The Chennai trip

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It was a lazy Saturday morning on a long weekend (with Monday being a public holiday). It was like world sleep day for me. However, woke up early (8 AM) in the morning but was feeling little bit guilty for not having planned any holiday trips utilising the long weekend. “Good morning hubby! So, whats the plan for the long weekend?”, asked biwi (wife). As if she just read my mind. I was dead silent and brushed for 5min extra that day.

It was 11AM and suddenly I started browsing internet for options of quick trips. Suddenly, my mobile ringtone started ringing – as if God has sent a message for me. I picked-up the call and it was one of my colleagues from Chennai. He was planning to go to Pondicherry that day and “Eureka!!” that’s it – not a bad idea – Chennai trip.

Makemytrip – one of my favourite apps (nobody paid me for advertising πŸ™ ). Quickly figured out the flights and hotels available to work out an itinerary. “Biwi, what if I get flight tickets to Chennai for today 6PM? Will you be able to manage?”, I asked waiting anxiously. “Are you nuts? Its 12noon and you are saying 6pm flight, which means we need to report to Airport by 4PM !”, she responded shocked with my proposal. “Common be a sport, we have 4 hours and we need an hour to pack, an hour to lunch and an hour to get ready. You still will have 1 hour as a backup”, I gave my expert advise. Unexpectedly, she said “Ok. I can do that. Lets get started then”.

One milestone achieved. Like a Pro – I approached my father with the same proposal and to my shock he agreed immediately. Probably the “Pondicherry” in the itenerary played the trick πŸ™‚

I now spend the next 45min concentrating on booking the flights and hotels – as if I am an expert booking Agent. Excitement was rising with everyone. Time seems to be travelling faster than ever before. The thought that whether we will make it in time for the flight was growing big on me.

“Papa, where are we going?”, asked Tweety. I said to Chennai and Pondicherry. “Pondicherry!! What sort of place is this? Do we get lot of cherries there?”, she asked amazed. She never heard the place earlier. I said, “its a place near a sea beach. You will like it. Lets get ready immediately”.

Its 4PM and we are still doing final packing. Now I was getting nervous. Can we make it. I was back calculating. Even if we reach airport by 4:45pm, we will have enough time to get the boarding passes. Its 4:30PM now and it was turning out to be a perfect climax scene of a Thriller movie. We somehow managed to get out with our luggage and booked a cab. It was showing 7min. We waited calmly and got the ride. Its 4:40PM now. “Bhaiyya, bhagao! (drive fast)”, I said to the cab driver. I owe a treat to him. He drove like a Pro and we reached airport at 5.05PM.

Guess what a long queue to drop baggage and we only have 10min before the counter would close. While in the queue, I decided that “Priority queue” is the only hope now. Its 5:12PM now. They said you are late, we are closing now. “What? We have 3 more minutes. You can’t do this to us. Please”, I requested. The lady in the counter looked at all of us and don’t know what went through her mind, she said ok, give me quickly and get through the security immediately

“Did they take extra charges for “Priority queue”?”, asked my father. “Of course yes! Now lets hurry-up no time to analyse this please”, I almost ordered everyone. Woosh! and we are in the Security checkin gate in next 5min. Its done in 5min. Guess luck was in our side and it was turning out to be an exciting trip already.

We rushed into the boarding gate and they were already announcing our names as final call. Woosh! and we are into the plane. What a begining to the trip! We fastened our seat belts and looked at each other as if we have reached Mt. Everest.

After 2.5 Hrs we landed at Chennai airport and we drove to our Hotel Holiday Inn at OMR road and relaxed at the hotel like never before – after a thrilling start to our 4 days trip.

Day 1:

After a gala breakfast at the hotel, we ventured out to various sight seeing places in Chennai. Visited the famous Kapeeleshwara Temple, St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Vivekananda house (a must have for all Bengali’s and should have for others) and the spend some time at the famous Marina beach in the evening. On our way back to hotel we had a quick street shopping at T.Nagar.

Day 2:

In the morning, I woke up early to arrange for a cab for the day’s trip. The hotel said we will get only after 11AM and I resorted back to OLA outstation service. It did work and off we went to our next visit to Pondicherry. It was a nice 2 hours marine drive. The journey was refreshing.

We arrived on time and the first destination was “Auroville” – an experimental township based on the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. From the ticket counter it was a 15-20min walk to the Golden dome shaped meditation place. Unfortunately, we could not enter inside, as you need to book at least a week before to get a meditation slot. However, the 15-20min walk a trip in itself. It was a beautiful clay road with flora and fauna at both sides of the road and it was an amazing feeling. The golden dome was looking beautiful.

“Click! Click! Click! The shooting guns were out. We did some trick photography and Tweety was excited thinking that it was made of real gold.

We spent half a day there and then drove to Sri Aurobindo’s ashram. What a peaceful place just beside the sea shore. I could have sat there for the whole day is meditation and do some soul searching. “Papa! dont make any noise. You are disturbing others”, ordered Tweety and the Guard. We then went to their library and picked up few really interesting books on self realisation – a story for another time πŸ™‚

After an hour, we came out and walked up to enjoy the beautiful sea shore. Its an amazing place. My father started meditating and the my Li’l princess and her mother started playing with the waves and I was given the duty to keep an eye on the shoes and bags and wallet.
I walked around and enjoyed every moment of my shoe keeping πŸ™‚ At least on two occasions the waves got better of me. We were all wet and with no extra clothes. We hurried to the cab. It was 7PM and started back to the Hotel.

Day 3:

This day we visited another interesting place – an hour’s drive and half way enroute Pondicherry. On the way we stopped at the “Tiger’s cave”, and then reached our destination Mahabalipura – an UNESCO world heritage. We visited the lighthouse (amazing view from top), Krishna’s butter ball, descent of Ganges, the rathas and finally to the famous Shore temple. Shore temple was really awesome place, just beside the sea shore.

Click! Click! Click! Almost 100 clicks πŸ™‚

Then we enjoyed the beach for an hour – although it was not a safe beach and beach guards warned to keep away from water and the beach was closed at around 8pm. We returned back to our den. Had some delicious food in Holiday Inn I must say. Taste was really good.

Day 4:

Next day morning trip was to another historical place called Kachipuram – famous for Kanchipuram sarees. This was a surprise entry into the itenerary and everyone (especially biwi πŸ˜‰ ) was excited as we all have grown hearing about Kanchipuram sarees. 2 hours drive took us to the Temple city. We went to Ekambareswarar temple – the largest in the city. After a few more temple visits, we decided to go a co-operative society in Gandhi Road – the hottest place in town famous for its silk sarees. We went inside and rest is history. May be it was a mistake – I thought later πŸ˜‰

We returned back and on the way we stopped at T Nagar to buy some memento for our thrilling trip, we will remembers for ever.

Day 5:

The adventurous trip was coming to an end as we had the return flight booked the next day morning at 7AM. Thank God, this time it was a normal check-in at the airport as we boarded our return flight on time and the exciting trip got recorded in our memories for ever. After 2:30 hours flight, we reached home sweet home! Memories to cherish forever.

Swarup Biswas

I am an explorer. Join with me in my expedition to explore new destinations, cultures, people, food, stories, facts and much more...

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