Sep 5, 2005

Road Trip

Did yet another road trip.

Chennai was hot. I rushed off to Connemara library as soon as I got a chance. Until last year, I was sneezing off of the dust from the archaic notecards while looking for a book. This time I was pleasantly surprised by a computerized catalogue. Just a click and a short climb up the stairs, "Narrative of the campaign..." by Major Dirom was in my hands. It was damn thrilling. They must be doing something right. I got the book in a matter of seconds. They have photocopying facilities, information folks directed me ably despite the constant frown in their faces, the fans were working.. What else could I ask for? Hm.. Maybe a web enabled catalogue.

I manage to bring rain whenever I go on a road trip. Tirupathi was crowded. Is it ever not? I did some simple calculations and came up with a staggering amount of income. Here too they are trying to put the money to good use, and are trying to modernize. I spied solar panels, windmills.. I wonder if they manage to generate the power required for tirumala. The roads are clean and well paved considering the crowd. The attendant didn't even bat an eyelid when he verified my 'internettu' ticket. The security guard frowned at me, "How many electronic gadgets do you have?", and made me walk back and deposit my voice recorder, ipod and mobile outside. (I got it back all intact without any problem after the darshan). One of these days I am planning to write a suggestion letter. The long queues, often fenced with huge metal walls can cause suffocation and major disasters if an evacuation has to happen immediately. I am surprised they haven't thought of that. They should setup one way doors every 5 feet or so.

While driving back to Bangalore rain lashed and a montage of scenes passed by. The group of teenagers playing volley ball boisterously in the rain in a small island in the middle of the river, young boys in their bright white kurtas, pyjamas and caps against the gray skies running into a lone mosque laughing as the first drops of rain fell, the white chickens clustered together in a jumbled mass of white and red come rain on shine inside a long room defining the word cooped up.. When I managed to ignore the terror evoked by the maniacal driving, I let my mind wander and dwell on the beauty of unexpected things.

September 05, 2005