In June, I had gone to Thiruvananthapuram with my family for an interview. I had applied for the CCRT scholarship in Hindustani classical music. Though it was a school day, we had to go. We were to leave by Maveli Express at 6.30 p.m. This was my first time travelling by train.

Our seats were near the toilet and the smell was terrible. Later, we ate our dinner and decided to sleep. My dad has travelled before, so he fell asleep easily. It was mother and I who had trouble sleeping. Despite the discomfort, I managed to fall asleep, but my mother got a nasty headache.

Next morning, we reached Thiruvananthapuram and checked into a nice hotel. The room was neat and tidy and the staff was courteous. Later we went sightseeing. We went to Veli tourist home, Shanghumugham beach, Valiyathura and Kovalam beach. At Valiyathura, our driver informed us that it used to be the place where ships anchored long ago during the king’s rule and now it has been turned into a tourist attraction. All the places were really scenic.

Next day, after the interview, we went to Padmanabha Swami Temple, which is famous for its treasury and ancient sculptures. But to enter the temple, men had to remove their shirt and women, who were not wearing a saree, had to wear a mundu over their attire. It was a ridiculous rule.

Then we went to Napier Museum, where we saw many interesting things including old stone carvings and small monuments dating back to 11 century A.D. We also saw some remarkable paintings by Raja Ravi Varma.

The city is politically important and many protests take place here. It isn’t as crowded as Mumbai or Bangalore. In the evening, we returned by the same Maveli Express. It was a memorable trip and the train journey was quite an experience. I hope I can gain such experiences more often.

Anagha Shyam, IX, Jaimatha English Medium SSS, Kasaragod