Chennai Trip – A Rollercoaster !

The recent Chennai trip was full of twists and turns, a total rollercoaster ride … it kept changing constantly till the last day and the “change” spree continues after we returned home. Phew ! After 20 months of being locked in with very little change to our routine, this was fun. Ofcourse exasperating some times but overall it felt good.

The original plan was to drive down to Chennai as we usually do. Because we were going for Krishnan’s Shashtiabdapoorthi, we had a lot of luggage. I had asked Mamatha Ji to deliver the Udupi sarees to Gurgaon thinking I will label them and save time in Chennai. Well, the sarees came as per plan, but our driving plans changed. Amma caught the seasonal cough and she felt better but couldn’t sleep well for a few days. We decided to take a flight to Chennai instead of driving.

For the first time, we paid for excess baggage and my pride on being an expert packer took a hit 😅. Little did I know that I will have a bigger lesson in humility a month later for the same issue.

Another first was, one of the suitcases cracked. We got it shrink wrapped as we couldn’t leave it behind. All my efforts to not use plastic went out of the window with the shrink wrapping :(.

Geetu and Dinky had booked their tickets and were to reach Chennai on the 24th …. but Railways decided to change their train’s route at the last minute. They missed the Shastiabdapoorthi. Geetu didn’t speak to me for a whole day – both of us were really sad. We had made so many plans on the kind of photos we would take. Not a happy change.

The Shastiabdapoorthi went off well. We headed out to Hyderabad. The rollercoaster started all over again. The train ride was so uncomfortable that even before we reached the Secunderabad station, I changed the return ticket to a flight. Read all about it on this blogpost – Jio Jee Bhar Ke !

We got back to Chennai with the plan of meeting many of our friends and relatives besides celebrating Diwali with Nachi, Kousalya and Dhanush. Well, an elderly ailing aunt passed away just before Diwali, so we couldn’t “celebrate” in the traditional way. We were all together after many years so it was a happy Diwali.

Consequent to our aunt’s passing away, we postponed Dhanush’s Upanaynam by a day to the 12th of November. The rollercoaster continued trundling down the path of changes….

We were to have breakfast at Subbu’s house on Nov 7th and Rain batters Chennai. “Heavy overnight rain led to flooding in several areas of Chennai on Sunday. Nungambakkam recorded 21.5 cm of rainfall, the highest recorded in a 24-hour period since 2015.” No taxis were plying and roads were flooded. Just that day, in the morning I posted about the water logging the previous day – Remembering the 2015 Chennai Floods.

I had a call with a ShikshaDaan sponsor on the 8th and our laptop conked off as soon as I sent over the presentations. The entire call was over a mobile phone. The laptop never came on and had to be replaced finally. Ah, the twists and turns continued …

We were locked in over the next five days. There were enough vegetables and groceries to tide over a few days and within a day or two, Swiggy Instamart started delivering groceries etc. We just couldn’t go anywhere because the roads were all choked up. My friends and ex-collegues started teasing me about how every time we go to Chennai, there is flooding 🙄.

We were still hopeful that Dhanush’s Upanayanam would happen as planned on the 12th. Well, as Shah Rukh says in Om Shanthi Om, nature was telling us “Picture Abhi baaki hai mere dost”. There was a storm warning for Nov 11 and it poured. Our aunts couldn’t travel from Srirangam, Kousalya’s sister and brother couldn’t travel from Bangalore and most importantly the “samayakarar” (loose translation, Chef) couldn’t find anyone to cook for the function.

The Upanayanam had to be postponed to a different date !

Things cleared up a bit from the 13th. We visited Radha Athai and went to Pallikaranai and met Bhaskar. On 14th we managed to go to Subbu’s house for breakfast…. and the next twist arrived. As soon as we got back from Subbu’s house, I got really high fever. Amma was exhausted and slept deeply. We didn’t wake her up as she would have gotten really scared. I took a Combiflam and slept.

My cousin Aravind had come, one of our friends had dropped in and Nachi and Kousalya had come …. Amma and I slept through it all. Krishnan managed the visits. I woke up later at night feeling a little better, ate an idli and again downed a Combiflam. We had our return flight the next morning !!! I still had some packing left but I couldn’t get myself to do it. Was too exhausted.

I woke up on the 15th as though I had run a marathon in sweltering heat…. totally exhausted, despite sleeping for hours. We took the decision to postpone our flight to an evening one. I again ate an idli and took half a Combiflam. Since I had an upset stomach I presumed it was something that I ate which led to the fever.

I managed to recover enough to complete the packing and we reached the airport early for the evening flight. Well, we had excess baggage yet again :(:(. I am still coming to terms with the fact that we had to pay for excess baggage twice. Anyway, we reached home without much of a problem.

There was a water borne infection in Chennai due to the rains and that’s what caused the fever for me. The rollercoaster made yet another turn after we reached Gurgaon. Two days later, Amma had a bout of vomiting. She is fine now, but we realised that the water borne infection probably affected her too !

What a trip ….. but all’s well that ends well. Happy and blessed to have met so many friends and relatives during the Shastiabdapoorthi. Change is the only constant in life and for a change junkie like me, this trip was fun.

Rollercoaster - change

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