I am constantly reminiscent of my carefree younger days when life was simpler and less worrisome. But as I turn 27 this year and being an accountant of a corporate firm in Mangalore, seldom do I get a chance to relive those days. Such expeditions need not burn a hole in my pocket but they have to be high on the adventure content with trekking and camping high on my priority list. Urban lifestyle limit us to movie theatre experiences and eating out, which I particularly like as I am crazy about delectable food and love to experiment different cuisines. “Varun Shenoy, you need a break”- screams a voice in my head and off I go, impromptu with my friends to Ernakulam also called Kochi. Train travel from Mangalore (majn) to Ernakulam (ern) by Tvc Hyb Express seems just our thing as it is relatively cheaper at Rs.650 (AC 3 tier/person) for budget travelers like us taking about 8 hours 90 minutes from Mangalore to Ernakulam than any tedious and long bus journey, which sure would break our backs. The train leaves at 13:35 reaching Ernakulam at 22:25.
We had packed quite lightly since all of us insisted on carrying our bags ourselves. Once all of us settled in, we took out our lunches, which were conveniently packed for individual consumption. It sure saves all the paraphernalia of opening several boxes in the moving train. The train stopped at various stations such as Kanhangad, Thalassery, Kozhikode, Thrisur, Aluva and finally Ernakulam. At each station as the train halted there were numerous vendors pouring in with loud voices announcing their sells for the gentry to buy, but we were so fatigued that the lure of buying and consuming any of them or even enjoying the sights outside the train window could not prevent us from dozing off as it was rare that we allowed ourselves such luxuries as napping in the afternoon. Needless to say that the alarms were sure set for us to wake up just in time as we reached our destination. Train travel from Mangalore (majn) to Ernakulam (ern) by Tvc Hyb Express will always be a vivid re-collection in my mind.
As promised, the commute to A.V.Residency, Kochi with its representative stood expectantly at the station to welcome us. The much needed holiday, thus began.