Thursday, 8th November – 0600 hrs
So I was taking a break from work for 11 days. Let’s just call it a vacation at my native. My agenda – Diwali on 8th, Kalpathi Ratholsavam over the next week, and a visit to Chelakkara, my mother’s native place, after about 10 years.
This has been my most expensive trip home so far. I had to take a flight to Coimbatore and my dad came about 50km to pick me up. The reason – No train or bus tickets were available as it was peak time. Forget peak time, you won’t get tickets to Kerala even on normal months. I remember seeing 93 seats available on the first day of booking (that is 60 days before the journey date), and it quickly went into wait list in 15 minutes. Traveling from Bangalore to Palakkad (or to any part of Kerala, for that matter) is a pain in the butts, mostly because you have to take a bus (because there are only a couple of direct trains) and your butts will indeed be painful by the time you reach home.
Deprived of all cheaper means of going home, I thought of taking my car. That would be a drive of 7 hours. But my mom thought that was a bad idea (Read: “Forget it! You are not taking your car alone for such a long distance.”) It almost seemed as if she sensed that I was in Diesel Mode of late. Diesel Mode is the term given by my friends to my random rushes of adrenalin wherein I drive my car like a race car driver when I find stretches of road where there is not much traffic and there is no risk of people crossing the road, for instance the Inner Ring Road or the Mysore Road. The name is derived from the role of Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious. Anyway, my mom said “No car. Period.” So I took a flight, shelling out about 2000 bucks more than what I’d spend for a train ticket.
The flight duration was 1 hour. I was wondering why it took so long, given that it is not even one third the distance between Bangalore and Delhi. I made up a theory. Coimbatore was so close that the plane would have passed Coimbatore and gone further South by the time it gained altitude. So it had to turn around to land in Coimbatore.
Optimum Altitude/Rate of altitude gain of the plane < Distance to Coimbatore/2*Ground speed of plane
The flight was supposed to be uneventful, but as it would always be the case with me, it was eventful. The event was that I got two free sandwiches and a coffee from Kingfisher. The “unevent” was that I got those not in the flight, but in the airport, because the flight was delayed by 2 hours, owing to the shortsightedness of the Coimbatore lads. (They said the visibility was only 600 feet and they couldn’t see farther than that. This is called shortsightedness or myopia.)
Thursday, 8th November – 1100 hrs
The 45 minute journey from Coimbatore to Palakkad was uneventful, except for the event that I immediately sensed it when we crossed the state border to Kerala as it started getting bumpy due to potholes in the National Highway. Anyway, the journey was over in a jiffy. All I did was talk. I talked to my brother, talked to my dad. Funnily enough, they didn’t talk to me much. My brother said I didn’t give them a chance to talk. One of the few things that I remember my dad saying was, “Watch out… there’s the bull temple.” There was a Shiva temple with a huge bull statue by the Highway. And my dad and mom always made it a point to say “Watch out… there’s the bull temple,” as we used to pass by. You’d usually get bored having seen it so many times in life. But not my parents. My mom may even ask to turn back to have a look, if she misses it by any chance. (I don’t know whether this has happened any time.)
Thursday, 8th November – 1230 hrs
As I reached home, I had to add something else to my agenda. Designing the system that my brother was doing for his final year project. He didn’t know what the hell a design was. He would say he has done something and I just have to refine it, while in fact he would not have done anything. He would ask me about UML. Don’t ask me what UML is, because I honestly don’t know anything about it. When I tell this to my brother, he’d just ask me to tell him whatever I know. He sounds like a Project Manager at times. I get annoyed, but he gets a backing from mom, “Help him da. Who else does he have to turn to?”
“Oh right.. Engineering is a subject like the Hindi you teach. It is so simple that a Electronics Engineer can solve the doubts of a Computer Engineer.”
“I would help him if only I knew.”
“But I don’t know either”
My brother interrupts, “Look..you just have to draw a component diagram, explain each module and their interactions. I’ll take care of the rest.”
I ask, “What else is left for you to take care of? Correcting grammatical errors?”
My brother says, “No. MS Word will take care of that!”
I roll my eyes.So I was not spared this time either. My brother was bugging me when I wanted to rest in peace. Not inside a coffin, mind you.
Friday, 9th November – 1800 hrs
Diwali went on with some minor attractions like me showing off by lighting crackers in my bare hand and throwing them to burst them in the air. The next day I went to a concert in Kalpathi. I and my mom decided to walk the distance. By the time we reached Grandma’s house, I was really thirsty. No points for guessing the reason. I was talking all the way. You’ve heard “Walk the talk” but I apparently believed in “Talk the walk”. The concert was not very impressive, so we returned home soon.
Saturday, 10th November – 0900 hrs
The next day was a turning point in my vacation and in writing this post. I was not finished with half of my agenda. But as fate would have it, I’m forced to wind up this post midway. I don’t remember what went through my mind when I decided to take a couple of pull-ups in the bedroom loft. That I am not very heavily built, and can take only two pull-ups at most, is a fact which I forgot. (On second thought, this is what was going through my mind when I did that act which can be deemed extremely unnecessary and foolish.) I pulled myself up; when I reached the pinnacle, a piercing pain grew in my right elbow, and I immediately let go. I was literally slithering in the bed due to excruciating pain for the next 2 minutes. After the pain subsided, I noticed that it still was extremely painful whenever I twisted my arm. I was not able to eat with bare hands; I had difficulty in brushing my teeth. I was horrified. What happened to my right arm? I went to the hospital, and found out from the doctor that a cyst has developed in my elbow. It was probably there for some time, but the pain developed when the bone was exerted. I have to get it removed through surgery. I’ll get admitted soon. The doctor advised me not to type, but I wanted to publish this post, although it is incomplete. So I changed the title and am posting it now.I will update after my surgery. This is a very minor surgery, but please pray for me.