When I planned my trip to Coimbatore on 10th Mar 2010 to sell off my land there, little did I realise that it would be a memorable trip. Thank God, I decided to travel in day time by Kovai Exp ( Leaves Chennai at 615 am. )
As I was sitting and enjoying the view thro the window while I was travelling to Coimbatore, a lot of memories flashed across my mind. As the train sped past Ambattur, my thoughts went back to 1971 when Padma and athimber purchased the ground and built a house there. Earlier they were in a rented house. Here on an evening, a few of Vijaya manni's family and a few of our family had a sort of gettogether after Rajappa had 'seen' Vijaya manni at Avadi. That was in 1970. A lot of happy gettogethers - Prakash's Poonal, Padma/ athimber's Shastiapthapoorthy, Srividya's marriage, Prakash's marriage and many other functions had taken place at their old and the new Ram Nagar house. Then a few tears rolled down my cheeks when 20th Nov 2008 came to my mind.
After sometime , the train went past Tiruppathur. I remember going there and spending a few days with Sundaresan's family in 1972. Yes, Sundaresan was working there at that time. I had an unusual long holiday as our factory was on lock out at that time due to workers strike. The lock out was lifted when I was there and I rushed back to Chennai.
The train then slowly crawled into the Salem platform after more than an hour's nonstop run. On seeing that platform, my memories took me to the night of 12th Dec 1977. Our full family was on the way to Erode ( from Cuddalore ) for the marriage of Jayaraman. As the train from Cuddalore reached Salem in the evening of 12th Dec 1977 and since the connecting train to Erode was in the early morning of the next day, we had to spend the whole night at Salem Jn platform. I and Girija celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at Cuddalore, and then in the train and finally at the platform! It was a pretty cold night and I remember taking four /five cups of coffee to keep me warm. Sudha was just one year old then.She was in the arms of our anna for most part of that night. While the gents were roaming in the platform, all the ladies were comfortably seated in the waiting room where they spent the night with a lot of ஊர் கதை !!
After an hour, the Kovai Exp reached Erode. Yes, this was the place where we had a nice time on 13th and 14th Dec 1977 when Jayaram got married to Kalyani. The marriage hall was a big one and there was a huge lawn in front of the hall. We had our group photo in the lawn. The marriage was celebrated in a grand manner.
When the train left Erode and picked up speed, my memories went to Perunthurai where Sundaresan was posted for a few years. Perunthurai does not have a Railway station but was on the main road between Erode and Coimbatore- about 15 Km's from Erode. We had visited their house at Perunthurai in the late seventies.
Kovai Exp then passed thro Coimbatore North when I had a glimpse of the street where Sundaresan was living before he moved into his own house. When we all went to the grahapravesam of their new house, we stayed in this house only. This house is very near to the railway track.
By the time the train finally came to a halt at Coimbatore after 7 1/2 hours journey, I had already lived thro a lot of memories , but on setting my feet at Coimbatore , a fresh set of sweet memories occupied my mind. This place is no doubt the home pitch of Sundaresan, I would say. The first function that I attended at Coimbatore was his marriage with Pattu manni in 1965. Then between 1985 and 1996, I had attended a no of functions at Coimbatore, starting from the grahapravesam of Sundaresan's Kurichi house. Uma's marriage,Bala and Satya's Poonal, Suresh's marriage ( pre marriage functions were held at Coimbatore ), Sudhakar's marriage, Rajappa's new house's Boomi pooja function,etc were some of the important functions I attended.
When Jayaraman was posted there, I had visited his house also. I remember, I and Ramamurthy Athimber once rushed to Coimbatore in Oct 2001 when Vijay met with an accident.
In addition, we had been there on vacations too. Girija was with me in almost all the visits to Coimbatore after our marriage . Oh ! they were some of the finest moments of our life.
When I and Rajappa bought the adjacent plots in the suburbs of Coimbatore in 1989 at the initiative of Sundaresan, we had all planned to have our life at Coimbatore after retirement. But as the saying goes, man proposes but God disposes.
This time, I visited Kovai Pudur where my plot was and then prayed at Marudhamalai and Perur Patteswaran Temple. Though I wished to visit some more places, due to paucity of time, I could not . While returning to Chennai on 12th Mar, I felt sorry that I had to severe the last one connection that I had with this beautiful city ( with excellent weather ). I wish I get some chances to visit this city in future also. In any case, I cannot forget this City.