India and mind you that that is the most correct word to describe it) and the call charges. Everything else is expensive. I had a Karra(spicy) Thosai, dad a set of Idli, mum also a Thosai and Bala a set of Poori plus 4 coffees (in India coffee or tea is only served upon completion of meal but as we Malaysians prefer it while having breakfast, we had ours as per norm) and what did we pay? 416 rupees which if we convert to ringgit would be RM 34.60. That is very expensive for breakfast. After breakfast its off to Tirupati. Govinda Govinda

Will update on this later.


balan said...

Hi Prem,

You do have a flair for writing, far and miles better than i do.

People can talk whatever they want but many cant express themselves in the way layman would understand but you do.

I'm waiting for part 2 of your India trip. Been there 3 times before so, can relate to what is being written.

Have forwarded your site address to many friends.

Look forward to the next one.

Mani said...

Been to India once. Taj Mahal and Thirupathi temple and some other places in Chennai

Villages is what I like the most. Padi field soo green unlike here. What you get to see in the films is exactly what you see there except the special effects.

Feel much more at home there then here.

I am sure you enjoyed your trip


Prem Anand Mathavan said...

Dear Balan,

thanks for the refresing comments and for forwarding my blog to others. Hope i can keep churning out good articles.

And mani thanks for following up on my blog. Hope you continue to do so. And as for you sentence that you feel much more home there than here, i echo your sentiments but only the village. Not chennai per se