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A train journey through the clouds

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    A train journey through the clouds

    Have you ever travelled by the Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Mettupalayam to Ooty? If you haven’t, you must try it at least once even if you are one of those jet-set executives who have no time to waste. As the train meanders through the misty mountains, you are certain to feel closer to heaven than ever before in your life. The small railway stations nestling among the lush tea estates continue to bear the original British names and look picturesquely British too. UNESCO has rightfully accorded this 121 year old Railway the World Heritage Site status. I was the Chief of the Coonoor Branch in the mid seventies and the Railway Station was right across my office. Whenever I had to travel to the plains, I invariably used the train in preference to the faster road. My reasoning is that if one gets a chance to be in total communion with Nature, why swap it with a dull and meaningless journey in a closed car? During those journeys, my vocal excitement used to reach a crescendo whenever the train passed through a dark tunnel. In fact, my voice would always drown the collective shouting of all the kids travelling in the train!

    It is now common knowledge that no man is ever successful on his own. Behind him, there is a woman who is invariably his wife. Some enterprising guys like Groucho Marx may even say that behind every successful man, there is a woman and behind her is his wife! But the crux of the matter is the certainty of the presence of women behind successful men. The number of women may be one or one too many! I really do not know the genesis of this time honoured statement that aims to put all men in their place. Let us look at this issue from different perspectives from the very first couple of the world, Adam and Eve. From the various paintings of Adam and Eve by legendary painters, we come to know that Eve was always trailing Adam wherever he went probably pestering him to get the Forbidden Fruit. In sheer exasperation and unable to bear her tantrums, Adam finally obliged. From then on, Adam had to work hard for a living and the seed for all the male toiling of the future was sown with that single act of Adam. If he had asked Eve to get lost and leave him in peace, as the modern husbands do, God would have kept His promise and allowed Adam to roam around Eden without a care in the world. There would have been no need to toil and consequently Eden would have remained Eden. Man would not have evolved further unlike the ‘Mintos’ eating ape! No computers, no Senile Ramblings! The credit for the entire technological and scientific advance should go to Eve. Because of Eve's constant pestering of Adam from behind, we are now enjoying the fruits of Adam’s folly!

    The essential feature of a Hindu wedding is the couple going round the fire thrice with the groom leading and the bride following. This is primarily to instill the quality of leadership in him. But from that very moment, the wife takes over as the leader and like the Unseen Hand of God, she starts guiding his destiny from behind. In the case of a woman, she always leads from behind. In the beginning, I was telling you about the Nilgiri Railway. When the train goes up the Mountain, the engine is fixed at the back of the train and it starts pushing the train up. Likewise, any upwardly mobile man should have his wife at his back from which position she can direct his destiny. She motivates him to earn more by spending more. She ensures that the word ‘contentment’ is struck off the family dictionary once and for all because she knows that contentment leads to total stagnation. All men are prone to a laid back life style but with a constantly bickering wife staying at the back, it becomes just a pipe dream!

    PG Wodehouse and his wife Ethel were a great example of this situation. For a man whose craving for a laid back life style came vividly through every word that he wrote, he had to work like a ‘Performing flea’ all through his life! We get a hint of the role that Ethel played in his life through one of his dedications to his books saying ‘To my wife but for whom I would have finished this book long back”! It was evident that she was responsible for his writing career extending beyond 80 by delaying each of his books!

    When we talk of a woman being behind every successful man, we start wondering if the corollary can be true. It is a bit surprising that no mention is made of a woman in the case of a failure. It is probably implied that he is a failure despite the woman before him or behind him or by his side!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
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  2. muzna

    muzna Silver IL'ite

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    Lovely , beautiful, exceptional.,......this and many more adjectives I have for both the train journey on the Ooty train and also for the write up of yours. Where all you are linking the trails from a rail to the real.

    I would like to add just one thing here....the ones who have been on the Ooty train should try the Darjeeling one the next. What with the road crisscrossing the train route. One sees the vehicles next to the train.
    I remember both of them with fondness.
     
  3. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Cheeniya Sir,

    I was on cloud nine, when I was reading through the thread.:thumbsup

    I didn't have the privilege of travelling through the trains in the hill station. I am ardent lover of nature..I enjoy those scenes while watching the TV/ movies, where such scenes are inserted for the public to enjoy.
    I too like to sing, while the mixie is on...thinking that nobody is listening :biggrin2:

    On a lighter note.. after reading it, one thought came to my mind..is this one like 'needle through a banana type' one...on one hand, you praise for women being behind men for his improvement, but on the other, it seems that she does only for her benefit...eg. for her own good..:bonk
    Don't confuse me Sir, because those who are pushing from the back should not be in a confused state, otherwise, problem for my dh..isn't it!:biglaugh

    sriniketan
     
  4. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Muzna
    Thank you for the first FB! And for your nice words too!

