Part Two of Our trip to The Nilgiris... Was supposed to be completed long ago...
I never got down to doing it... So here's what i could manage to write... :)
DAY 2, The 18th of April, 2006, Tuesday.
I wake up, unable to stand the noise Ebbie’s mobiles making. It’s one of those weird new, Nokia ones (avec Camera et al.), and the Alarms Ghastly!! It woke me up anyways, so it must be amazingly disturbing (har har har!). Its 6am. So, I’ve missed both Deepti’s and my alarm (only god knows how, hers is equally ghastly). It’s just about sunrise, so I quickly awaken. Deepti, and me, both run out to watch the Sun-rise. Blankets draped all over us, un-brushed teeth, we delve into this thick blanket of mist all around us. Heavenly!! I get to see that the ledge didn’t give way to the lake, rather overlooked the road we used to come to Avalaanchee. It’s terribly cold, and so, Deepti and I make a quick dash in.
I decide on not having a bath. Just had one yester-night, and so quickly wash up. While Deepti’s having her wash, I plan on taking a stroll outside, now that I’m in my Black Jersey. Uncle’s awake, and well, it was a pleasure to see a man, so well dressed in a white lungi. I was all eyes I must say. I must say I admit that all men who are shaven, tall and can carry a white lungi with panache are like Gods to me ;)! Well Uncle soon went in, and Deepti was out, so we dragged poor Ebbie out of bed. Come on, it was day one; I couldn’t let them miss an amazing morning, lying in bed like that.
Ebbie was soon up, and I must admit again (well this shall be my admitting entry!), that he looked so cuddle-able with his morning wake-up face. Of course the out and out winner for cutest sleeping face is Phanindra. God… he looks so fragile and baby-ish when he’s asleep, couldn’t help wishing I had been his Nanny, the first time I saw him like that… Aaaawww!
Anyway, so Ebbie’s up, and Morning Tea has also been served. We look around the house, no sign of Aunty and Uncle, and their bedroom door is shut (didn’t have the heart to disturb Aunty), so we ‘Slopped’ down our Tea, and went outdoors.
We walked down the grassy pathway, climbed down some mud-steps adjacent to a small down-flowing stream, and we were on the road. The mist hadn’t cleared as yet, and as we walked down the bend in the road, around the hill, we soon lost sight of the cottage. The road, was really well-made, and was covered with Thick Shola (from ‘Solai’ meaning forest in Tamizh), on one side and wattle thickets on the other side. At the end of the curve we came to a bridge, which ran over a larger fast-flowing stream that ran into the Avalaanchee Reservoir. The sound was deafening, we had heard it from the curve, and well it had aroused my curiosity. I was kind off disappointed to see a stream, as I had expected a waterfall.
The stream was however really beautiful, I mean I just died my fifth death looking at all that water rush down that stream… flow beneath us, and flow into the reservoir. Ebbie fishes out his camera phone (Yess! He has one! Damn Stereotypical Gizmo Freak Boy…lol!) and…well… clicks some of the best snaps I’ve ever seen, the colours come out so beautifully, remember its really early in the morning and everything’s still covered in dew. I pictured myself as Wordsworth walking down a dew strewn path in some foreign land… a pen and some paper in hand… trying to quickly write down in what seems like a million words, all what I see around me… Writing is tough! Har Har! (I know he didn’t walk around with the paper and pen, but I pictured it like that [What do I do?]).
Dying to now ‘Explore’ Further, we move on, the ‘Awesome Threesome’ (Ess! That means Ebbie [The Hunk], Deepti [The Babe], and Romal [The Geek] qui est moi aussi!), start proceeding further down the road. Unawares of what lies round the corner, we walk into something as vague as oblivion… lol! Ok back to my narrative…
We see a road on the left that climbs into a thicket, and disappears, Ebbie asks us if we should go up... I, being the ‘Guide’ (Har Har!)… Decide on letting my decision prevail, so we head down the road… I’m dead bent on going to the reservoir, so we reach a ‘Pretty’ forest check post log, that runs right across the road, with signs on both side put up by The Tamizh Naad Forest Ministry (I think), one goes ‘Echcherikkai’ [Caution] and the other informing us that we were entering Forest area [Paathugaapuh Vann Pagutheeh]. I have no Idea why I loved the whole feeling of being in Tamizh Naad all over again (I Guess it was the joy of being formally warned in Tamizh?). On both sides of the road were typical Nilgiri Houses, with White walls and brown Tiled roofs… it brought back several memories of my childhood in Kotagiri (The Town I grew up in, on the other end of the Nilgiris)… Our House overlooked a valley called Krishnapudoor that had several such houses.
