The 10 odd hour journey mapping over 470 kilometers along the Kanyakumari highway and the Edapally Panvel Highway was something mum and dad had been looking forward to since the last few months and they were busy planning for it. It was their 30th wedding anniversary in a few weeks and we had decided to celebrate it by taking them out on a road trip which would freshen up their memories that had gathered dust over the years, as well as give them fresh memories to cherish for a life time. Mum was all enthusiastic about the whole family getting together for a fun trip. Their son and daughter who were both settled abroad were coming down especially for this and she wanted her children to go back good experiences and memories. Dad, on the other hand was increasingly listening to old romantic songs of their youth and spent time looking at their old picture albums, at least that is what the neighbors told us.
The starting point was fixed at Trivandrum where I have an apartment that was abandoned since my brother and I moved abroad. Karan and I have booked the tickets together so that all our meticulous planning can work out butter smooth.
The much awaited hour arrived when Karan came home with the SUV he had rented out for a week. Though we were just four people, we had ample luggage and piled in all our stuff in the boot â€“ the suitcases, the rucksacks and the yummy packets of mum-made murukkus and achappams.
`Amma, acha.. câ€™mon alreadyâ€¦.. Karan is already in the carâ€™
Their romance had started here. This was the place my father and mother fell in love with each other and began building their family. The roads through Kollam had no special memories to unfold, though we did stop at a few places in Karunagapalli as we had relatives staying there,Â ageing family members who could not travel much to meet their loved ones. But homes, where we were welcomed with warm, open hearts and we left their place with our memories brushed up and arms laden with homemade delicacies to last us for a whole month.
The roads of Kerala were pathetic, to say the least. Every bus driver on the road was a jerk whose hand was constantly on the horn, every road had potholes that you had to deftly maneuver through if you did not want to end up with a backache.
The Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi welcomed us with open arms as we traversed through Alappuzha, dead tired after having a gala time at the numerous beaches and having our stomachs stuffed from eating a heavy lunch of sea-food delicacies served in the local toddy shops, kallushaap as they are called. Achan and amma retired to the room we had booked at the Abad, whereas Karan and I headed out to taste the night life of Kochi and to see how much it had changed in the last 10 years. The last time we were here, that is when we were living here when amma and achan were posted here, there were no malls, zero night life and no girls could be seen on the roads or the streets after dusk. We were pleased at what we saw and heard too. Though there was no time to hang out in the Lulu, it looked quite stunning from outside and we did our share by taking a photograph outside it.
At every important place, we stopped, went to the temples, pleased the deities and took their blessings. Lord Guruvayoorappan and Kodungallooramma blessed us to have a peaceful and safe journey. Though the ride was quite bumpy, it was comforted by the tales of how our parents met, fell in love and decided to become parents to two wonderful kids and give us a beautiful home.
If ever you long to feel the presence of God in life, the best solution is to take a car, get some people whom you love and hit the road. Take a break from everything else, technology, office work, personal issues, say good bye to all heartaches and you have perfect road trip. One that is sure to let you have fun, enjoy life and help you realise that life is truly, beautiful.
The road trip was fun. It meant a lot to us because it was rare that as a family we spent time together.
(To keep your car smelling fresh as new, check out this pageÂ facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia)
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