Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trip to Mahabalipuram

It was only at the last hours of the 30th of December we decided that this year we will celebrate the New Year's eve on the pristine beach of Mammalapuram with the entire family together but for Bhaiya. With everything given due concerns for, viz., the route, the cars, the sitting arrangements, the breakfast and lunch option, and the last but not the least, that we have to reach Bangalore the same night before the Dawn of New Year. The morning stated brightly with the two cars, my beloved Maruti 800 and Gautam's Alto, hitting top gear on Hosur Road at 6 a.m. on the 31st December. With Sun still not out of its closet and the proposed six-lane work going on Hosur Road still we reached Hosur in 10 minutes and then set on the motorists' dream Bangalore-Chennai Highway (a part of Golden Quadtrangle). Since Gautam had once been before on this highway, his Alto was taking the guide route and we were moving smoothly on the highway when I missed an arrow and landed on the road leading to Salem with Gautam's car taking the Chennai road. Fortunately, I was back to my senses within a minute and put the car in reverse gear and was as on the Chennai road within minutes. It was at 10 in the morning, going nonstop since 6 a.m., I suddenly found that everyone in the car are having mice jumping in the belly and we found a roadside dhaba just opened on the right side of the road. After stuffing us with puri and sabji, we went ahead nonstop until the Kanchipuram T-point came where we had to leave the smooth national highway and come on the narrow state highway to reach Mammalapuram. It took us more than one hour just to clear the heavy traffic of Kanchipuram City to be back on the highway leading to Mammalapuram. After not much untoward happenings and after paying almost 200 bucks at five toll gates, we finally were able to reach the beach just around 2 in the afternoon, much to everyone's chagrin that why we opted for such a long journey. Once on the beach, good times were back again with everyone jumping and shouting in the high waves. Papa still opted not to enter water and to look after our belongings! With time running out I was pleading with Ashi to come out of the sea as we have to hit the road once again to go back to Bangalore and hit the National Highway before the dark sets in. But, as it never happens with us, we were able to reach Kanchipuram only in the 8 in the night and back on the National Highway only around 9 p.m. Once again, we hit the top gear and went nonstop when only after driving for three hours nonstop, I noticed that I was hardly able to keep open my eyes and drive on. In fact, I had my eyes closed for a couple of seconds in the middle of the Highway, when the good senses prevailed and I parked the car on the side of the road to regain my senses back and be on the road back again. We had our dinner at around 12 in the midnight at a good Punjabi Dhaba (no pun intended..) in Tamilnadu was back in Ittina Neela at 2 a.m. of the New Year.

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