The house on the right was lower than the road and was adjacent to an ‘Orchidarium’ (In Nilgiris?). I obviously wasn’t very interested… because I quite vehemently believed that Orchids went with the North-East NOT the Nilgiris, and so I moved on, crossing the check post and crossing a path that led lower down into what I thought would have been a valley, on our right (it didn’t look very pleasing strewn with garbage [Humans inhabit the house next to the orchidarium, I realised… sigh!], and ‘fresh’ cow-dung cakes), so we ignore the road (Ahem… Path…ok… Jungle trail! Fine!), and follow the ‘propaah’ road, for a few metres, when we realise we don’t even know where we’re going… Ebbie dorling, (all sleepiness now Kaanam!) asks both of us what we were planning, so we quickly decide like we knew all along that we wanted to take the obscure Jungle Trail (Enough!).
Jungle Trail here we come! Oooh… was that interesting, as we tried walking avoiding 1)Garbage, 2) ‘Morning Produce- Fresh’ Cow Dung, and 3) Wet Dew-smothered Grass… well, Obviously we couldn’t avoid all three so we ended up destroying several patches of untouched picture perfect dew-strewn grass (The Pains of being a humongous Human!). Pine Cones, were scattered all around the place, and well there couldn’t have been more excitement on each of our faces… it only got better after that!
The ‘Dirh-tihhy’ ok… JUNGLE TRAIL! Ended in a few minutes not before I gave out at least ten exclamations of how beautiful the view seemed further… Ebbie just smiled (Male Chauvinist!) lol… and we reached a meadow so beautiful I could have screamed. The Meadow was split into two halves by the stream we had seen rushing under the bridge. I ran as fast as I could to the nearest clearing, Deepti soon caught up… we muttered stupid nothings about how beautiful the place was… all of our praises did not even half the justice the place required. Beauty was everywhere… I looked at Ebbie and Deepti and well felt love for both of them unparalleled… They were part of this beautiful moment… a memory that would be etched in my mind and would come to my rescue every time I had a feeling that life was unfair… Thank you, YOU sweethearts, I Love You Ebbie, and Deepti you’re the Prettiest Nut-case I’ve ever met, God blessed me immensely by letting me know you.
Eternity passed by me as I stood on that high bank, and looked at the river flow fast by me, rushing past, almost reminding me of how fast life would end, and only memories like these would matter. My spiritual awakening was beginning, I was on one of my journeys which end in me realising how great our god was.
But being me is hard, and well I couldn’t stop myself from fleeting off into the rest of the Meadow… like a fairy on thimble toes (Ahem!), I ran across the rest of the meadow, trying as much as I could to stay as close as I could to the bank. Ebbie just stared at me, lol! He’d never seen me so active before!
The Stream flowed into a meander, and the speed of the water quite surprisingly almost deadened. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was almost a miracle of nature that such a fast stream slowed down so fast over just two meanders… I just stared, it was breathtaking… The mist rising on the mountains in front and this stream slowly moving towards its very own death… it was like the stream died as it reincarnated itself in just one second into the mist beyond.
The stream died into the Avalaanchee Reservoir, and I was getting really impatient watching those two Nuts, take forever to reach that spot, I shouted out loud… and they were there in ten seconds… Ebbie clicked the most wonderful picture of the whole journey right then and there. It was a picture of the morning sunlight slowly seeping its way through the mist, reflecting off the calm lake water… Nature had never been more beautiful.
It was freezing cold, being a typical Nilgiri Mist-ridden Morning, and Ebbie wasn’t taking the cold too well, so we figured it might be a good idea, to head back home, as HOT HOT breakfast would be waiting for us.
It was around eight thirty when we arrived home, not before, I spoke to Ebbie and Deepti about Wild Garlic, and its medicinal properties, (I was the official guide now, as I said earlier... ha ha!), all the way back home, and also showed them Moss, something I was so obsessed about…
I would love to continue, but the memories I have of the trip are now vague and scattered, I wish I had had the patience to finish this account when I had initially got down to writing it…
Months have passed and I now prefer to end this account right here.
What I have written will be published, but the rest will remain beautiful memories in the lives of Ebbie, Deepti and Me…
Our lives have changed immensely since I began writing this…
Deepti found love and is now single again…
Ebbie found Reenu and has since completed a successful year in their relationship…
I have gone through the dumps and am back full force once again.
Looking forward to another trip somewhere in the near future, and this time…
DOCUMENTATION will be completed! ;)
P.S; That’s a PROMISE Deepu… :)