Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 11: Pondicherry to Madurai.

We woke up early to see the sun rise, as we were residing near the Bay of Bengal. The beach was so dirty that we couldn't even manage to stay their for long. So, I found a new place to stand. Their we stood clicking pictures from different angles. We were joined by some Crabs also. They were very small. Then, came some small girls, who were from Kerala. They started calling me uncle. It was so funny and somewhat sad at the same time, as I thought, do i really look an uncle now? So, after some time, we went back to the hostel and got fresh to leave for Madurai. Later, Rtn. Shanmugan called me up and said he was coming to see us off. Then, he came and took us to the warden of the hostel, as he was also a rotarian. We had some good discussions. I also complained about the bad condition of the beach nearby. He said, the fishermen didn't want us to clean the beach. Anyways, we asked him to take some steps and help clean the beaches. We left for Madurai after sometime. 

We kept riding on the National Highway towards Madurai. As, we didn’t have breakfast, we halted at a restaurant called A2B restaurant. We had idli, vadai etc and moved on. We reached Tiruchirapalli(Tiruchy/Trichy) after riding for 200kms. There we went to the famous Srirangam temple. It was too hot in the city. We had to carry our 40kg bags to the inside of the temple. I felt like throwing the luggage away and run away from the place.  Anyways, we put our luggage in cloak room and went to have a look in the temple. It was an art of the architect, and a magnificent sculpture. I was looking at the architecture with awry. The temple is a huge area which has 4 doors, and it is like a maze, you may be lost in the temple. We went to a shrine inside the temple, where the pundit asked us to give him 50rs or 100rs to seek blessings. It was such a shameful gesture of him, that they have made this thing a business for them. Also, they refused a foreigner to enter the shrine, as only hindus are allowed. I felt like confronting the pundit, but it was of no use. I simply went to the foreigners and apologized on behalf of the pundits and told them that I and Deepak were really feeling bad for what the pundit did. He said it was ok. Then, we went out of the temple and had some juice and then left for Madurai.

We rode for around 150kms and took a halt at some secluded Dhaba. The owner of the dhaba was a very nice man. I kept talking to him till he prepared tea for us. Then, while having tea, he told me, he worked in Dubai for around 20-25 years. Now, he had to return to India as there was some land dispute with a man from his village. We gave him caps for his sons. Then after having tea, we moved on.

After riding for around 130kms, we reached Madurai. We had to stop for a while on the NH, as Abdul Kalaam Azad ji was going to the airport and the traffic was stopped. Then, we met Rtn Srirenganathan and Rtr Akram with fellow rotaractors and Rotarians at some institute for social work. There I discussed about, how I create awareness about polio among the people and what was my experience throughout the trip so far. After that terse meeting, we left for our YMCA guest house. We took bath and then went to Meenakshi temple, which was at a walking distance from the guest house. I met a person in Black lungi and talked to him. At first, I thought him to be  a pundit or something but he told me, he worked in Bosch. I was astonished having learnt that. Also, I saw an elephant putting its trunk on  everybody’s head to bless them. After coming out of the temple, we went to have dinner with Akram and Srirenganathan sir.  They ordered Sukka, Barota, egg dosa etc, the local delicacies and they were really delicious. After the dinner, we went back to the guest house and slept.

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