Monday, June 8, 2015
Akkraipattu is a Private World ......................
The Objective of Travelling to Akkraipattu; the Wedding Reception of Mr. Keteeshwaran, and Miss Rathani
The Day of Traveling; The Day Prior to Wedding reception, 3rd June 2015
The Journey began at The Fort Rail Station, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Compared to Colombo Akkraipattu is a private City. Yet, it is not at all isolated or alienated from the other part of the Country. The City is busy like a group of Ants, Bees. To reach this Private city, all what you need in addition to the Train Fee is ‘Patience and Confidence’. All other things you can obtain easily.
Udayakumari is ready to take you to Batticaloa every morning at 7.15 am, if you wish to, that is from Fort.
She stops at every Station expecting Travelers of all type, any type, with any sort of interests or attitudes.
Travelers do not travel alone but travel along with loads of other things, inner values, village rituals Customs and Norms specific to their personal or private residences and areas of living. If you get chance to talk to them, you can pick and choose such things for your learning perusal.
People travel with their destinational aims and hopes. I met a wife who traveled to Meerigama thinking of her husband’s Operation, shared few words.
I wish her husband a healthy life!
I think, often, people feel that you are on another world on a Train, at least for few hours. It took you about nine slow hours to reach Batticaloa.
Some traveled alone, some travelled with friends to chat, some traveled not alone but with a good paper companion or with a good book companion. I carried a book to read ‘ Kaala nadee Gala Basee’, written by Nobert Ayagama , award winning Book. I didn’t read many paragraphs though I was expecting to finish reading the entire book. Few Paragraphs yet to be read. Often, your reading is disturbed by road side specifications.
What ever attitude of travelers is not a burden for her.
Truth of Train Travel is that passengers come and go as they please from every station.
The Compartments are numbered according to a system and the old train traditions have not changed over years. A good thing to see.
Also, you get chances to exchange glances with excited happy little travelers who totally enjoying their freedom out of every day routines of class rooms. The kids gets opportunities to learn things experiencing things themselves.
You still find your childhood Train ways and traditions other than the Rail Stations that you have heard about from your elders and have read from the diaries of the travelers’ ,from point of view. Passengers are so used to that old passion and rituals, norms and ethics of Train Travel.
I met a boy at the Fort Station, who sells news as a carrier and was trying to please his village people by trying to hide from their glances. The Yaaldevi set off Fort before Udayakumari from Fort.
You find no male trains for what ever reasons in Sri Lanka. Yaal Devi , Udaya Kumari, Ruhunu Kumari, Rajarata Rejina, Udarata Menike, they all Ladies with a good travel attitude, takes you where ever you wish to, with no Gender Biased Attitude.
I guess Freedom Travelers always prefer Trains than Private or Government Busses. The
Windows are so wider not narrower, a good thing for an accurate Observer, such can be adjusted the way you like.
You get chance to find something refreshing to explore alone or with a group of friends with a Milk coffee, sells on the Train by ‘Self Employers’, Rs. 40/= only.
You are very strictly advised not to sit on other people’s reserved seating facilities and on another compartment other than in the section that the ticket mentions clearly. It’s a punishable offense. No Train monitors were their though to check , it seemed that they highly trust their service users, the passengers of not breaking Train ethics and rules.
I know what I essaying right now is not something that you do not know. Foot Path is a note book, a diary for me. One day I can re read all these notes again
I do not know why I say what is possible not what is impossible. Perhaps that is because I find nothing is impossible.
Traveling long distances alone, for some is not something they prefer or appreciate.
That is something very cultural, Asian, Sri Lankan or continental I do not know.
I think traveling alone is something so intelligent because you find more freedom than you travel with a group. Traveling with a group of relatives or friends is also something very fascinating, earns different experiences but that kills your privacy at least for few moments.
You don’t have to fight for a Window Seat if you travel alone. That is a marvelous thing to enjoy.
The Spokesman of the Stations, tells you in advance about the destinations you would meet, in not all three language but at least in English and Sinhala. On that particular day I traveled, I didn’t hear the Familiar Lady Voice of Fort Station, who used Describe destinations you meet in all three languages. I thought it is something I missed at Fort Station.
You may find destinations familiar amongst the destinations unfamiliar. Awukana, Kalaweva, Palugasweva, Mahawa mansandiya ( Juncation). The Mahawa Junction reminded me of the Novel written by Mrs. Sakuwi ( Shantha Kumara Withana) ‘ Mahawa Kochchiya’.
From the Mahawa Junction you get a chance to join another Train planning to reach either Chunagam, Batticalo, or trincomalee. A Busy and a popular Station. The Next Stunning Station is called ‘Galoya’
…….. Where late there was a throng. And now,
In Peace awhile, I sit alone;
Though soon, at the appointed hour,
I shall myself be gone. ……….
