Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Firsts in Life.....

I still remember the day I visited chennai. It was the 8th of December 2004 a day to remember. For on that same day I was to visit the US consolate for my visa stamping.

You wouldn't beleive, I had most of what they call as "The Firsts in life". To start with, the trip to chennai was my first long distance travel that I ever made by train. It was my first ever visit to Chennai, my first visit to a consulate and very soon to be my first travel to US, not expecting that there would be one more first's that I would have to hear of very soon.

After reaching chennai by Shatabdhi Express, I had checked into a hotel close to the consulate. I had my appointment at the consulate the next day. I made sure that I know the route to the consulate the previous night as I had my appointment around 8:00 am.

The next day, it was easy for me to reach the consulate office in time. The interview took less than an hour and I was out free to spend the rest of the day visiting places close by.

Chennai is famous for it's beaches. My friend and I decided to visit the most famous Marina beach which was not too far from where we stayed. As always, we took the rick. Knowing tamil turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was able to get a ride for a nominal charge.

We need to walk a long distance on sand in order to reach the waters...we spent some time on the beach and came back to the hotel where we had stayed. We returned the same night by Mysore express and reached Bangalore the next day.

A few weeks later I got to hear the first that I had mentioned the bad news of the devastation caused by Tsunami to most parts of the world including Marina Beach. The first of it's kind to happen in India. It was less than 3 weeks that this incident took place. I watched the havoc caused by the waves.

I started to recollect the day I visited the beach. It seemed to be so calm with it's gentle waves. But now, the sea looked too rough on the television. The place had undergone a vast change. I heaved a sigh of relief after realizing that I was safe back home in Bangalore.

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