where trouble was needed

November 1, 2010

On the road … Badwani to Secunderabad

Filed under: Travels — Aravinda @ 2:39 am
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Notes from travel from Badwani to Secunderabad, 26 Oct 2010

From Badwani we got a ride with friends who were going to Sendhwa. From there we needed to catch a bus to Malegaon. After enquiring from people in the market we decided to wait for the bus on the main road rather than catching the bus from the station. Their advice: “At this time the bus runs empty so you will easily get a seat.” But after unloading our bags and settling by a tree on the street corner I wondered if we should have gone to the bus stand because I needed to use the restroom. Without much hope I asked a woman shopkeeper if there was a bathroom anywhere nearby.

“hai na,” (yes, sure) she said readily, and pointed out the
directions. I took dd with me and we asked shopkeepers along the way until we found the “Sulabh Complex” of bathrooms and latrines.

When we got back to the tree within a few minutes we saw a white bus in the distance and indeed it was headed for Dhule. We got our seats and paid Rs 250 for two adults and one child to Malegaon. Within half an hour the bus stopped at a dhaba. So I thought, I needn’t have worried, I would have had a chance to go here anyway. But then, it was not a bathroom, just a nowhere place, so I was just as happy to sit in the bus. Imagine my surprise when from this nowhere place Ravi brought back hot roti with palak sabji. It was not bad. In the second bag he brought dahi chawal – a luxury we had not had in days.

A few hours later we got down in Malegaon. As we had budgeted for traffic jams, and had none, we had a few hours to spare. Behind us we saw “Net zone” and went to check our mail but the place was closed. The person who worked there directed us to a “supermarket.” Meanwhile we decided to have lunch and asked around for a recommendation. This led us to Apsara Hotel near the bus stand. As all the names of the featured items were non-veg we asked about a vegetarian hotel and went to Chetana Dining Hall. There was no menu, only a lunch plate. We got it. Though most items were too spicy-hot for us, we could eat the chole and the alu sabji and their service was just great. Bringing out fresh chapatis and coming by for sabji refills every few minutes, they saw that we were well-fed. There was even desert and dahi.

From there we proceeded to the supermarket where we saw a computer place but it was not a cybercafe, it was a service center. They directed us to Malegaon camp, near Amantran Hotel. Here we saw “All-in-One Net Cafe” and settled comfortably into two booths. We checked our mail, and dd watched the RSA Animated version of Sir Ken Robinsons talk on “Changing Educational Paradigms,” which has become a recent favourite of hers. Two hours later, we handed over Rs. 80 (Rs. 20 / hour per machine) and proceeded to catch the bus to Manmad. We first went to catch it on the street corner but then decided to go to the station to have a better chance of getting a seat. 2.5 tickets came to Rs. 65. Though the distance was 20 km, it took just over an hour to get there. It got dark and also started raining along the way. From Manmad bus stand we took an auto to Manmad train station – Rs. 20. We reached by 7 pm and our train was at 9 pm. A short walk around the station revealed one Visava Hotel, vegetarian. We asked them to prepare the items without mirchi and they obliged. We had 4 rotis, palak paneer and veg hakka noodles. All tasted good – as good as a nice hotel in Bombay. Came to Rs. 144.

And at last we caught the train. All three of us got upper berths, which meant only one of us slept soundly through the night. Ravi got his notebook and pen and prepared to stay up all night to watch dd. He sat on his upper while she slept on her side upper – which, unusually in this train, was at the same height as the regular upper. Usually side upper is lower than regular upper. My side upper berth was in a different part of the coach so I went there to sleep, planning to come and relieve Ravi around 5 am or so. But every time the train shook I got down and came over to check on dd, because she was in side upper, and also on Ravi, because he was in a precarious position sitting on the upper berth watching her and could also have fallen off if he dozed off in that position. Finally sometime in the middle of the night the side lower became available and we shifted dd to side lower and then I slept in the side upper above her and Ravi went to sleep on the upper berth. But not without catching a cold from being too close to the fan, which he unfortunately could not even switch off because someone had come to sleep on the floor of the compartment, blocking access to the switch.

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