    I first experienced the train journey at Darjeeling with Rajesh Khanna chasing Sharmila Tagore singing 'Meri Sapnon ki Rani kab ayee hi thu?' in the film 'Aradhana'. It was breathtakingly a beautiful sight, both Sharmila with her mesmerising dimples and the beautiful track running parallel to the road.This was sometime in the late sixties. I could perform the journey in this woderful train about a decade later and I can never forget it.

    If any one asks me which is better, Ooty train or the Darjeeling train, I'll tell them to ask Lord Krishna who He likes better, Rukmini or Satyabhama!
    Sri
     
  5. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri
    Your singing while the mixie is on reminds me of a scene from Sindhu Bhairavi. Sivakumar would be lying in his room deeply engrossed in Lata Mangeshkar's Meera Bhajan. He is to leave for Delhi on the following day. His dutiful wife Sulakshana decides to make 'Paruppu podi' for his use at Delhi precisely at that very moment. She switches on the Mixie and in the terrible din that it makes, Sivakumar gets rudely cut off from the mellifluous melody of Latha. He is incensed and calls his wife all kinds of names! It is then she decides to learn music from Delhi Ganesh which is a story by itself which Delhi Ganesh can narrate better! Incidentally, I know several women (not in IL!) who can sing louder (better?) than a mixie!

    This 'needle in a plantain' is a fine example of painless operation! Neither the needle gets hurt nor the plantain. It is in tune with my avowed objective of 'Goodwill towards all and malice towards none'.

    There is nothing confusing here. If a woman does something for her own benefit, the family will get the benefit too because she can never think of her family being different from her. But a man can be a bit different there! He can even sacrifice his family for his own good!:wink:

    Sri
     
  6. sundarusha

    sundarusha Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,

    I was enjoying the joy ride through the Nilgiri train amidst the clouds and the smell from the tea estate! Suddenly,you brought me back to earth with your loud singing!

    But from that very moment, the wife takes over as the leader and like the Unseen Hand of God, she starts guiding his destiny from behind.
    :rotfl

    I read this quote somewhere:
    <DL><DT>"Behind every successful man stands a woman and the IRS. One takes the credit, and the other takes the cash."<DT><DD> </DD></DL>
     
  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Usha
    It is a pity that my singing brought you back to earth but I hope that the landing was smooth and safe unlike the Air India!

    That was a good quote which lays bare the vulnerability of men! Imagine a life after a man gets stripped off his cash and credit(card)! It is a nice thought equating the wife with the IRS! A lot to ponder about there!
    Sri
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. knot2share

    knot2share Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya ji
    Not much of colourful language in stock with me, but seriously enjoyed the post. You jump from one to the other and then I notice the fine link you have maintained between them all. I was wondering like Sri too...ippadiyum solreenge appadiyum solreenge, enna thaan sollavareenge nu oru confusion irunthathu. Behind every successful husband there is an exhausted wife!

    Oh! by the way I have not travelled by Nilgiri Mountain Railway or the Darjeeling one. Hope to do so sometime. Honestly an awesome view to absorb even on screens.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear k2s
    My mum used to tell me that only vigorous churning of a liquid would give out the best result! It was all due to her scriptural knowledge of the churning of the Ocean of Milk to beget the Amirtham! Unless a mind gets confused to the maximum extent possible, no clarity can come! That's why I confuse everyone consistently!

    But that quote of yours is a 'Nethi adi!' I now understand why my wife looks so exhausted all the time!

    Grey cells thrive best in a state of confusion. May we continue our existence in an eternal state of confusion!

    Long live the likes of Lord Emsworth!
    Sri
     
  10. Padmini

    Padmini IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya sir,
    Avery wonderful post from you. In a thoughtful manner you have connected the train engine with the pushing force of a woman.It is so lovely and nice as enjoying the nature's wonder while travelling in the Nilgiri express!!!
    Regarding the note about Eve pestering Adam to eat the fruit, I found this when I tried to find answer for the question why this lady did like this?:)This answer satisfied my mind and heart.
    The Jewish answer according to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin etalii is that it was God's intention when he created them that they would end up in the world to both populate and subdue it. This is another reason Eve is not to be blamed for inducing Adam to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge: she was playing the role ordained for her by God.Poor Eve, taking all the blame!!!
    I don't believe in this theory. Surely one's success may have been furthered or helped by the hard labour and other contribution from people other than the the successful person. But that is not necessarily a female. I want to know who was the female behind what Einstein's success. Sachin Tendulkar attributes his success to his coach and elder brother Ajit Tendulkar.Enjoyed your post and the replies also. You do have a great memory!!! dragging Sivakumar and Rajesh kanna, simply superb!!!
    with love
    pad
     

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