Thursday, August 10, 2006

Romancing with the beauty!!

It was a planned one. I said. My friend said It was ad-hoc. I reiterated. He too. I doubted my statement!! My friend too. Then we changed sides. I said it was adhoc. So continued our argument. Hey it’s not about the testing, its about the trip we planned, I was explaining to my inquiring neighbour. The eager beaver Big boss paused drinking Appy and exclaimed Trip a?? Enge?? Few high level meetings were convened to choose the best place for the trip, some coming up with exciting options like Kodai, Munnar, Topslip, Kumarakonam, marketing their choice of place and antimarketing other options. The poor minority had to join the team which had more population. Some of the antimarketing statements for Top slip like It’s a forest area and wild animals may any time pounce on us, there is no power supply ……… so on and so forth were appealing to me(surprisingly!!) and it attracted some adventurous guys too to opt for Topslip. Munnar is a romantic place one must see it atleast once in life time! howled an enthusiastic Munnar supporter. Amidst the quizzlement, there were some bleak voices “Who cares ? where we go yaar?” The ultimate aim is to have fun being together and enjoying the place of visit.

I realized It’s true!

We were not sure on our destination until when we received a mail on “Nelliyampathi Trip Itinerary” which had a detailed list on the schedule of the journey and proved our initial arguments to be false.

Nelliyampathi, Pothundi, Kesavanpara, Malampuzha, the itinerary listed. None of these names I have heard of but sounded funny. Is it in Kerala? Yep. replied the planning committee member. Kerala described as “Gods own Country”- The land of elephants, greenery, cool climate and copious rainfall makes it an ideal destination to go for with a bunch of youngsters so on and so forth reads an official website of Kerala tourism. My mind started comparing the forthcoming trip to our last trip to Kodai this year few months back in February. Will this be a success like the previous one? questioned my neighbour.

Team meets at 8.30 pm at Koyambedu(the central bus stand in Chennai) a mail popped up on my monitor. Thanks to the planning committee, many ppl were thinking that they were going to Top slip even while boarding the bus going towards our real destination(ie Nelliampathi) creating a funny scene.

After a tiring days work, the team didn’t have enuf energy to celebrate the start of a memorable journey ahead. I was dull and lazy occupying the last seat of the bus eagerly awaiting the two days forward.

The bus was approaching Erode when Mokkian asked innocently We are at Erode. When are we reaching F-Road? waking up everyone (with his first mokkai of the day at early morning 7 am) who rushed in to hit him with the weapons they had in their hand. Watch out more for such kinda things for next two days Big boss yelled.

RJ started playing RDB’s Loose control, one more time! Loose control.. apt for the situation in the van as it geared towards the Nelliampathi hills crossing the state borders, with coconut trees grown on either side of the road, appearing as if Kerala was giving a warm welcome to its visitors. The Sun was habitually eager to meet the Chennaiities but shied away soon behind the marching clouds bringing a pleasant atmosphere for us. I was peeping outside the window and saw a board hung on a hut with “Toddy Shop” printed on it. Hey, we are inside kerala!! the moron cried.

Photographers delight:

The Digi cam crew dint want to enjoy the beauty of the nature and have momentary happiness, but they wanted to capture those sceneries screen by screen, bring them home and save those delightful moments for savouring at any time in future. I felt this trip can be rewound at any time by looking at all the photos taken together (totally around 1000+ pics taken) as we unfortunately didn’t have the option of rewind button to visit these places once again with the same group again. These camera men had their arms ready to shoot whatever appealed to them. The viewers of the pics will definitely have a feeling of missed out a chance to be at those places.

Pothundi Dam:

The Dam was a long stretch of about 3 Km at the foot of Nelliampathi hills. The scenic view of Nelliampathi hills was clearly visible from this point. Big Boss was the first to spot the Waterfalls over the mountains which appeared to us as if some one has drawn white streaks on the mountain with help of a massive chalk piece.

Uncharted territory: Road less travelled

Both the vans started moving along the curves of the hill after cleared off by forest department at the checkpost. Most of the road throughout the way to the top of the hill was under construction. It became evident that we were journeying along the less travelled roads as we could hardly see the presence of human beings. I occupied the window seat so that I could appreciate the twist and turns of the Mountains. The hairpin bends added more thrill to the journey. It was convincing to know that our vehicle had sufficient horse power to pull the vehicle loaded with heavy passengers. We kept following the van before us which had our other team mates.

The natural sceneries on the slopes of the mountain kept everyone dumbfounded and an unknown stillness prevailed inside the van which was beaming with activity till few hours back. There was occasional drizzling adding fervour to the glorious sceneries. The passing clouds were taking brief rest on top of the Nelliampathi hills while Mokkian seeing the clouds over the mountains as usual asked Do mountains smoke? and it took some time for us to realise what he meant and there was laughter inside the van while I was appreciated his thoughtful poetic quip and added Hey ! It really appears as if the mountains were having a small puff to escape from the chill weather! The Entertainment committee cheered up the team bringing in solo events, group dances and role reversal games.The whole situation taken in a lighter vein added more glamour to it.

