MC Tom was introduced to me by PG Thyagarajan in CONCOR. If first impressions were anything to go by I would have kept Tom as far away from me as I could have. But I am glad that I got to know this lovely human being; a bundle of energy and a storehouse of information on the Shipping and Logistics Industry. A person completely unafraid to recount his failures and losses, he has learnt his lessons from them all. Tom is a doting father and a loving husband. Tom and Lizi, the God-fearing couple, have provided an ideal home for their children. Before I started the journey Tom told me that they were moving into a new flat and wanted me to visit them when I was in Bangalore. Then he came down with a heart problem and was in a critical condition for a few weeks. I called him up on arrival in Bangalore. He suggested that I vacate the ORH and spend a night with them in the new flat. I did just that and enjoyed every minute I spend with Tom and Lizi that evening. The flat has been so tastefully done up that I have ‘contracted’ Tom to help me with my flat in Cochin. A few shots of vintage Glenlivit and home cooked Kerala food provided the background for a good night’s sleep. Before setting out for Chennai this morning I had two cups of piping hot tea.
I evaluated NH4 and 7 for the travel to Chennai and settled for the latter. For the first time during the journey I had a co-passenger. Siva Shankar was my colleague in CONCOR. He is an outstanding professional in the Logistics Industry and has recently changed jobs. His ability to connect with people and stay in touch with them is exemplary. SS can telephonically connect you to anyone you want to in this country or elsewhere. Such are his skills. His natural team building skills have fetched his cricket team numerous trophies, which are on display at his residence. What is remarkable about SS is his ‘size zero’. Bebo will have a new target if she comes across SS! As he had some business to transact in Chennai and I happened to be travelling to Chennai SS requested to accompany me. He had specifically told me that we would have breakfast en route. SS introduced me to Adyar Ananda Bhavan (A2B), which is located 7 kms after Soolagiri on the NH7. All tables are invariably occupied and I found a couple of spaces only after hanging around for some time. The sweet Kesari was the best I have ever had in my life. The Pongal and tea were superb too. SS kept a constant conversation going right through the trip. The 5 hours to Chennai went by quickly. However, I could make out that my driving made SS a bit nervous.
Johny of Mathrubhoomi, Chennai, who wanted to do a piece on my journey, contacted me and asked if I could drop by at his Office. We had a chat and took some photographs upon my arrival into Chennai. Most of the Press coverage during the journey were the initiatives of Thulasi and SCJ.