Zindagi na milegi dobara

Rajadhani express going to Delhi from Trivandrum is always fully packed and filled with lot of emotions. In every station, railway platforms are washed with tears of relatives dropping a passenger. During the trip back from Delhi, atmosphere is entirely different. Train is filled with excitement of coming back. Watching long green rice fields from the train, brings back nostalgic moments of home.

Sometimes life can flow in the opposite directions completely isolated from the surroundings. Rajadhani express scheduled to arrive at Trivandrum in the morning is delayed by 3 – 4 hours. Ankur Kumar Rathore is mesmerised with the sceneries unleashed through the window. Kerala's lavish green fields and back waters are giving a feast for his eyes. He is coming to Trivandrum to join an IT company.

IT company in Kerala ??

Yes, IT companies do exist in Kerala. Apart from Kerala’s famous “God’s own country” tagline, nurses, harthals, trade unions, back waters, munnar and gulf malayalees, Kerala has India's first IT park in its capital city Trivandrum.

(From Wikipedia - It is the largest Information Technology park in Asia in terms of built up area. The park is dedicated to IT ventures. Launched in 1990, Technopark as of 2015 has 9.33 million square feet of built-up area, and is home to over 350 companies, employing nearly 50,000 professionals. Indirectly provides livelihood to 1,50,000 people.)

Technopark or just ‘PARK’ – as fondly called by the localities – is situated at kazhakuttom, a newly developed suburb of Trivandrum. Kazhakuttom was very much a rural village until millennium. 350 IT companies and their employees brought revenue and employment to localities. Kazhakuttom is a millennial baby in her teens. Some of the places are fully developed urban area, while few kilometres away from technopark still hold on to its rural beauty. One side of kazhakuttom is occupied by fishermen & farmers and other side by techies.

 Ankur likes to travel, but he has not done much travel outside the northern states. This is the first time he is coming so far  from his home town Delhi. He is equally excited and tensed about his first trip to Kerala.

Reasons for his excitement

  • First job in his life
  • Lucky to get a job during recession time
  • Most of his classmates –who scored more than him – are still searching for job
  • Finally he is getting a chance to stay away from home and live on his own
  • Bhuvanesh - His senior from college working in the same office
  • Last but not least – Gateway to USA

Reasons for his tension

  • Kerala
  • Kerala
  • Kerala
  • Payal Sinha
  • South Indian girls

Kerala

Ankur does not have any idea about Kerala. He has heard about Munnar and Alleppey. Apart from these two places, he is not aware of any other places. He does not have any friends from south India and not aware of the Madrasi culture. His major worries are about language and food. Few malayalam words he know is "thantiri thantara konchiko .....munthiri konchi bintara konchiko " from "Dil se". Preity Zinta was looking gorgeous in this song. Ankur was a big fan of Preity Zinta. "Arrey, Why I am thinking about her now?" he came back to his original worry - Kerala.

Payal Sinha

Payal is his batch mate from collage. There is something he does not like about this girl.  She is about 5 feet tall and thinner than size zero girls. She keeps talking non stop and he does not like the way she speaks. Ankur does not like anyone to make fun about him. He stays away from such people. He does not interact much with girls and normally he stays away from them. He is still looking for his kind of girl.

South Indian girls

This is least of his worries. This is not a reason to get tensed. While leaving from Delhi one of this aunt told him not to bring a south Indian girl back home. Ankur as so sure that, he will not even look at any south Indian girls. South Indian girls can't look like Preity Zinta. 

Kazhakuttom Railway station

"Zindagi na milegi dobara' was playing in his ears. He like this song so much that during his journey he played it countless times. Train was slowing down near some small station. 

"Are you going to Kazhakuttom ?" uncle sitting next to him asked.

"Yes, but I have to get down at Trivandrum Central. This train does not stop at Kazhakuttom. "

"That is right, but this train might stop here if there is a crossing. You can get down here."

Ankur looks outside and saw a small station, he noticed the black letters written in yellow board. He quickly gathered his luggage and moved to the door, as train stopped. Train stood in the central track, nowhere near a platform. He noticed that many people have already got down from the train and struggling to climb the platform. He too got down from the train and climbed to the nearest platform. 

Kazhakuttom is a small station where thousands of techies, students and other employees commute everyday. Very few trains stop here, but still it is a blessing of thousands of people travelling from surrounding districts. Ankur reached the main gate and looked outside, he felt the humidity and hot March sun. He saw a small building  adjacent to the station, built in an architecture unknown to him. He tried to figure what it is. When he realised, his heart was immediately filled with joy. He felt that this is a good sign. He stood in the door way with his bags, closed his eyes and folded his hands.

To be continued................

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