It was a brief stopping at a waterfalls on the curves of Nelliampathi with some posing with waterfalls on it backdrop. Water was flowing happily, unrestrained as it had no one to control it. It followed its own course, embracing the boulders and rocks making them wet. Slowly the mighty men found a way to a natural pond formed at the basement of the waterfalls. It started as a child’s play by the moron sprinkling and splashing water over his buddies when everyone found it an occasion to take bath in the chilled water. The transparency and the purity of the water brought out the naughty child in everyone present in the pond. I started realising the beauty that lay in silence far away from the maddening crowd in the cities.

The vehicle again started pulling us upwards through the hills, when I found a lonely tree hanging on a precipice appearing to be sad. The tree as if had understood my concern replied I m alone, but see I m happy yaar by waving its leaves.What more could it do? I regretted for its handicap. There was occasional activity inside the van and I was lost in thoughts looking outside. The silent and serene mountains in spite of being mighty, allowed man to construct roads through its massive structure, animals and plantations to inhabit, exhibiting its generosity leaving me surprised. Someone shook my shoulder and brought me back to participate in the activity happening inside the vehicle. A “Masala Chai” would make a perfect drink of the moment, RJ claimed. Good taste! I felt and started my search for the perfect drink.

Scary Annelids @ Greenland Resorts:

The most prevalent living beings(hardly human beings were visible) on the top of Nelliampathi hills were leeches. There were many hypotheses surrounding these segmented worms. One version was It would suck all the blood from the body and die. Another version was It would suck impure blood only and hence its bite is good for health. It was difficult to completely believe either of these versions. Google would answer! I thought. We were afraid to keep our feet on the floor on hearing these hypotheses. Even worse it doesn’t let the person feel that he is being bitten by an insect. These creatures had a taste of few of my friend’s blood while giving a sense of eerie to rest of the team. The presence of leech on our leg gave such a horror that the word “leech” started producing irritation all over the body. Thank God! Leeches couldn’t fly I thought.

Fire on the Mountain:

The temperature went down below 15 degree as late evening approched. Soon fresh faces (after a day long journey) congregated around the firewood arranged on the dance floor(supposed to be). Singing, Dancing were prevalent with members cheering up for their team. The participants performed Catwalk show, acted like a Schizophrenic and intelligently retorted to difficult and complicated questions posed to them. Talent was displayed in every form. Everyone gotta chance to see the other side of the people present over there. The firewood lit in the centre of the stage drew us towards it as the temperature further decreased as night approached. The day one ended on a “high” note, Thanks to the beer boy.

Kesavanpara

It was a short trek towards the Rocky Mountains called kesavanpara, a hillock which grew short of height just to allow us to climb over it and enjoy the distant view of dam surrounded by gargantuan mountains.As I was on the top of the para (rock), I took few deep breaths and felt an unparalleled sense of elation. No doubt this beatific nature would turn a moron, a poet. I yearned if I could rival John Keats and the fact that Keats could not be here was comforting me. The return trek on the mountains converted two legged humans to four legged.

Adventurous boat ride at Malampuzha:

The journey was almost coming to an end and we had to move downwards. But still there was vacuum inside me, without filling it would make the journey incomplete. We were heading towards the Malampuzha dam. We chose a boat ride in the reservoir which had few islands, providing a resting place for tired travellers and picturesque locale for photographers. The crew aboard were trying to hide their dreadful faces with an artificial smile.There was a huge row when the miniature titanic deviated even by 5 degree angle. The Digi cam crew and few adventurous ppl stepped on the island to capture the scenery around. Wow! Great place yaar!! shouted Miss.Adventure making an unusual sound (while everyone around was quite), with a delight on her blank face staring at us after getting down on the island. Is it the same feeling which Columbus felt when he discovered America? I asked to my neighbour who burst out in laughter. Not willing to leave any stone unturned, we dint miss to enjoy the aerial view of the Malampuzha garden which had lush green lawns, innumerable flower beds, glittering pools, fountains and avenues through an aerial ropeway clicking pictures of the duo traveling opposite to us, before us and behind us.

Re turn:

The van rocked when it played “Kasu mela…..kasu vandu” from Kadhala kadhala. No one could remain a silent spectator without waving their hands and shaking legs to the koothu songs played by the RJ. To mark the end of the journey, RJ played a string of Illayaraja hits which soothed the mind and body. I wished the time to stop, which was gripping away beyond my control, making me appear foolish.

