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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Gravity pull at Thanjavur

‪#‎TravelTales‬ ‪#‎Thanjore‬ ‪#‎GravityPull‬ - Rs. 100 for 2 km of distance is absolutely absurd. Yes, I belong to the “middle class” irrespective of income tax bucket that I fall in. I love to spend but I don’t like to throw away money. So it took me a while to negotiate but figured out no auto driver was ready to come to the hotel for less than Rs. 80.

Sigh.

I took an auto and reached my hotel. I was still happy as Thanjavur was the most important attraction as the whole trip was planned because of the Big Temple. I had boarded a train from Kumbakonam and reached Thanjore by 5 pm.

The timing was not good enough to visit any of the place of interest as most will close by evening. So as soon as I checked in, I decided to hit the road and for a long walk.

I love to walk in a new place. Just plain wandering. No set destination. Slow down pace. Observe place, shop, people, road or nothing. However, wherever I take a turn, I try to note down a landmark so that it is easy to navigate back. It is always okay to ask for directions but finding direction on your own in a new place is a kind of fun. emotic


For the first time in this trip, I plugged in my headphones, started playing music through phone and well, started my exploration. The first thing I found out was that the entire place was captured by “Captain” Vijaykanth. Apparently he had an election rally in Thanjore on the same day and hence city walls were painted with his posters and party flags. I kept walking.

Soon I was near the railways station wondering about auto fare I paid a while ago. Then I saw a sort of protest going on. It was a sort of junction with a few barricades which was slowing down the traffic. A few people gathered near the entrance of the railway station for the protest. There were saffron flags all around and a man speaking in angry voice using a mike and a few policeman managing the place. Interesting. I stopped and inquired and apparently found out that the protesting party was the Shiv Sena! Yes, I learned Shiva Sena was presence in Tamil Nadu and well, they can be on road as well!

smile emoticon
Now curiosity got better of me and I started walking from the other side of the road towards the protesting Shiv Sena workers. My phone camera on. Took a snap, walked a few feet and ka blam boom! The next thing I experienced was falling awkwardly on the ground, people rushing in and well, a policeman too. Yeah I was hit by a “slow moving” motorbike having 3 people riding it. All three also fell down and bike too fell down :( frown emoticon

I got my senses back and just realized what had happened. I had crossed the road without looking back and well, due to headphone, I guess I didn’t hear sound coming from the back. Phew! The bike just banged me. Thanks to the police barricade and well may be also due to the load that bike was driving slowly. 

I quickly got up, collected my phone and apologized to the family. I immediately accepted my mistake and asked them if they were hit badly. Fortunately, they had a gentle fall and hence, nothing to worry. They were kind enough to accept my sorry and smile. But the policeman was not kind enough. 

He was pissed off on me. Shouted in Tamil, showed his displeasure and asked me who I am and where I came from (as obviously I looked different than locals there). After a while, he asked me to remove my headphone. I complied and walked off.

I walked a few steps and there was another policeman smiling and gesturing me what was I doing walking like that? I went to him, smiled, apologized and assured him. Sigh.

Once again, I experienced that 1) Irrespective of place or situation smile really works 2) Accepting a mistake can severely take away heat from the moment and 3) Do not walk with headphones on.

Lesson learned, experience gained and well, memories added :) smile  :)

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