February 14, 2009

Boats, planes and automobiles

Which is about moving on foot, by train, coracle and car

Foot movement

The Mumbai marathon came and went by in a flash. I wuz there! With near-zero prep I waddled through the half. Thanks are in order to the catch-up-with-her-if-you-can-Kenny and let-my-people-go- Ludwig for disgorging goodie pacquets, bibs and transportation to the venue.

Speaking of goodie pacquets, here's what was in mine:

1 nos. dented water bottle
Several nos Nivea visage purifying water cleansing gel
1 nos Nivea Shaving cream for men (mild and caring)
1 nos. sugar free gold
Several nos. Fiama di wills aqua balance shampoo (magnolia blossoms and watercress)
1 nos Nivea for men Whitening facial foam (cleanses and supports)
Several nos. Nivea visage Sparkling glow day care fairness creams (white crystalite)
1 nos coffee sachet
Energy drinks (Gatorade, not Red Bull!) band-aid, body-glide, energy bars .. were conspicously absent

I expected to see an army of whitened, caffeinated male runners, with lustrous hair and i wasn't disappointed.

The run itself was brilliant. After the obligatory meeting of bangalore runners, almost having a slumdog moment in the unlit porta-potty and bumping and grinding with the large turnout (velly impressive, pune half marathon gets about 20 non-elite women runners) i was off. great support on marine drive, beautiful route, super weather the whole way, lots of orange segments, elaichi bananas and glucose bikkies received at pedder road (clutched for a while in my grubby hands), plenty of water all the way, shadowing of blind japanese runner and finally ending it all under the august gaze of some plump celeb on the stage, just as the winners of the full marathon steamed in. And a relaxed local train ride back from VT, after picking up whadda pao! and kesar milk.

Next time, I'll try to do this in 2 hours.

In which our heroine identifies her favourite waterfall

In a coracle at a waterfall at Wildernest on the Goa- Maharashtra- Karnataka border.

In which our heroine's hero achieves enlightenment on a train

After plentiful offers of vada pao, biryani, soup, chai, coffee, aloo parathas by the Indian railways (the parathas were super) and a good night's sleep on the Mumbai- Goa train (we were riding the Konkan Kanya - snigger) here's a study of this blog's poster boy in the train doorway.

In which our heroine tries to board a train

Background: two of us are at Goa's Thivim station, awaiting the Matsyagandha express.
The time: 7:30 pm.
Train arrival time: 8:10 pm
At this moment we have just discovered that the express in koschan doesn't stop at Thivim. Faces frozen in panic. Faces defrost to anoint blame. Faces refreeze (but grotesquely, the way ice-cream is wont to do) because of the fear of not returning to work the next day.

Arguments, recriminations and sundry advice later, we dramatically fling ourselves into a non-state player(taxi) to take us to the next station- Kudal, as it's too late to make it to the previous station- Madgaon. Kudal is in Maharashtra and we're told, an hour's drive away.

We detour to get cash and then the high-speed hi-jinks begins. We whizz out of the city and are soon on a highway, with very little traffic. After a while, we are driving through a forested area with no vehicles in sight. The road quality deteriorates (welcome to Maharashtra) and more than an hour has passed. Our driver is super, he knows shortcuts to bypass the villages. He has a co-pilot who checks on the train status in Goa. Another hour passes- more forest, pitch darkness, no vehicle in sight and the driver increases the speed. At this point, worries of returning to Mumbai have been replaced with dark fears of accidents, muggings by the driver and his subordinate, and the general pointlessness of modern life. The co-pilot receives word that the train is near, so the driver speeds up further. My vision of a train vs. car high speed chase usually involved either James Bond or Rajesh Khanna and singing. Be that as it may. We arrive at Kudal before the train. Hallelujah.

The train glides in a few minutes later, we look for our names on the roster and a helpful TC (or do I mean TT?) invites us aboard. The train leaves Kudal, just as the TC (or TT) discovers that we were meant to board at the previous station, over two hours ago. All hell breaks loose. Voices are raised, then quelled. He has re-assigned our seats as we have no right to them, according to the new rules. Sundry W/L and RAC people fawn over the TC, and fish around in their pockets for devices to perform his aarti.

Suddenly, the God-TC changes his Jovian frowns to a smile. With an admonitory wag of his clipboard we are awarded our berths which had never been taken away to begin with! Cries of "Dhanya ho!" rent the 3-tier A/C bogie. We stagger inside, while the acolytes bring out the ganga jal.

A good time is had by all.
Specially by us, at sunset by this pool..


kbpm said...

trains are fun no? I never seem to get tickets...

Orcaella brevirostris said...

there's only one way to get tickets- tatkal. works everytime.

and you are better now? bobbing about cheerfully?

DokC said...

where are the pictures of train being flagged by brave james bond associate (jane in this case- due to gender symmetry issues), while james boards the above train, and gives a sad look at the associate as his car is smashed to smithereens (smithers). all for queen and country...

Orcaella brevirostris said...

dokc: the pictures in question are in the camera that i dropped on the concrete floor