The interior of the bus was excellent and there was chillness inside the bus too. But it lacked the freshness and liveliness. “Back to the Sham world” Chennai welcomed. I picked up my luggage, walked few steps forward and turned back to see the path we tread, my eyes searching the team with which I travelled. They all had dispersed and soon I became a single lonely tree about which I was concerned yesterday.

Too often we are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget the journey.” –an anonymous person said. This journey is not to be forgotten. Hence it is imprinted.

For photos visit: http://www.kodakgallery.com/ShareLandingSignin.jsp?Uc=4qshbi16.1zxt56ha&Uy=-1zzkeb&Upost_signin=Slideshow.jsp%3Fmode%3Dfromshare&Ux=0&UV=444399017944_338171890206

Google Answered:
Annelids : leeches

Haemophagic leeches attach to their hosts and remain there until they become full, at which point they fall off to digest. Leeches' bodies are composed of 34 segments. They all have an anterior (oral) sucker formed from the last six segments of their body, which is used to connect to a host for feeding, and are known to release an anaesthetic to remain unnoticed by the host. They use a combination of mucus and suction (caused by concentric muscles in those six segments) to stay attached and secrete an anti-clotting enzyme into the host's blood stream.

If a leech bites, it should be removed and the wound cleaned. Salting a leech is probably the worst thing a person can do to get a leech off.The leech will convulse and regurgitate back into the wound thereby introducing bacteria. Burning a leech to remove it produces the same results. By simply driving the head (the smaller sucker) off the feeding site with a fingernail will safely remove the leech, or by letting it feed until it is full and it willingly drops off on its own. This creates minimal stress to the leech and the human.

There appears to be little evidence of transmission of diseases through leech bites. Leeches have been found to carry parasites, yet the life stage of the parasite while in the digestive tract cannot live in humans, therefore posing no threat. If the wound is cleaned, there is little risk of infection (as with any other small wound).

The most dangerous practice seems to be scratching leech wounds with the fingernails, and hence acquiring other infections. People living in leech infested areas get some bites as a matter of course. Although the bites are painless and generally harmless, many people are squeamish about these creatures, and the prospect of removing blood-soaked socks.

Disclaimer: Not all the characters and incidents reported in this blog is completely true. This article is a figment of imagination interspersed with some reality.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shrini, I imagined the scenes while reading your article...I felt like I was travelling back on my time machine....its terrific!!

Karthik Sivakkani said...

A Mind blowing trip with your Blog.Amazing I felt as if Iam trveled and enjoyed the scenes.Thank for this free trip to Nelliampathi hills.And Beautiful Romance

Anonymous said...

Nice daa.. Poetic too..Then wha this is the first step
towards writing a book?? Nice keep on posting ...may
be about cecri and life too..

Balsu.

Charu said...

hey shrini....
never knew u were such a good narrator!!
it was simply superb..

Noobraiah said...

I was not part of the gang that toured. But I am very much missing the whole enjoyment. Not all that relished can write it and tell the world what that meant to them. I could clearly see how much Shrini and gang enjoyed the tour.

The feeling of being the last one in a grand hall just after a ball is captured touchingly near the end of the passage. It creates a feeling man... which you just can't dismiss as "MISSING SOMETHING". It is a soul touching disappointment. I could see what Shrini is going through...

Looking back is pain... sweet pain..
So let us continue the journey..

Thiru said...

nice one da.first part flows rapidly, then there is some hitch and ends good. i felt some redundancy in the writing, probably inhertited from novels. expecting more from you, future -------.

Thanks
Thiru

Prabhakar Mohan said...

hey nss,

excellent start da. glad that i looked at those pics before reading, which gave me the exact feeling one shud supposedly be getting. keep it going.

Deepa said...

good narration.. ur dream of writing a book is gonna come true, i believe... :)

btw, who is this moron?

Shrinivas said...

Isn't it evident from one of the lines "No doubt this beatific nature would turn a moron, a poet"? lol...

Anonymous said...

Nice one da. U have written as if U were an expert in writing. Eager to see more from u in the future. Good Luck.

Ramsu.

Shruthi said...

it was suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper, loved it

Bhava said...

Blog was good one to read.Seems all had lots of fun. Try to include more characters.

Continue doing the same, whenever u have a great experience - not only during trips but also offline ;-)

Nisha said...

Cool one!!!!!Superb narration!!!Waiting to read more such ones from u!!!!

Prabhakar Mohan said...

so the moron is You!.. if u say NO, then you a'e nt the poet. by the way i keep looking at ur blogspot quite often to check more stuff!

Shrinivas said...

Hey, its a great delight for me hearing this...would take it as an appreciation too....Will let u know if i update this blogspot. :-)hav some topics in mind to ramble abt but it really requires sometime dedicated to put it in a readable format....

JRT said...

Nice Blog Srini
It narrated our tour exp very well

Keep up the good work

Regards,
JRT

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shrinivas said...

I would like to answer this question in a private forum..:-)