Parvateesam makes bold to face Thomas Cook. ( From Barrister Parvateesam)

One of the guys passing by, it seemed to me, knew a bit of English. On enquiry he assured me that there was an inn not far away and that people there would ” be willing to throw a morsel at me if I submitted some wad to them “. Pronto, I ordained my charioteer to take my cart to the blessed place. The hall and the rooms, thank God were spacious. Rest rooms were tidy and convenient. Not much of a crowd. Fine, I exulted, rented a room, got my things lodged in it and dismissed the cart driver. This fellow did not hustle me much like the one at Chennapatnam. A bit of a gentleman, he seemed. A muslim guy, that could be a reason.
Leisurely I took out my tin of tooth powder etc., cleaned my teeth, and completed my bath by the time it was ten. After that I went down to have my brunch. I don’t like to be heckled or gawked at like I was at the Chennapatnam hotel, so I refrained from wearing my silk dhotie, but all the while I was eating I was ridden with guilt, on this account. God knows, what else heinous things are in store for me to endure in the coming days.
No idea which ship goes to London and when I can find one,where tickets can be bought., whom to turn to , to enquire. Absolutely at a loss to know. There is nobody that I knew here.
I ought to have enquired whether the steamer that I travelled in yesterday to Colombo, could have taken me along al the way to London. What use, sitting here and ruing about that.?
I don my suit, tie my turban and go down into the street, not knowing whom to turn to. And how to converse with hem, being ignorant of their language.. God is great, let me leave things to Him. I will go straight where the road leads me .
After a while I found some one coming along in the opposite direction. Looked like a decent guy, wearing a suit, neatly shaven, with a hat on his head and sandal-paste smeared in three or four rows on his forehead. Must be knowing English, I surmise. I accost him and ask him so.
“By all means, ” he replies.
.”Then, prithee ,which place do you hail from ?”, I enquire.
“Kumbalonam”, he replies. I get a bit flustered at his reply. ” Will he guide me squarely ? ” I worry, but then do all guys from Kumbakonam misguide you, and what pleasure or great benefit can one hope to gain by cheating a poor chap like me, I assured myself.
” Sir, I seek a bit of help from you.”, I ask him.
He seemed to misconstrue my words. Looking suspiciously at me, he replies ” Poor waif that I am, of what help can I be to you? ” and tries to rush away from me. I stop him again and assuring him that I needed no money from him, I tell him that all I wished was to elicit some information that I needed badly.
.”What is it that you want then, ? ” he demanded.
” First, I need you to vouchsafe that you will not reveal anything that I confide in you to any one else.” , I reply. On his assuring me so, I tell him, ” I have embarked on a voyage to London. My people are ignorant of this.I haven’t sought their leave, because I am sure they would not agree. I do not know any one here. I will be happy if you can kindly tell me when I can get a steamer to get there and where the the tickets are sold.”
” Oh, no problem, by all means. You go along this way a little farther. You will find a big establishment by the name Thomas Cook and Son,. You can get your tickets there besides all other information that you may need.”, he informed me.
“That’s great. If I know this much, I have as much as reached my destination.” and I make a beeline to the company.
I am by now a reasonably well travelled guy, you would agree, but I had not seen an establishment as huge as this untillnow. I amafraid to go inside. And even if I make bold and enter it, will they assure me of the availability of a ship.. What if there is no ship for another week.Or perhaps they would divulge to me that ships no more go to that destination. And if there is no ship that way, I have to go back home, willy nilly.. If the ship is available a week or ten days hence, won’t my people have time enough to ascertain about my whereabouts and catch hold of me. I borrowed a bit of money based on me estimate for that needed for my trip. If it doesn’t suffice what these guys demand.what is going to be my plight.Who would lend me the required funds
I was assailed with all these doubts and I was hesitant to step inside.


About versa kay

Agile, keen, versatile,considerate,patient
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