I probably got the travel genes from my father. With him, I have travelled to numerous places. Mostly within India, and once abroad too. Over the years, he instilled in me the idea of travelling across the country. I don’t claim to have travelled far and wide across the diverse country that India is, but I can definitely say that I have seen quite a few states in our country. My zest for travelling has come from him – the interest to see new places, meet new people and to know about places other than ours. Though there have been many journeys with my family and friends, the thought of making a record of them never crossed my mind until now. I dedicate this one to my father, a salute for the indomitable spirit that drives him to travel. How I wish he had documented his journeys!
The mode of travel with Achan was mostly the railway but a vast majority of my recent trips have been on the road – by car. My Hyundai i10 has travelled all kinds of terrain with me. For trips with my friends, with my family and also for a bunch of trigger-happy photographers! I rather call it an off-roader! 38K kilometers and running – from velvet smooth highways to mountain ranges to slushy village roads – the i10 has seen it all (I hope it has never cursed me for that).
My affinity for the road started with the first long journey on my new car – the Golden i10, three years back. The first trip with Iyer, Dundu and Suthyev – to Vagamon. It was the first trip for me where I was behind the wheel for so long. No looking back ever since! Then there were a few memorable trips in Achan’s Red Hyundai i20 too. When I bought an i10, Achan graduated from the White Hyundai Santro to the Red Hyundai i20 a year later. Though the i20 belongs to a higher segment, it is still younger to my i10 by a year. i10 is still the big bro. well, that’s what I tell Achan and Amma (he he he!).
We have had quite a few trusted chariots for our journeys – Dundu’s Estilo & Skoda Fabia, Rebin’s Tata Indica, Kochappan’s Toyota Fortuner (what a beast this one is!), Roshin’s Ford Fusion, Mathai’s Zen and our very own Santro, i10 and i20. So many trips, planned and unplanned. Experienced a medley of emotions too. Joy, tension, prayer, grief, wrath, despair, relief. Well, I would still love to keep travelling – on the road and hopefully with an off-roader for company some day!