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Chapter 8
Grandmother’s House

After our long train journey we reached Kottayam in the night. Valiyamma’s house was not far from the station and we had to take two auto-rickshaws to get there. By then I was very sleepy and did not even wait to eat anything. I took a bath and slept. I thought, I had just fallen asleep when Amma woke me up again. We got ready, took our luggage and went to the bus stand. Valiyamma’s family also came with us. We were ten people, and had a lot of luggage too!

17 May Night Clock showing 11:30pm

People travelling through autorickshaws.

The bus conductor came and Appa bought tickets for all of us. We managed to get seats. As it went along, the bus got very crowded. People were sharing the seats. We also had to share our seats.

After a long ride, the bus reached the last stop, I was happy to get off. My legs were stiff. I could hardly stand.

I thought that we had finally reached Ammumma’s village. But no! Our travel had not ended yet. The bus had dropped us by the water side. “Look”, Amma pointed across the water. “That is where we have to go.” “But how will we get there?” I wondered.

Just then I saw a boat coming. “There is the ferry,” Amma said. Immediately a big crowd of people started getting off – school children, men, women, all with their own packets and luggage. Amma explained that the ferry was used by people to cross the water and reach the other side.

People travelling through boat.

As soon as the ferry got empty, the big rush started from our side. Everyone had to pay the fare before getting on. Very soon the ferry was full. It started off again.

I managed to get a place to stand along the railing. I saw the rippling of the still water as the ferry moved. It was moving smoothly on the water. There were rows of coconut trees on the banks of the river. As we moved swiftly, I could see people, fishing, washing, bathing and working along the banks.

Just before the sun disappeared into the water, the ferry reached the island and stopped. It was time for us to get off. At last, we reached Ammumma’s place. What a long and interesting journey it has been!

  • Omana travelled by different kinds of transport after she got down from the train. Can you remember what these were?

  • On which vehicles have you travelled?

  • Which ride did you enjoy the most? Why?

  • Omana left Ahmedabad on 16 May. How many hours did it take for her to reach Ammumma’s place?

  • Have you ever been on a long journey? Where did you go?

  • Name the different kinds of transport that you used during the journey.

For the teacher: In many parts of Kerala the ferry and other kind of boats are commonly used to travel from one place to another. Discuss why these are used. You can also ask children about boat rides that they have taken.

  • How long did your journey take?

  • Omana’s Appa bought tickets for the train and the bus. Can you think of other means of transport for which we need to buy tickets?

  • Sometimes we need to buy tickets to enter a place. Can you think of such places?

  • Look at this picture of a railway ticket. Find the following information on the ticket and circle them with different colours and discuss.

    • The train number

    • The date of the start of the journey

    • The berth and the coach numbers

    • The fare (the cost of the ticket)

    • The distance (in km)

A railway ticket.

Write what other information you can find out from the ticket.

A railway time-table gives details about the route of every train — the stations along the route, what time the train will reach and leave each station, the distance covered, etc. We can buy a railway time-table from a railway station.

Some portions of the time-table for the route of the train on which Omana travelled are given. Look carefully at it and answer the following questions.


S. No. Station Name Arrival Time Departure Time Distance (Kilometre) Day
1. GANDHIDHAM 05:15 0 1
2. AHMEDABAD 11:30 11:50 301 1
3. VADODARA 14:03 14:10 401 1
4. SURAT 16:15 16:20 530 1
5. VALSAD 17:23 17:25 598 1
6. BHIWANDI ROAD 21:10 21:12 772 1
7. MADGAON 07:35 07:45 1509 2
8. UDUPI 12:06 12:18 1858 2
9. KOZHIKODE 17:45 17:50 2165 2
10. TRICHUR 21:05 21:10 2280 2
11. ERNAKULAM TOWN 22:35 22:40 2356 2
12. KOTTAYAM 23:50 23:55 2418 2
13. TRIVANDRUM CNTL 03:05 03:10 2578 3
14. NAGARCOIL 04:45 00:00 2649 3

  • Circle the names of all the stations in the table that are mentioned in Omana’s diary.

  • From which station did the train start?

  • How many minutes did the train stop at Ahmedabad station?

  • On which day of the journey did the train reach Madgaon?

  • Sunil and Ann got off at Kozhikode station. Omana got off at Kottayam station. How many hours does the train take to reach Kottayam from Kozhikode?

  • What is the distance that the train travelled over the whole route?

  • How many kilometres did Omana travel by train?

  • Would you like to keep a diary? Take a notebook or a diary. Every day for a week, write about what you did. Also write your thoughts and feelings. Share your diary with your friends.

For the teacher: Try to bring a railway time-table to the class. Help the children to learn how to read the time-table. You can use the time-table to devise many interesting activities to teach geography, mathematics, etc. Help Children observe their nearest railway station for the availability of safe drinking water, cleanliners, ramps, etc.