(‘The Railway Junction’ picked from the book ‘ The Poem Tree’, written by Walter de la Mare)
Travelers do not have one specific travel plan, their travel plan change according to their Travel destinations. If you are very confident about your Travel Plan , you do not specifically need any Travel guide.
Between your thoughts on Train, you can have a very relax nap like napoleon the great worrier did during his war time intervals. But if you nap between stations, you may miss good associations of good people, informed, mature associations of Travelers that is also because some travelers travel not long distance but short distances, depending on their Travel Needs and aims.
You do not find many Tunnels towards Batticaloa, like when you travel towards inland, comfortably on Udarata Menike.
If my memory is accurate I gloomed through only two tunnels. Reminds you of different facets of life.
A long time ago
I went on a journey,
Right to the corner
Of the Eastern Ocean.
The road there
Was Long and Winding,
An Stormy Waves
Barred my path.
What made me
Go this way?
(Picked the above lines from the collection of Poems ‘ The Poem Tree’, A long time ago
by T’ao Ch’ien)
The final destination of Udayakumari is Batticaloa.
You need to associate a Bus to reach ‘Akkaraipattu. It took me about 10 minutes walk from the Station to the Bus Stop.
A soldier who was returning from his vacation to Oluvil Working Station directed me to the Bus Stand. Thank you very Much!
The OUSL Batticaloa Regional Centre looked So healthy , situated between the Kalladi Bridge and the Junction before the Lord Ganesh’s Kovil.
I felt that The Lord Ganesh is carefully observing everything and everyone who go passing him towards what ever direction.
When ever you go passing a Shrine or a Temple you get enough of Confidence factors for free of charge.
I thought it is no point traveling to a known destination all the time but to an unknown or unfamiliar destination so that you get plenty of chances to embrace different experiences than you expect. Traveling to an unknown destination provides you mountains high chances to stay away from every day bored schedules that obstacle your motivation veins, organs.
You need to spend only Rs. 80/= for the bus ticket and for the Udayakumari you need to spend Rs. 420/= only, so reasonable.
You do not find empty buses that reach their preferred destinations without passengers or less passengers but with total full of Passengers.
The Bus I was destined to travel was so full of Music and Songs of I guess 1970’s 80’s or even before South Indian Movies. I hope my guess was right. I thought I could recognize the voice of Mr. S.P. Balasubramaniyam (?) The songs were not wrapped (I do not know whether I spelled the world accurately) or shown no features of modern melodies
Amma appa yarume illai
Mother, Father, I have no body
That was one of the songs played in the bus.
Before I forget Let me salute back the Batticaloa Station Staff for maintaining it so
healthy way and free of garbage.
Between the zone of Valachchenei and Batticaloa, you get a chance to travel passing a vast area with cashew plants , fences of Thal Trees I thought needs to be ‘populationized’ but some acres of land blocks were fenced and privatized by the people who owned them or bought them.
Hindu Shrines are a very significant and apparent factor within the area of Batticalo and Akkaraipattu, I noticed.
I guess in Batticaloa , within the area between Kaattankudi and Kalmunei , you find Street Names written in Arabic other than in English & Tamil. I think you do not find such naming or street Naming within Sri Lanka other than in that area.
If my memory is accurate Miss Azra Abdul Carder and I three Wheeled Through those Streets once, when both of us engaged in a project (research) done for ‘ Young Asia Television’ ( YaTV). She was the Principal Investigator of the Survey. So the area was not solely new to me. I remember we discussing about Street Naming in Arabic because that was something new that we have not observed before.
While traveling with all those thoughts of research and other observational thoughts, my mind stops at the Wedding Ceremony at the Kovil. I was so excited to be there without my other friends. Because I knew that every person and relative of the Bride Groom and the Bride are totally engaged with the religious rituals and Customs of the ceremony.
Kalladi Bridge is one of my favorite destinations. It looked so new on that day but I prefer the Old Look of the Bridge. Heritagious look , you cannot help when you are destined to face natural or other social disputes.
Some bridges remind me of the movie, ‘Bridge on the River Quai’. Because of its antique look the Kalladi too reminds me of the movie. Below or beneath, above or in parallel the bridges hide stories within, the sighs, cries, tears of old eras, of people but now with laughter and Smiles.
I was planning to spend the night at the Sea Sand Guest House about half or 1 km away from the Akkraipattu Town. The Guest House is built facing the Sea. And the compound of the guest house has enough of space to walk around a bit with barefoot.
You find Coconut Trees similar to human height and sea Sand layered, the old carriage wheels kept around Coconut Trees to give people a sort of decorative outlook. Found the place through internet. Mr. Nihal , Ranjini and her sister is there to help you.
Thank you Dear Poddi (Dipula) for bothering too much about me traveling alone and every day inquiries about my safety
Religious ceremony was scheduled to be held at the Sri Vammiyadi Pillayar Kovil( 04th June 2015)
To be continued ………………….