Journey: From God’s Own B-School to God’s Own Country Kerala

“With the round of hugs and goodbye kisses I boarded the train and as I waived my hand to say goodbye to my mom, I saw tears welling up and streaming down her face.”

So, for the second time in my life I was moving out of Goa and for the first time, travelling by train. Prior to this, I have been to Pune but apart from that I have spent all my life in Goa.

Thus, I was very excited to visit Kerala, but not even half as excited as my mom who had invited all our relatives to bid me a farewell at the railway station, but thankfully no one turned up.

Yet my mom, dad, dad’s friend, my elder sister, two of my ‘anytime ready’ friends, Yeshwant a.k.a Punter and Ashwek (they played a crucial role in shaping my MBA life, hence the special mention!) had come to drop me there which was still a large no. considering that I would be just 350 miles away and that too for a mere two month internship.

A glimpse of my first ever out-of-Goa train journey from the God’s Own B-School (GIM Goa) to the God’s Own Country (Kerala).

Now You Know Why Your Train is Delayed

There is a pecking order among trains. Trains such as Duronto, Shatabdhi, and Rajdhani get the highest priority and if any of these are waiting at the station, they will get the first go. This is why you never see them delayed.

But my train was delayed and unfortunately it was not among the three mentioned above. Hence I was stuck at the railway station for a good five hours.

Frequent_Train_halts_enroute_Goa_to_Kerala
Frequent train halts enroute Goa to Kerala

I looked at my friends from the corner of my eye to see if they were bored or wanted to go home. But they were busy gulping tea and samosas in the railway canteen, so I decided to take a quick nap.

I was woken up by a loud female voice coming from the platform loudspeakers. She announced the arrival of our train in 5 minutes.

As I was walking to the other side of the platform, I realized the importance of so many people who had come to see me off. Each person picked up one bag and within no time all my luggage was on board.

Honestly, I love being on my own, live an independent life and do what I want, whenever I want. I’m not at ease when I have to be with others for too long and I don’t get my solo time.

Yet saying goodbye to someone who I’ve been surrounded by for a while makes my eyes sting with tears.

With the round of hugs and goodbye kisses I boarded the train and as I waived my hand to say goodbye to my mom, I saw tears welling up and streaming down her face.

Friends_and_family_Thivim_railway_+stationn_Goa
GIM Interns and my family members who had come to see me off at Thivim Railway station, Goa.

En-route Kerala

‘’Saab, chyaaay mangta?’’ (Sir, you need tea?)- He asked me
‘’Ha, yek hi dyena’’ (Give me one) I replied with a rather unsuccessful attempt to ape his accent, to which he responded with a smile. It’s quite interesting how a few Malayalis have tweaked the Queen’s language to suit their unique style.

I was halfway through my journey towards the serenely beautiful state of India, Kerala. Squeezed between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, it is the most favored tourist destination for travelers flocking from around the globe.

Since there are no direct buses from Goa to Cochin (Kerala), many prefer trains which are generally one of the better options for motion sickness sufferers, provided you are not seated facing against the direction of travel.

I’m not prone to motion sickness, but it was a weird feeling to sleep on a bed running at 40 miles per hour. My brain was rattling around in my head while lying down and so I was trying to look forward along the length of the train as much as possible.

Train_journey_Goa_to_Ernakulam_Kerala
Scenic views on the way to Ernakulam, Kerala.

I sensed a change in the sky as I turned my head left towards the window. As soon as I got up from the bed to have a closer look at it, someone screamed at the top of his voice.

I thought I stepped on someone sleeping on the floor. But since I was on the lower berth and that too in a sleeper coach (Unlike a general compartment where people even occupy the floor of the train, not to mention the luggage racks!) there was no chance of someone being there.

I paused for a few seconds and then gently placed my leg a few inches away from its initial position and as soon as it touched the floor, I heard that sound again.

This time it didn’t seem like a scream but more like a shout, a kind of shout you’ll hear when you accidentally step on your neighbor’s Rangoli.

The sky in the opposite direction was still dark and so it was difficult to see anything around me. Just as I bent down to figure out what it was, I heard that sound once again, this time coming from behind me, and it sounded something like Aaaye…aayeyyy…aaayeyyy, thrice every time with an interval of two seconds in between.

As it approached me, I saw a 40-year old looking man carrying a steel can on his left shoulder and a few plastic cups in his right hand, screaming aaayeyyy …chayeyy…Chaaayee!’(Chaay for tea in Hindi)

‘’Saab, chyaaay mangta?’’ (Sir, you need tea?)- He asked me

‘’Ha, yek hi dyena’’ (Give me one) I replied with a rather unsuccessful attempt to ape his accent, to which he responded with a smile.

It’s quite interesting how (some) Malayalis have tweaked the Queen’s language to suit their unique style.

As I stood at the doorway, watching the canteen on the platform wheel past, I took a long sip from the most energizing morning drink in the world- Tea!

Another_chaay_story
Bamboo hut and mud walls, Midnight drizzles and leaking roof, Hot charcoal tea and an aged couple! Another ‘chaay’ story for another day. Stay tuned…

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I did a 2 month internship in Kerala and at the end of it I extended my stay there as I wanted to explore a few places in Kerala.

Little did I know I would end up doing the first-ever solo trip of my life and that would change the course of my life completely.

In case you are curious to know what happened in Kerala, have a look at my blog posts below:

Solo Trip Day 1:

Here’s How the Solo Trip Bug Bit Me!

how-the-solo-trip-bug-bit-me.jpg

Solo Trip Day 2:

If Kerala is God’s Own Country, then Munnar is Probably His Secret Hideout:

Munnar-Kerala-India

Solo Trip Day 3:

The Only Reason I Keep Coming Back to Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary-Kerala

The Only Reason I Keep Coming Back to Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary-Kerala-Featured-Image

Solo Trip Day 4:

The Greatest Ever ‘Upma Story’ of My Life

greatest-upma-story-featured-image.jpg

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