Arrived at Chennai Airport and took a prepaid cab to the Central Train Station. The plan was to find accomodation there in the retiring rooms and wait it out till 6 in the morning for my train to Tirupati.
The retiring rooms in the station were few and fully booked X(. This left me waiting it out in the main hall of the station as I didn't want to brave the mosquitos and the touts outside the station to find accomodation. Also most of the other listed options were nearer to the Egmore station further away.
The sight in the main hall gave me my second culture shock since my touch down, the first being the way the Chennai motorists drive their vehicles!
The throng of humanity waiting for their trains were asleep on the chairs and the floors. People would line the dusty floor with a cloth or towel and fall asleep then and there amid wandering dogs and flying insects, and the smell of feet. I chose a chair in the middle of it all hoping for security in numbers safe from the mosquitos and thieves.
I did not get very much sleep that night, only several fleeting naps. It was probably the excitement of finally being in India that woke me from the tiredness by the time I boarded the train.
Second class sitting was quite an experience!. From my initial seat I was asked very politely to switch seats two times. The first was from a nice man who wanted to sit next to his family. The second was from another man whose son wanted the window seat I had.
He, his sister, and the family surrounding me were really nice. I am very grateful for having attended the Life Bliss courses in Singapore before coming to India! I could have easily been extremely irked by the sheer physical proximity and lack of personal space encountered since arriving in India. But thanks to the path of self awareness and surrender I have began under the guidance of Paramahamsa Nithyananda's Singapore Center, things have turned out very differently! I can't describe the comfort and lack of impatience and anger I've felt. And mind you I've had children crawl over me and sleep on my shoulder, adults pushing and sleeping on my shoulder (I guess I have nice shoulders), and family members having chaotic fun moments with each other all around me.
It almost seemed that being physically surrounded by that family meant that I was part o the family as well. I was offered food, smiles and good fun the whole trip and everything felt so.. natural!
And arriving at Tirupati in the morning I was given directions to the bus station where I found a bus that would take me to Madanapalle. During the trip a friendly and helpful lawyer worked with the bus conductor to point me to good accomodation. The bus driver was especially nice when he learnt I was headed to Mother Meera's Ashram.
Forgot to bring my USB cable from Singapore 8(. Until I find one or a card reader I won't be posting any photos.