The Suitcases12 mins 195 12 mins 195
“Bro, listen up. Today I have to vacate my hostel room as my fast track exams got completed today. I will be heading straight to my internship PG room in Bangalore as I have to join within a week. I have too much luggage to carry which is impossible for me to carry in a single go. So bro, I will keep a suitcase in your room and whenever I’m free, maybe in the weekend. I will come and collect it. Till then let it gather the dust in your room.”
“Yeah done bro, be chill. Nothing will happen to the suitcase. But I can’t guarantee the things inside, coz sometimes we need a suitcase to bring non-veg food from outside 'dhabas' and all so your suitcase might be our first choice. So, seeing such a big suitcase the security might think that he might have come from home, so they won’t check the bag for outside food and would easily let him in.” My friend started to laugh.
“Come on dude, be serious!”
“Yeah yeah don’t worry. It will be perfectly safe. You can trust on me.” I hang the call.
Yes, so the basic scenario is that I got my place in an IT company and that company is offering an internship for the final year selects. So, our college has designed a special course for such students called the ‘Fast track’ course, different from the regular semester course, which completes the entire syllabus of the final semester in just two weeks! (My friend was in the regular course). Yes, I know it’s very hectic and tiresome!
So today was the day when I wrote my last B.Tech exam and just an inch away from getting my B.Tech degree in Electronics Engineering; only the final year project review was pending. But what is the point of becoming an electronics engineer when you can’t repair a broken home ceiling fan? This is the standard question asked by everyone and I got tired explaining to them that that’s the job of an electrician and not the job of an electronics engineer! Still I know many people doubt it!
Lol! So, I kept my suitcase in my friend’s room. I repeatedly told him that I won’t miss you, I will forget you, who keeps contact with you? But deep down the heart, we know what it means. So, we had our last signature handshake and I left the college with a teary eye, turning back and seeing the college environment for the last time and remembering all the four year memories that I had in a glimpse. But this emotion was short lived and it disappeared the moment I kept my feet at the threshold of the energetic, vibrant and colorful Brookfield Mall, in Coimbatore City! I kept my luggage at the railway station waiting room as my train was scheduled late night. I had a fabulous dinner at the Food court and watched Akshay Kumar’s ‘Housefull 4’ in the evening show. I had a hearty laugh watching the movie. That night if I remember now, I had gained memories, weight and enjoyment but my wallet lost a handsome sum of money enjoying these pleasures!
I was enjoying my Internship days as I made new friends, visited new places, tasted new food, and made new memories. Other than work and learning, everything was going at full swing in my life. I was at the peak of enjoying my life when suddenly due to the notorious Covid-19; everything came to a drastic halt. Soon our company declared work from home, as act to take safety precautions from the virus. Since, I was getting a stipend, I brought new clothes and other necessary items so which demands for another suitcase which also I purchased! That time who cared about savings and all! So, again the same scenario I had to vacate my PG room and due to another excess suitcase I had to keep it in my PG room along with my four other friend’s luggage. I caught the latest train to Trivandrum and reached home the very next day. Little did I know that I would be a home prisoner for the rest of the year!
Life at home was very boring! Every morning wake up lazily, stuff in some breakfast and sit in front of the laptop for rest of the day as we had online training session, which is technical terms is known as ‘Work From Home’. Only Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney + Hotstar and Voot were my best companions during the lockdown along with Dalgona Coffee, Binod memes, Coronavirus statistics and Arnab Goswami’s news channel. Mask and sanitizer were my arch-enemies as I tried my best to avoid them! Life was so super boring that I wished to God for something interesting in life!
Little did I know that God would seriously grant my wish! I thought that it would be like my other wishes which never got fulfilled, lying in some deep dark corner in God’s wish list! Soon notice came from my internship PG that everyone should vacate their rooms as soon as possible! Now, the thing is my PG is in Bangalore and I stay in Trivandrum. My other roommates they reside in cities near Bangalore, so they can come in car also. Then what about me? It’s impossible for me to go to Bangalore amongst the alarming rising of cases and that too my bad luck, I stay in Trivandrum which has the highest number of daily cases in Kerala! I became to wonder what will happen to my suitcase? How will I get it back? If I ask my friends to take it, how long will it stay there? I don’t even know when it would be possible for me to visit Bangalore. Maybe next year, who knows! But in that suitcase I had a lot of personal things which has to be kept safe and it’s obvious that I can’t never in my wildest dreams trust my roommates! So, at any cost I have to bring my suitcase!
But I should accept the fact that God is great! When we are happy, our life gets loaded and filled with happiness but even when we are sad, the same thing also happens! I don’t know what dishonest things I have done in my life, but God remembers everything. So, He loaded me up with another trouble in my head! My college also drafted a notice that students can come and vacate their rooms. My friend, in whose room I kept my suitcase, called me up and told that he has sent his room key to one of his day scholar friend from Vadodara through speed post, as he had kept all his clothes in his hostel room and he wants them urgent. He told that the key would reach within a few days. He would go the hostel, collect the luggage from his room and load it in a truck to Vadodara. I contacted that day scholar friend. He told me that he can’t keep his luggage at his home as his parents are against it!
