We had planned the trip to Bangalore just two weeks prior to the date of journey. And in mere two weeks, things can precipitate pretty rapidly.
As we were counting days and entering the week of the journey, piggy flu hogged the headlines of all national dailies. I having a penchant for catching the cold easily ended up being on every well meaning relatives' radar. "Are you sure you want to travel?" Now when someone asks such a question, one is bound to have doubts. K suggested that we should cancel the trip. My sissy had plans of coming over from Mysore and visiting us. I was too agog to be with her and loiter around for 2 good days. Now that our plan was on the verge of being canceled, I asked her to loose the enthu and get back to her training. :(
But K was not one to let go of a trip to his favorite place so easily. He said, we would buy masks, wash hands, not eat outside and carry lots of amrutanjan to get rid of the cold as soon as I get a whiff of it. My mom was worried sick. I convinced her that I would be fine. The trip was on.
Finally, the trip seemed to be a possibility and I mentally started making a note of the stuff I would need to pack. My sissy called and said she was not having any company to accompany her to Bangy. This would have been my sister's maiden journey out of her city and my mom was damn scared of her making it all alone. So Momma asked her to stay put at Mysore itself. Now that little sissy was not gonna come to Bangy, it completely dampened my spirits. Seeing her was the high point of my travel. I hoped, even if I was not able to buy any thing, at least I would get to spend some time with her which would be more than fulfilling. I thought it would be a better idea to make the trip when she would also be in a position to come to Bangy and more over with the swine flu scare et al, it was best to not undertake any travel.
Par dil hai ki manta nehi :) And on Friday morning I decided, we should go ahead with the trip. No matter what. On hearing my conviction sissy said, she would come to Bangy. No matter what. While returning from work, I shopped for some goodies for sissy and then mom called and said, sissy would not make it to Bangy cos she was caught up with some work. I guess she had some test or something coming up. On the spur I said, I would make a trip and visit her at Mysore. Going all the way to Bangy but not being able to see her who was just 3 hours away seemed very un fair.
This time K and I had booked our tickets in the sleeper bus services that run from Chennai to Bangy. It was an entirely different experience. It is extremely comfortable if one chooses to ignore the rude behavior of the bus conductors. Banglore as usual filled us both with nostalgia as it never ever fails to do. The atmosphere itself is vibrant with a feel which is so very different from the tradition soaked Chennai. The malls, the youth thronging the streets, the westernised attires - the city has spunk. Saturday 4 and half straight hours I spent shopping for clothes and got some real good buys at Brand Factory - 3 pairs of trousers and 4 shirts. K had to stand the entire agonizing duration and had to go through my "should I take this?", "do I look fat in this?", "does this color go well with my skin tone?" and a zillion and one "gal questions". He lost his patience, shouted at me, complained why was I even bothering to ask his opinion when ultimately I was doing contrary to what he was saying, and also gave me some real good suggestions to mix and match. That done, he purchased some shoes and I got a pair of jeans from a factory outlet. It was a very tiring exercise. But all the purchases were worth it :)
That done, we travelled one half of the city to meet my friend Sam. I helped her around with some of her shopping. No sooner than we had settled our selves in KFC with a lemon and a mango banana Krusher, that I got a call from sister in law saying it was time to head home for dinner. It was already 7 in the evening and she was hosting dinner with some other relatives. I was with Sam for hardly an hour, and it was sad to leave her so soon, but then some things got to be done.
The next day started early with us leaving home at 7. The journey to Mysore ended at 12 noon and I met my dear sis. She was just the same, but with some dark circles under her eyes. We had lunch at a place called Parklane. We had random conversation flowing and she narrating tales of her office and training in her childlike fashion. Post lunch, for the lack of time or space for anything else, we 3 just sat on a wall near a park and chit chatted. The clock struck 2 and we had to start the return trip to Bangy since we were heading back to Chennai that very night. It took a 4 hours to get back home. I travelled for nearly 7 hours to be with darling sissy for 2. But it was worth it. I would have felt very empty if I would not have seen her. And K was a real sweetheart to accompany me. I know he would have, but he understood my wish to meet my sister and accompanied me rather than doing so as a chore was what made it beautiful. God bless him :)
A trip, which might never have happened, was so close to never happening, but when it did - it was something. A vacation plan we had made for October got cancelled cos of K's office work yet again. Maybe a Bangy visit again would be enough to cheer us up :)