Traveling makes one intelligent

Apparently, traveling makes one intelligent and broad-minded.

Am not so sure, coz I traveled the whole of last weekend and my spectacles fits me just fine. From puking eight times between 12 midnight and 6.30 a.m. to traveling to Madurai in a 3rd AC with loud pack of Gujaratis, to picking up a fight with an auto-rickshaw guy for 10 bucks, to traveling in a rickety bus for three hours, to watching a 1980s Vijaykanth movie during a bumpy ride, to getting my uncle`s car grounded, to eating half a kilogram of pongal…I did everything this weekend.

One of Rekha`s relatives had once asked me, “So what is the right time to travel to Madurai?”

I said: “The best time to travel to Madurai is between age 18 to 34. Any travel before or after could be tiring.”

Somehow, age has not stopped my in-laws from traveling to Chennai. They will be here for the long Republic Day weekend. Am glad. If they had come during the Independence Day holidays…it would have been real irony. Imagine me losing my independence on Independence day?

Incidentally, travel works both ways. When you travel, you can inconvenience the stationary objects (relatives staying in the city you are traveling to) or somebody traveling with you can inconvenience you. Especially, if you were traveling with your bitter half…oops…better half.

Take for example, this incident that happened in Matthuthavanai (the biggest Bus stand in Madurai). I asked a bus driver, “Will your Bus No. 12B take me to Reserve Line bus stop?”

The driver gave an emphatic reply: “No sir, this bus can`t take you to the Reserve Line Bus stop.”

As has been happening ever since we got married, Rekha was watching all this from the sidelines. The driver hadn`t even finished, when she stepped forward and asked the driver: “Will it take me?”

During my travel, I also happened to visit Sivakasi – the land of matchboxes and fireworks. Like all cities, this too has a urban legend, narrated to me by a 24-year-old cousin. As all urban legends, this happened two years ago. A rich fireworks factory owner had decided to take Viagra when his wife left India to be with her kids for summer. Apparently, most rich kids from small towns now head for the US and refuse to take up their ancestral business. Anyways, coming back to the Viagra story…this rich factory owner tried taking Viagra but the capsule got stuck in his throat. Legend has it that the next day he got up with a really stiff neck.

We were back on the Chennai soil on Monday morning. Even as I unlocked our house…I realized…I hadn`t been complimented by anybody during this trip to Madurai and Sivakasi. In comparison, the Keralites (my wife`s relatives) had given me a compliment the last time we went visiting. I remember they calling me a PERFECT idiot!

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