Boom! That’s a double trouble for me. Within a fraction of a second, my life changed from super boring to super trouble but interesting. Surely, life is really unpredictable. Anything can happen at any time and we all should be prepared to face even the worst circumstances with at least a backup plan. But in my case, I have never imagined that this would happen to me! Now, the problem is how to get my suitcases back safely to me? One suitcase is in Coimbatore and other is in Bangalore. If that day scholar friend loads the entire luggage in that truck, then my suitcase would travel to Vadodara and who wastes a to and from flight ticket to Vadodara just for a suitcase! I even contacted ‘Packer’s and Mover’s’, they told that they can’t send a truck just for a suitcase all the way from Coimbatore to Trivandrum and similar was the response from the Bangalore side as well!
So I began to think, ‘If the suitcase can’t come to me, then the only way is, I have to go and take the suitcase. But it’s very risky outside to travel. What else options is left with me?’
So, I reached for the marker of my whiteboard and began to draw three points which represents Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Bangalore. To the left side of the 60 cm X 45 cm board, I drew a line and wrote plans. Plan 1, failed miserably as ‘Packer’s and Mover’s’ can’t bring my suitcase. So, came up with another plan.
I thought, ‘Okay triple lockdown will end in 3 to 4 days, so I can catch a train till Coimbatore. So, I can ask that day scholar guy to come on that particular day to hostel.’
But to my disappointed I couldn’t find any Covid special trains till Coimbatore. Only train was Jan Shatabdi that departs from Trivandrum at 5:55 am and reached Aluva at 10 am, which is 150 km from Coimbatore. Then I remembered that I have a college friend who stays in Aluva. I called him. He agreed but on a condition that I should pay for the car petrol and also for the food. Now, the main fact that was disturbing me was that for the last three months whatever stipend I received from my internship, I have transferred all the money to my savings account as I thought that I would visit Kedarnath with it. But now life took a new turn. I have no other choice but to spend that money here. I agreed to his condition. So, now I have reached till Coimbatore. Now how to go to Bangalore? I again called him.
“Yes sure bro, I can drive you till Bangalore, if possible to Kedarnath also, but you have to sponsor the whole journey that includes petrol, food and also if we stay in a 5 star hotel for the night.”
I looked at God and just asked Him a single question, ‘Why this 'Kolaveri'?’
So, I began to calculate the total distance, the petrol cost, our approximate food cost and also perhaps if we might stay at night somewhere. The total cost for the journey approximately equaled three-fourth my savings amount! But all these planning and calculation got wasted, when I opened the Rail Yatri app for booking the train tickets, only to get notified that the train is cancelled for two weeks!
Horrible! Plan 2 also failed miserably! One part of me was happy that I shouldn’t spend the money but the other part of me was worried for the suitcase! I was not worried about my suitcase in Coimbatore, which only had clothes, but I was worried for the one in Bangalore. So, now I started to work on plan 3.
I thought, “If I can’t go by train till Aluva, then why not I drive from here till Bangalore via Coimbatore. But I don’t have license to drive. So, let me ask my school friend, Tom to come with me.’
I called Tom and explained him everything, ‘Bro, I can’t come till Bangalore with you. But I can drop you till Aluva to your college friend house. Then from there, you can proceed. But I have a condition……”
Before Tom could continue, I interrupted him by saying,“….that you want me to sponsor the journey to and from right. Okay, I will pay you for car petrol and food. But please come with me.” I spoke in a frustrated voice.
Tom spoke, “But my condition was that I can’t on the AC during the entire journey due to some fault! Since, you told that you will sponsor, thank you so much! Don’t forget it.” He cut the call.
I blamed myself for speaking so much! That one-fourth amount which was left, that also gone now! Really, I should control my tongue. I should first listen and then speak.
So, I was happy that finally I would be able to bring my two suitcases home. I was happy now. But as usual when it is said that you are having a bad time, all the worst unexpected unpredictable undesirable things would happen! My happiness turned into sadness in the evening when I heard the news that someone from the society tested positive and hence the municipal officials sealed our society for 14 days!
Now this is what you call a pure bad luck! I was disappointed for wasting my time, energy and the black marker’s ink which got over due to such ‘complicated’ calculations. Now I have to buy another black marker! I think I’m the first person to experience a chain of such bad luck events!
My father came from his office at evening. Now he can’t go to office for the next 14 days. I told my father about the two suitcase situation and even told him the plans I made.
My father laughed he spoke, “You could have told me right. I have a colleague of mine whose friend is a professor in your college. He lives in the staff quarters. Ask that day scholar friend to drop the luggage at the staff quarter. I also have a colleague of mine who is doing PhD in IISC Bangalore. Don’t worry I will ask him to take the suitcase from your PG.” So he began to call them.
Now there is an old saying told by some wise men that ‘Whatever situation you may be in, inform your parents about it and they would provide the correct solution.’ I realized the importance of this saying today. So now I understood why my plans failed. It was because God knew that my father would provide the solution, so He prevented me from succeeding in my plan. Whatever God prevents, it is His protection otherwise if we succeed in anything, then it is his blessing!
I was thinking something else, ‘Thank goodness that I told that I would visit Kedarnath after the lockdown with my savings money. I think God was impressed by this. Now, since I will get my luggage, now I could visit Goa with that money.’
Immediately when I told this, I could hear my father speaking, “Ok so you are not available that day.”
My father came to me and told, “Both the professors are having a busy schedule, so it seems not possible to them.”
Immediately I prayed to God, “Hey God, I am sorry. I would visit Kedarnath for sure with that money. I don’t want to visit Goa. I am sure. Please help me.”
Immediately my father received calls from both the professors. They agreed to keep my luggage.
I looked at God, ‘So God can also play games with us, huh?’ I laughed.