Sunday, December 13, 2009

Clouds over the Head

We were wakened up so early. I couldn’t open my eyes. I was so exhausted. We had alighted at the Tirupur railway station only at about 10 o’clock in the last night after nine hours of journey from Chennai. Tirupur is in Coimbatore district, South Tamil Nadu. I couldn’t sleep well in the night because of tiredness. But I got to be ready to catch a bus to attend a wedding ceremony in Madurai. It was still dark and so cool. The dew was hiding the houses nearby. The street lights were glowing through the dew. I brushed my teeth without any effort as my hands were shivering well enough to clean them. The water was so cold and I could take only hot bath. The call-taxi had come by the time we were all ready. The driver seemed as he must have just got up. I was seated in the front with a hope that he drive well. He had completed his last trip only at 11 o’clock last night. While on the way to bus stand, I could see people were walking and running to burn their fat even in that cold morning. Some of them were in their sweaters hoping to sweat out! Otherwise the roads looked desert except a few vehicles were crisscrossing the signals at a junction with four loads.

We reached at the bus stand at 5 o’clock. The bus stand was so busy even at that early morning. People were moving here and there. After finalizing, we settled in a bus to Madurai which was to start by 5.30. The bus was not crowd with lot of seats were still unoccupied and that confused me to choose the right one. I was accompanied by my mom, aunt, younger sister and cousin. They got their seats and left me to sit alone. I found a window seat to place myself as I liked to watch the things that moving in the opposite direction to the bus. But my assumption was wrong. The bus started moving slowly to reach the main road. Soon after the bus reached the main road and started picking up the speed, I started shivering as the cold wind blowing over my face and body heavily. I tried to close the window door but it was so hard to shut down, I wondered why! I couldn’t bear it any more. So I decided to move to any other seat and found one. The guy who was sitting near the window started sleeping even it was winding cool. Since I was tired without sleep I also decided to sleep. But I could hardly close my eyes without seeing the things on the road.

After passing some kilometers, the bus was moving towards Ottanchatiram which was situated near Palani, where one of the six abodes of God Murugan is situated. Ottanchatiram is some kilometers away from Madurai. It was more of a village; thatched houses, greenery fields, cattle wandering around the fields, some primary schools with the bells yet to ring and of course a local court (Panchayath) with a banyan tree rooted again in to the earth from where it’d come, showing the truth. Though I was not sitting near the window I could see the scenery on the way. There were hills along the road on both the side firmly standing and stopping the movement of the clouds. The clouds were so near. It could be just around 30 feet over the head. That was the first time I saw clouds so near. If you can climb the hill, you can certainly touch them. The white clouds were resisting movement any further. With the snow falling over the hills, the atmosphere was marvelous to see. The hills were not too height. There were green trees and grass all over it. Though the sun was hiding, its thin rays were enough to make the atmosphere glow; feeding the nature.

As the bus was nearing Ottanchatiram, I could see a mother of hills. The bus was moving towards it. The mother hill was so stronger than her children hills. It seemed to be a few kilometers away to reach there. The bus was moving and moving, still we couldn’t reach it. I was longing to see its top. It was possible only after some more minutes. It was a huge hill (maybe I’m exclaiming it more as it was the first time I saw a huge hill near). Near the hill, there were more shops; it was a hub for the people in the nearby villages. The place was so busy just like metros except their tension. There was a bus stand. The bus stopped there to take some more people. Now, the bus was so crowded with school going children, working people and some passersby. Some were lifting up luggage on the top. The conductor became busy to ensure that all have tickets. The bus started moving right opposite direction to the hill so I couldn’t see it again. On the way, I saw a ‘Sandhai’, a market where the people of nearby villages gather to sell or buy or just barter the things they want right from cattle to grains. I saw many cattle in that ‘Sandhai’. Before I realize the things happened in the market, the bus moved fast finally to reach Madurai. I have left the sights I enjoyed seeing on the way and taken its memories and penned them into words.
Posted By: udaya chandran

Clouds over the Head

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