Hello from Kerala… June 6, 2007Posted by Arun Rajagopal in Conversations, India, Indian Railways, Travel.
It’s been a week since I got to Kerala, India & it’s about time I blogged about my adventures. I got to Trivandrum on 31 May and the monsoons have been elusive since then. It’s pretty humid out here, but I’m enjoying the sunshine along with loads of train rides, exams and movies.
I’d my first train ride on the 1082 Kanyakumari-Mumbai Express on 31st morning. Like always I ended up hanging about the door. 1082 was hauled by Erode-based WDM2 that has a ‘freaky modified front side’. Forgot the road number. Enjoyed the slight drizzle and clicked my first set of rail snaps.
Next train ride was two days later on the 7229 Trivandrum-Hyderabad Sabari Express to Ernakulam Town. My first ever journey in an electric train in Kerala. The Erode-based WAP4 proved its mettle as speed king.
Spent the next few days with some friends in Ernakulam, soaking up the trains. Roamed around in Ernakulam, and visited Vallarpadom, where Cochin is to get its new container terminal. Spent the nights listening to the crooning of diesel & electric locos and the incessant attack of mosquitoes at railway quarters, Ernakulam.
Went for a few movies as well – Shootout at Lokhandwala (Hindi), Goal (Malayalam), Time (Malayalam) and Khakee (Malayalam). Except Shootout and Goal, everything else was a waste of time.
3rd June. The most exciting day of my life. I’d my first ever foot-plating experience (riding in a locomotive). I can’t believe that I had to wait for 23 years to get on a loco, but I’m glad that it finally happened. You can see ‘my glowing self’ from the pic. It was amazing, being right in the thick of action with the majestic Erode WAP4 blaring its 2 pairs of HT-LT horns and leading one of the fastest trains in Kerala with élan. It was so cooooooool!!!
Came back to Ernakulam on Bokaro-Alleppey Express. Returned home next day on 2626 New Delhi – Trivandrum Kerala Superfast Express, which was running late close to 2 hours. Enjoyed the ride in 3AC. Clicked a few snaps as well. Got to meet Muscat based buddy Jayashankar who was traveling to Chennai on his favorite ride Chennai Mail.
Left for Trivandrum yest to meet a few friends, after my second exam. My ride was the 2626 New Delhi – Trivandrum Kerala Superfast Express again. Got my ticket to Dadar on the Ernakulam-Dadar Special for Thursday. I’m so looking forward to seeing Konkan Railway during the day. After a great evening of bar hopping, came back home around midnight, after catching the 6343 Trivandrum-Palghat Town Amrita Express train, which probably has to be the Express train with the shortest rake in Kerala. Got home and slept like a log.
Update on Cyclone Gonu: I’m sure that you guys have heard about the vicious cyclone Gonu that’s hit the coast of Sultanate of Oman and Persian Gulf today. Blogger friend Lori Magno mailed me this morning, enquiring if all was well and I was out of harm’s way. I was so touched with her kind gesture… and once again reminded me of how blogging has led to such powerful friendships. Thanks Lori. My folks & friends are in Muscat and they say that they are out of harm’s way. Here’s a blog from Muscat that features regular updates on Gonu.
Blogger Social ’08: I got the rundown on Blogger Social ’08 from CK’s & Mark Goren’s blog posts. What an excellent idea… I’ve just completed the survey & will blog about this soon. I’m excited at the whole prospect & can’t wait to meet all my blogger-friends & have a rockin’ time. After all, it’s not about social media, it’s about being social!!!