Don’t be amused if you find a beeline of vehicles on the Trivandrum-Nagercoil highway starting right from Karamana. Traffic blocks have indeed formed an indispensable part of our life but sometimes you just can’t resist the temptation to scream at our road authorities. Especially during mornings when the last thing you want is to reach office one hour late.
It may take a long time to see our renovated ultra modern bus terminal at Thampanoor but don’t be disappointed. There are many bright coloured low floor buses that completely mesmerises anyone reaching there. Take an air conditioned bus to Kaliyikkavila and realise how we can squander our precious time at traffic blocks and do nothing but sulk!
Your bus will face the very first interruption right at Pappanamcode bus depot. The bus stop is very next to the entrance to the depot and the road is annoyingly narrow. You can find the KSRTC buses, private buses, school buses and even long distance Volvo buses wrestling with each other from both the directions. Once you go past this, you can see the driver sighing in relief. Now the road becomes smooth and the trip gets enjoyable for a while. But not very late, here comes the next hurdle. Temple processions!
The road to Nagercoil is packed with temples starting from Vellayani. Every other junction you can see a temple and credit goes to the adjacent Tamil culture! And coincidently each temple on the road celebrates their utsavams back to back. For making the utsavams more vibrant and happening, the organizers just can’t stop arranging processions right through the highway. Elephants, floats, young girls holding thalapolis and the energetic youth dancing in front are more than enough to cause a block for hours on end. And what can be worse, even ambulances are not spared from these hitches.
Once you have saved yourself from the clutches of these processions, you can breathe some fresh air until you reach Balaramapuram. The main intersection where four roads meet will surely make you think if this is actually a highway. It is in fact narrower than any by-roads along the way. If your driver manages to take you through this without hitting the motor bike rider or pedestrian on one side and the rear view mirror of the bus on the other side, he is a veteran. Adding to the chaos, there is a bus stop right here on the middle where the travellers surely need to insure themselves before standing there. Buses will surely take fifteen to twenty minutes to go past the traffic jam at Balaramapuram.
Now you are nearing Neyyanttinkara and you can see a sign of relief in the eyes of the passengers as well as driver. From here the journey becomes normal with occasional blocks that are cleared in minutes. But look at the time taken to cover just 19 kilometres; one hour and fifteen minutes. Don’t expect any development or improvement in the condition of roads in this millennium. The outcries are going to be a joke. It is our fate. So next time when you find the daily passengers taking a nap soon after taking the ticket, don’t be surprised. They know that they will get time for a good sleep before reaching their destination.