Today, the spectator tried a variety of modes of transport. He boarded a motor boat, then a KSRTC and a private bus, a ferry, train and last but not least, a walk of nearly 10km!
It’s fun to be a spectator. This time, the view was the mighty Vembanad lake. I was on a boat to Alappey from Kottayam.
Last night, Sreeni suddenly came up with the idea of visiting the tsunami-struck coastline of Alappuzha. We woke up at 6 today (the earliest since we came here!), got ready and went.
The guys were on bikes, Sreeni and I walked towards the Kodimatha boat jetty.
Misty morning, water lilies and rice fields; the scenery was impressive. Saw Kuttanad almost the completely. The last visit was ten years ago.
You shouldn’t go there alone, because you’ll surely be tempted to tell someone what you feel. You shouldn’t go there with a brigade of your friends, because chit-chat will take away the time to enjoy the scenery. The ideal company would be either your camera or the person you love!
Reached Alappuzha by 9:15 and caught a bus towards Harippad. On reaching there, we made a sudden change of plan. We decided to go to Karunagappally, towards Amritanandamayi’s ashram. There, we boarded a Karunagappally bus.
On the way, Sreeni pointed a board showing direction of Amritapuri. We alighted a stop after that, and had to walk all the way back and then another 5km towards Valikkavu, where the ashram is situated. I was walking in my district, my home was just 20km away…
There, we had to catch a ferry. We could see the fifteen-storey building from Vallikkavu junction one kilometer away. The ashram was quite big. Sreeni was bowled over! "Macha, I thought this would be one dokku ashram with 10 or 15 sanyasis," he said. There were many foreigners, students, devotees, security and media personnel.
Then we ventured out to find the actual tsunami victims. We found many. I had to as one who knew the tsunami only from the TV. They narrated in simple words what they had gone through. By 3:30, we left Amritapuri, took the ferry and then a bus to Karunagappally.
After reaching Karunagappally, we walked 2km towards the railway station. We reached there by 4:15, only to know that the train will come only at 6. Helpless, we slept in the platform bench.
I continued the session of sleep in the Kollam-Kottayam passenger, while Sreeni jotted down the story. The long, tiresome trip concluded with a 2km walk from the railway station to MASCOM.