My association with trekking and any of those sporty activites had always been limitted. I sucked at sports in school, never opted for any exercise session like jogging, running or even to the bare minimum of choosing stairs over the elevator. I was short and fat; weighing about 60 kgs by the age of 16 and was absolutely blissful about it.
The first trekexperience was in Pune during the post graduation days, more of a forceful one. I embarked upon the trip fearful of how I would survive the rocks and mountains. It turned out to be even worse with the pouring rains and the rocks getting slippery as we got to the top. Going uphill was a struggle with the slippery rocks and the throny bushes. But surely a lesson well learnt which epitomizes life in itself.
Trekking in Kodaikanal quenched a much awaited wait for some adventure.We started off the trek at Kodaikanal through the densest forest I have ever seen.Nature at its true best, silence swept across the dense forest and we could hear was the bustle of leaves with the gentle breeze and the sound of our very own footsteps.Endless stretch of pine trees, deep cliffs and we were there approximately 1600 ft above sea level.
As we stood precariously on the cliff, hanging on to our dear lives, the gush of chill passed through me, the subtle realisation of how insignificant I was in this magnificent world. There was more to see than I had seen, more to interpret from what I had thought I understood and above all, I knew I had still a long way to go.
My bladders would hold it no more, my fingers were stiff due to the chill and sweat had framed drops above my forehead. As soon as we descendednted on a plain terrain I chose to empty my already swolllon bladder out there in the jungle. Yes, I peed in the jungle!
Coming to explain it further, it was pretty much of vivid experience.Nature all around, fearful of animals that may come my way or even leeches which may crawl up to..(you know where), i knew I had to finish the task as soon I can and save myself from other possbilities of embarassment.
The first day was eventful, quite unusual though, I escaped without being attacked by a leech this time. The rain had drenched us all and hot
shower was the best to ask. Instead we were ushered into a forest rest hr ouse which had a rusted bathroom reeking of urine, a bedroom with a broken window and not one drop of water in sight.We had the liberty of one bucket with which we were to do for the night.
Hunger was on the prowl and maggi saved us like always. As we set out of set t to fetch hot water from the nearby quarters, we sneaked the liberty to warm ourselves in a bonfire sort of set up and managed to borrow a few woods for us as well. Though none among us were adept at the task of seeting a fire, we tried in all possible ways avaialble. Burnt up all reserve newspapers we had carried all the way during the trek, and went it all burnt out, my nail polish remover did the trick. Acetone blew up in red and orange flames which kept us warm in a flash instant.
That was the first time I ever slept in a sleeping bag. Not a very sound sleep though, my buddies complained i did the snores again. The trek for the next day started off with a bowl of maggi again and this time, I almost passed out.
It was steep uphill climb and by the time I was there, was all out of breath. I had a long stick for defence and for the first time I knew it for a fact I would be the first one to be eaten up in case a wild animal got hungry. We came across this ghastly looking carcass and posed a few clicks with the departed soul.
The guide got us a place to relax and regain the ATP's required to reach destination.While we relaxed, stretched and yawned the guide clicked some interesting pics too. Check em out.
We nibbled on carrots offered by a friendly villager and lazied ourselves till we reached the village.The best was an open jeep ride to the stop where we were planned to hork on an exclusive south indian cuisine.
The best part of the trek I must say was the open truck ride. We zoomed past the curvy roads hanging on to the rails for our dear lives. We felt like a herd of refugees though and we did invite some 'not so friendly' stares from the villagers too. Whatever! It was worth the ride!
I had it all, the wind through my hair, the gush of adrenaline while running away from the blood sucking leeches, the fear of being eaten, the insignificance that swept across me when i realized how small i was in an incredibly large world. These hard hitting facts of life which teaches me to endure and last..last long enough to go all the way till I reach the final destination..i.e If there is one at all!
When I had a Kingdom Once
Now this may sound weird, I've had this lasting fantasy where I was a princess(P.S Ignore my screwed up face) in some of the 7 life forms I had attained to live. However, I let myself plunge into a familiar euphoria every time I visit a palace.
I happened to visit a Palace on the way to Ponmudi from Trivandrum. Quite interesting and most importantly they allowed us to click endless snaps. Pretty small for an elaborate palace, this place housed one of the most rare and exquisite pieces of curios and artifacts I had only heard of.
This is where women were allowed to view the public and see someone in case they came to see them. Carved of wood,it is believed to be over 500 years old.
Manichithrathazhu - This lock was used to seal in disturbed souls which caused considerable trouble..Much more than mere hallucinations.
Cradle preserved for the royal blue blood generations
These were the huge trunks where cereals and grains were stored once
The horse carriage
Theyyam art forms
The royal chappals
The 'prabhavilakku', this is hung behind the idols in most temples. It reflects the image of the lamps in front of the idol to give a majestic halo for worship.
Could be a de-je-vu, but as I bid farewell there was something in me I just didn't want to let go.The tour guides were pressing for time and all I got was one last click of the wooden balcony, the only allowable luxury for women in those days.
A brief adieu until my next reign!
To the land of the 'Mishtis'
It was a much awaited trip. A trip to the land of 'mishtis' meaning 'sweets' in Bengali.I embarked upon this trip from Trivandrum airport at 5:30 pm and landed at the Dum Dum airport at 10:30 pm. The wind was cool and greeted me with a chill. I waited and scoured for a familiar face and voila - there he is, my long lost Bong love - Torno.
Its been four years since we met last, and years had added their share of adipose to his cells, nevertheless he was as dashing as always. Nothing had changed except for the newest addition in his life, his brand new gorgeous wife.Sigh!
The day breezed by and I was welcomed home by his wife with cartloads of savories and a heavy dinner for the night. I wrapped up my day gobbling down succulent lumps of 'rosagullas' until I could have no more.
The wedding was at 'Ranaghat' and we had no clue where we were heading to until we boarded the train. Ranaghat was apparently 1.5 hours from sealghat. The train, jampacked with vendors and women lost in mindless banter. The one factor I never missed was that the 'oral organ' was in constant motion. Either munching savories or chatting with the nearby passengers, and yes me as well, they really dint care if I even understood 'kothanabhe', all i muttered was 'Ranaghat' 'Ranaghat'..
Was it my unusually large eyes or my tanned complexion, I was mistaken many a time for being a Bong. I waited patiently for our final destination, not daring to meet another eye, neither could I follow their native language nor would they decipher my broken hindi.
The wait was over and we embarked on a journey to Kaka's home which was the prime attraction of my Kolkata trip. We were propped on wooden planks which was pulled by a cycle. It could be called a 'wooden planked cycle rickshaw'. It was precarious travelling on it, with our legs dangling and holding on to our backpacks from falling over.
Kaka's tomato farm was quite a sight. We scurried through the marigold, rajnigandhi, pumpkin, beans and pea farms
This was my first stint in attending a midnight wedding and I must admit, I slept my way through it. Managed a couple of shots though.