Jun 3, 2010

Tirunelveli Junction

Tirunelveli Junction as I recall at the start of my journey...

Freshly smelling jasmines, marigolds and roses, little girls selling them with fresh smiling faces
Cheerful welcomes, tearful send offs as people rotate the phases
Uniformed porters, trolley men claiming weary passengers
Taxi drivers, auto owners so annoying with their offers

Water coolers & coffee shops rimmed with passing travelers
Magazine stalls & sweet vendors stacking local favorites
Young and old of different kinds, makes and models
Men and women of varying age, height and sizes

Freshly made local snacks igniting new appetite
Fathers rushing to pack some for the onward bound journey
Little lads selling hot tea,coffee and water
Loud speakers announcing trains arriving & departing

Little girl begging with a baby as her back pack
Her healthy mom at a distance with keen eyes on her daughters
The poor and needy homeless little far off from the platforms

Local cops chasing them to move on from their comforts
The round and wealthy politician with supporters at his service
His golden fingers gleaming with rubies, emeralds & diamonds
The clean and crispy TTR with whistle, red & green flags
Big clocks from business owners, showing the minutes flying

Little kids crying for plastic watch, goggles and balloons
Their moms & dads ignoring their tearful pleas for pleasures
Loving uncles rushing off to buy them the tempting treasures
Brighten kids with smiley faces fondly hugging uncles

Quick to show off new found joy to not so lucky seat mate
Poor kid wishes for such an uncle who could buy him gifts too
The early birds settled at leisure soaking in the scenes around
The late comers huzzle buzzling to load their many belongings

Newly weds off to start their own dreamy journey
Forever weds back home to rest from hard & weary races
All along the name board says it is Tirunelveli Junction
Exactly where my journey started with my charming Mr.Handsome

This is from my memory lane a dozen or so years ago
Will check again in my next visit to compare the scenes right now
Could have changed with better scenes but my love remains constant
For the familiar place dear to my heart is Tirunelveli Junction.


Y L said...

getting into a passanger train at mid night to go to madurai,
waiting in the hot afternoon to catch the only train to madras,
travelling all the way from hydrebad and stopping at a sweetstall in front of the tvl junction to buy eatables for the children,
not buying a platform ticket for want of small change in the purse and paying the penality for that while receiving a daughter from her studies,
waiting with a wheel chair and relatives to receive a daughter who had met with an accident at chennai and returning with a cousin,
seeing the same daughter running along the platform to catch the train back to chennai after three months,
seeing her off with her husband to mumbai with her husband,
taking the morning breakfast with a hot cofee/tea in a flask to my husband who left in a hurry to catch a train to his office ,
the long walks along the platform to get into the booked coaches and thinking that these compensate my lack of wakings otherwise,

--these and many more are my fresh memories of the TVL train junction

Y L said...

i must also include:

the so many journies with my students and colleagues on excursions to various places ---cochin ,bangalore, ooty, hydrebad, kodaikanal etc etc.

i love train journies and God has blessed me
with so many journies

NRIGirl said...

Amma: Looks like that daughter of yours kept her on your toes!! I am sure she gets the credit for most of your grey hair...

One thing I wanted to say but didn't was that: It was at Tirunelveli Junction where I saw Papa last...

With tears,
Your daughter

Y L said...

I also remember:
1. seeing off my husband when he went to cochin and he waving to me even when he could not see me and I standing there till the train was out of sight.
2.lot of family and friends seeing me off when i started my japan trip with my daughter from TVL junction in sept. 2009.
I would also like to add:
there is no need for the night passanger train journy to madurai now, since there are many early morning buses to reach there in time.
In the late sixties we had only one train to madras and today we have about 6/7 trains to chennai.
The infra structure in the TVL junction is vastly improved with no more meter gauge lines.
I no longer stand in long annoying lines to book/ cancel my train tickets and this I do online at home.
Almost all my train journies started and ended in TVL junction

NRIGirl said...

I miss Papa so much. He had the most handsome hands. Love him so dearly. I am so sorry he is not with us anymore...

Tears again,

Annie said...

I love it!!!!

I also remember, people who are waiting for Manjolai Bus, spread the newspaper on the bus station waiting room and sleep.

Never forget Shanthi Sweets Halwa and Arasan Yummy Icecreem!!!

-- annie

NRIGirl said...

Hey Annie! Nice to hear from you. Thank you for your comments!!

~ NRIGirl

Y L said...

can write a few pages about the Tirunelveli Junction bus stand memories:
asking for 'one ladies sest to Trichy/Perambalur/bangalore' in the mid night buses, going with a daughter to the jn in the midnight in a kinetic honda leaving it in front of some shop or other, getting into a bus to go to madurai for the daughter to write some examination, coming back in the next night to get the honda and returning home,waiting in an auto/ car to receive a daughter in the midnight,going to see off papa and ending up traveling with him,going there so many nights to send off a son to Karunya,going there to receive papa who was traveling sick and arrived very very sick and passed away that evening......bursting with memories

NRIGirl said...

Amma: Sure, that daughter of yours is one of a kind! She can't even recall some of the incidents about her... Looks like she was so carefree...

Love Papa much...

SG said...

Nice post. Now I am home sick.

சில்வண்டு! said...

Apt for ten minutes title shots for a movie.

We’ll open with long shot of Thirunelveli Junction… then cut to a tight close-up of the yellow name board that says “Thirunelveli Junction” then a cut to ‘Freshly smelling jasmine..” then a cut to smiling faces of little girls selling flowers… then a dolly shot to cover water coolers, coffee shops, magazine stalls etc….!

I actually felt like watching a movie when reading this article. Superb Queen. Really enjoyed reading it. Also, the comments... very touching!

NRIGirl said...

Thank you for your encouraging comments SG & Bawa!

~ NRIGirl

Chitra said...

I didn't know that you are from Nellai area too. Super!
This is a nice poem. I am sure that the things haven't changed a bit. :-)

Anonymous said...

NRI Girl and Chitra... quite a combination. NRIGirl - I conveyed your regards to Chitra today. She was asking about your mother's name and I could not find it anywhere. She is also from that corner of the world... ~VR

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