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Deep desire of my parents to visit it since I had moved to Bangalore almost 5.5 years back and the chance that this time they were making a trip to Bangalore together was the driving factor behind the visit to the place which I call The Sea of People aka “Tirupathi”. Anyone who has gone there especially in the month of December would fully agree with me, all u see is people people and people all around

The plan was to start Bangalore at about 7:00 am in the morning but as usual couldn’t happen but this time we have a better reason for it (other than our laziness ofcourse 🙂 ). As a last minute plan our family friend Chandar sir also planned to joined us and Naren had to go to pick him in the morning and then come back home, nonetheless, we started the journey at about 8:00pm finally with two cars – the competing Safari and Scorpio ;-), BTW the most interesting part was the way the back of the Safari had been transformed into a cozy bed by my sister Isha, so that she can sleep more…

So off we went at 8 with isha trying to sleep nicely in the back of the safari and crying and shouting on all that we are taking her out early morning and that too without breakfast, Naren on the wheel of safari with Monika, dad and Chandra sir as the co-passengers. Prakash was driving the Scorpio with both the moms accompanying him…

Being near to the old madras road we didn’t take a long time to hit the highway(nh4) but then there is a lot of crowd on this highway, for about 40kms after coming out of the city we were struggling with overtaking the lorrys etc on the two lane crowded highway but post the Volvo factory in the Hoskote the drive became better and the traffic lessened. We hit woodys for breakfast at about 9:30 am or so. Had some decent idly, vada and dosas and an amazing coffee… after doing pet pooja and we started the journey again, Monika took over the safari’s wheel from Naren and off we went at about 10:30 am…

The drive from woody’s to the next halt was really good, the gentle curves and turns would keep the driver alert and the undulating plains or the small hills whatever u want to call them make the drive really interesting and the view excellent, isha was going click click in the back seat and we were constantly chatting and munching something or the other yes yes u are right we just had breakfast but then food is always welcome isn’t it? The next halt was when the Scorpio was not in sight for quite some time and the turn from nh4 to tirupathi was just ahead and also dad desperately wanted is cigs which had got over, Dad tried at about 5 shops and had no luck at all, after about 15 mins the Scorpio finally joined us and we started again. Monika handed over the wheel to Naren again and we started the journey stopping at every shop which we think would sell cigs but unfortunately dad’s brand was not available anywhere… we decided we’ll check out in the main city now. After loosing the way 1-2 times, Prakash coming over to lead us by saying he has mom with him and she knows the way but still loosing it again we managed to finally reach jhansi aunties house at about 12:30 pm. Had a hearty lunch of biryani, rasam rice etc at her house and then started the discussion of what next as we got a shock that the rooms that we have booked by paying 8K of advance will not be given to us as the donor of the room has suddenly decided to be spiritual too and has landed to visit the Lord. The group decided that we should go up to the hills and see if we can manage to get something and more importantly get the darshan tickets so that that also doesn’t result in a rude shock later (I am actually so glad we did it, read on u’ll know why I am saying so), we started from auntie’s place around 3:00pm and then after standing in a long queue for the car security check we finally started driving on the hills at about 4:00pm…. What a lovely drive, nice curves and fantastic views make the drive lovely.

After reaching the hill we realized that what is the problem, there were people all around. I don’t think I have ever seen so many people together ever in my life. I wonder what instills such a deep faith of people in the place… Anyways after struggling to meet the guy and waiting for him for hours and then again after meeting him waiting for him to come back and give the tickets…. We had actually lost all hope that we will get the tickets for darshan too but fortunately the person came back with the darshan tickets at about 9:30pm and a sigh of relief ran through all apart from Naren who got a news that he has to wear a dhoti for the pooja tomorrow 🙂 and dad who was in rude shock that smoking is banned here and a fine of rs.25 will charged whoever is found smoking

Anyways at 9:30pm we decided to go back down and have some dinner at a Andhra restaurant, Chandra sir did order a Andhra meal and then was sweating and his hair was rising like spikes after eating it….. Post lunch and after a through search at all shops for dad’s brand of cigs we were off to sleep at the places arranged by uncle at his neighbor’s place. God bless him and the neighbors who had gone out else we would have been on the road….

Next morning started really early at about 3:30am with “Krishna ne be Hare balo” playing as the alarm tone in my cell phone….everyone got ready in a haste and off we go around 4:30am, luckily the queue at this hour is not as crazy and we are done with it in 15 mins odd….

After going up and attending a long one and a half hour pooja which basically was to give bath to the God we finally managed to do the 2 sec darshan it amuses me sometime that in 2secs how can one really be spiritual. I do believe in God and strongly agree with his existence and the effect in our lives but I somehow can’t relate to someone being spiritual in these circumstances and atmosphere may be my faith is not strong enough or may be I am lacking something major in my faith often wonder what? Anyways the darshan was pretty cool and it was post darshan that whole mess started oh God… it was a mess, a chaos what do I say. Everyone getting on everyone else and for what to get out of the temple? Again it made me wonder that if u became really spiritual about 5 mins back then how can one behave like this now? It was mad fight to get out, children being crushed, old people being trampled, it was a sight probably I never want to see again in my life. My heart really went out for that kid who looked mere 1 yr old and crying and howling I guess for oxygen and all he was getting from everywhere around was a push here and a push there and all this resulted in a crazy suffocation problem for me. Finally after struggling for about 30 mins we were out of the temple and believe me or not God was last thing on my mind….

We started our journey back to the town after catching up on a quick light breakfast as the downhill drive after the morning suffocation was scaring all…. We reached back to jhansi auntie’s house at about 12:30pm and after just catching up for a quick coffee and picking my mil we started our journey towards Mathyam – naren’s maternal village at about 1:00pm. Halted at A1 plaza in chittor for a quick lunch and then reached Mathyam at about 3:30pm. Had some quick filter coffee and gave mom-dad their first good tea in two days made by self there. After a few clicks here and there and a chat with Ammamma we started our journey back to Bangalore…. And ya from here the Scorpio and Prakash bid us farewell and took the road to Chennai instead….

Monika took the wheel from Mathyam and the drive till Woodys was pretty routine and uneventful, at woodys we halted for coffee and bio break 🙂 and Naren took over the wheel from here. We made it to Bangalore at about 8:30pm and headed straight to Treat Indira Nagar for a hearty north Indian meal……… and ofcourse finally dad got his cigarette