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On the road

The much-awaited journey through the towns of Tamil Nadu started today. Varishta, my partner in crime, was equally enthusiastic when I proposed this road trip. We need to make hay while the sun shines – and how well the sun is shining today. It’s not that we started this journey from a cool place – Bangalore has never seen such high temperatures. It touched 38 degrees yesterday, the second highest in the last 70 years. This just gave us an additional impetus to start this road trip. Global warming is real and we believed Zishta to be our hope. Armed with cash vouchers to maintain our expenditures, sufficient toiletries, a rope to hang wet clothes in the car and rehydration kits (water bottles) to keep us refreshed through the entire trip – we began.

The first leg of the journey is to Mayiladuthurai (also called Mayavaram) situated in Nagapatinam district and 425 KM from Bangalore. We started at 2 PM from Bangalore and waded through the ever-growing Bangalore traffic for the first one hour. Once we hit the highway, Varishta who was behind the wheel, made sure we caught up on lost time. With the AC on full blast we were literally flying through the highway. A quick stop at A2B for a strong cup of coffee and we were on the way, on a mission! Cruising past Salem, we got off the national highway and entered the narrow two lane state highways. Surprisingly, thanks to this being an election year in TN, we had amazing roads throughout. We were stopped near Virudachalam by cops on election duty to check our luggage to make sure we are not transporting cash to distribute in the town. They even video recorded the entire interaction. Just as we were leaving the police checkpoint, we realized we had started on this journey without any vehicle registration documents. Thanks to technology, we got our uncle to Whatsapp all the documents to be on the safer side. We reached Mayiladuthurai by 9:15 PM and checked in to the hotel. Had a decent dinner there and crashed for the night in a safe, air-conditioned, clean room. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting, hot day as we roam around the streets of Mayiladuthurai in search of the one manufacturer of eeya chombu.

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