Exactly a month after Dubai Metro was launched, I decided to let myself be taken for a ride. (no pun intended, believe me!) With a two decade old career and (almost) one decade of marital success behind , listing excuses, even if its for missing the Metro wont be a tough job for me.
Last time when I decided to go for a ride, I happened to overhear Krishnakumarji recount his earlier experience of making the annual pilgrimage to Shabarimala with some of the paandi saamis in a rented tourist bus. In his inimitable style, he was parodying their reaction to spotting the rubber farms of Kerala. " Chinna saami, dho paar ithu thaan rabbar maram" "Appadiyaa saami.. amaam, ithile rabbar enge varooom?" wondered the new saamis, all moving to the same side of the bus to catch a better vision of the rubber trees.
What would happen, if all the joy riders of Dubai Metro move to the same side of the train to have a glimpse of Burj Dubai, for example. And at such heights! Thats how I postponed my first visit to the nearest Metro station.
Later while preparing a report on the Metro for ninavu I got in touch with alumni members Jacobji and Rekhaji who have been associated in one or other way with Metro construction works, and made it a point to personally verify with them and confirm that the rail equivalents of buoyancy tests have been done several times. That could have given me enough strength to buy the NOL card. But then I shouldn't ignore the fact that they took their Engineering degrees from the same college as I did! Thats enough reason to cast strong shadows of doubt on their testimonials!
There ended my next attempt .
No, am not the one to lose a winnable battle so soon! I started begging colleagues, friends and strangers to give their opinion of the Metro ride. True to my reputation (*sound of ROTFL*) I even thought of collecting opinions through a five page questionnaire and announcing 'exciting' prizes for the selected responses. But the overwhelming majority of those interviewed rated the ride somewhere between "flying in a magic carpet" and "cloud nine feeling" and once and for all, I decided to 'go for it'!
Now that I decided to take the trip, where would I go , and from where?
When Buddha said, "Journey is THE destination", he would have had prophetic visions of me taking the purposeless Metro ride on a friday afternoon.
Finally, wondering if they have "Tharoor class" tickets for people like me, I shot off to Rashidiya and there started my initial 30 minute drive .. er.. from the Ground floor to the fourth floor of the Car Park building. Something like an early morning vertical Sharjah - Dubai ride! That was seven floors of parking space - each one with enough cars and people to fill the Thampanoor Train AND bus stations several times over. Through the glass panels of the car park I could see the occasional trains gliding smoothly on the elevated rail tracks. As it enters the station, like a horizontally laid "puttu -kutti" it gets filled with a small portion of the assembled crowd and continues its journey. With half of Dubai waiting to be filled inside the train and the other half (including me) rushing to join them, security officials decided to temporarily close doors at the departure section of the station and .....
Well, that gives me scope for the next blog. Next week?