Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A Trip to Coorg - Part II, Day 2

Oct 23, 0545 hrs

Knock.. knock.. Who's that? f* u. My favourite dialogue in the movie "Catch me if u can". A similar situation happened but in a complete different way. The whole day (& night for Bals) hard work and travel made us sleep as if we were beaten up. At that early hours the calling bell buzzed and Jai was the one sleeping near the door. He barely woke up and opened the door to find the room boy saying "Hot Water Ready Sir! U can start taking bath". Jaiga was perplexed with the hospitality the lodge was showing him. He just closed the door and his eyelids.. back to sleep.

Somewhere around 0700 hrs Bharath woke up using the alarm he set in his T105. And he is the first one to get ready. But for his bad morning... all the other 3 of us were still in the bed enjoying the sleep in cozy bed and the sheet that covered us. hmmm. heavenly. I guess Bharath was in flames on seeing us in the bed still. Thats it.. everyone got up from the bed in another 5 min and our plan that day was to visit Nagerhole wildlife sanctuary and on the way to take shower in the Iruppu falls. Then we 3 brushed our teeth and Bharath planned that 2 of us can go and finish the breakfast while the other 2 can get ready by the time. Bharath and Bals (dirty guy.. just had his teeth brushed) went to the restaurant and myself and jaiga stayed back to get bath and ready. Jaiga went in and started enjoying his hot water bath while I stayed out watching TV. Jaiga came out and its my time to take bath after my morning activities. Bharath and Bals returned to the room finishing their breakfast. I didn't know what they ate but whatever they came quicker than I thought. Now I gotta go down to have breakfast b4 taking bath. "I hate to go out of my room without having bath". But the situation demanded that I shud have to break my code of conduct. I broke and went down to restaurant with Jai while our Bals went to bathroom to finish his activities.

I asked the waiter over there to bring whatever is ready and which will come faster. Jai too ordered something. Again to my misfortune my orders are delayed and by the time I got my orders Bharath was standing beside me. I hurriedly finished whatever I got and ran up to the room. I was in total mess without a bath and I am the last one to get ready. Everyone is ready except me! Someone hinted that since we were going to falls I can take bath there itself but I felt it will be better if I take bath b4 going. Who knows the same fate might repeat as Abbi falls. So I tried hard to get ready in 10 mins. But I guess it took me more time than I planned. Thats it when I came out of the bathroom I can feel dead silence in the room and even the TV was switched off. I rem'd my dad used to do turn off the TV if he is not happy with us. Bharath went out for sometime and Bals said Bharath might be angry bcoz its getting very late. He also said if I wish to live I better get ready in a min. I believed him for the first time :) and pushed myself hard. So all set now... huhn.. I forgot tell u one thing somewhere in between Jai dropped the Mirinda bottle and Mirinda was flowing all over the room like a river of oranges. Ok. we were ready to go out now.

Again we went to that good soul asking for route and bus availability and got that we gotta take a bus to Virajpet and from there to Iruppu or Nagerhole. We 4 walked to the pvt bus stand nearby. While walking I could see Bharath very silent. We reached the bus stand and luck prevailed us.. we got a bus waiting for Gonikoppal which is in the same direction as Nagerhole & Iruppu. We got 2 consecutive 2 seater rows again. I felt relieved that if we had missed the bus I wud have been in ashes from the flames brimming from Bharath eyes. A narrow escape indeed! The moment we sat on the bus everything bcame normal and all were chuckling, joking and laughing. I guess that is where Bharath let out a word "Descent" saying something like Why the y'day bus took so long even though it was going in descent. A laughter bursted from mine and jaiga's mouth. We knew that the bus was climbing up the hill and not going down the prev day. For that whole day Descent was the word of humour and our small nap in the bus was also called "Descending"... We took tickets to Gonekoppal and everything went without problem against all our surprises. The bus stopped at the jn where 2 roads split up.. one to Virajpet and other to Talacauvery. I saw a dog outside the bus and I cud not stop the laughter thinking which dog is fortunate in getting "idly vada" from Vomit Vallal's mouth. And the topic started somehow there. And we were all in for praises of the Vallal's high intentions towards animals. Jai commented that there are lots of Bluecross members for name sake but our great bals is one step ahead of all... giving his food to the animals that too mixed properly and blended with all the edibles that animals don't get. Like that the bus trip to Virajpet went on. And in between we all went descending in the bus.

The bus reached Virajpet and since it is one of the 3 taluks out there the bus stopped for a long time and almost all the people in the bus got down and many came in. We got another good soul in the Virajpet. This guy told myself and bals how we can go about to Iruppu and Nagerhole. He also asked did we swim in Abbi falls. He also said that Raja's seat and Talacauvery are the best places to watch sunset. I forgot one more thing earlier. Jai was hell-bent in seeing Raja's seat and the fort in the morning b4 we went to bus but since time constraints we said we will see it next day. Back to Virajpet.. He said that on a clear day one can see Arabian sea in the horizon while watching sunset from the Talacauvery's hill. I realised what we missed the earlier day. But Bals said it was not a clear sky the day b4. He also said that we gotta take bus from Gonikoppal to Srimangala or Kutta and from there we can take taxi or autorickshaw or we can engage taxi from Gonikoppal itself. Another 15 - 20 kms we gotta go in the same bus to reach Gonikoppal. The distance didn't matter much to us. We had seen lots of kms already. The bus reached the Gonikoppal bus stand.

Bals seemed to be in a mood to donate again. If he wan't to resist it he needed a sprite immediately. Jai took care of Bals and they were drinking sprite while myself and Bharath went looking for taxis. Earlier in the morning we enquired for taxi in Madikeri itself it was costing around 2K for that day. We felt we will get it cheaper when we go near the actual place and engage. But it was the other way it seems.. the more u go nearer the more the price-distance ratio. Jai immediately reminded that his friend advised him to take taxi from mysore itself and he personnaly will arrange cab for 2 days for 2k only. how good it wud be if we had done it earlier. We blamed ourselves for not planning things prior to the travel. But my inner mind said that trips shud be unplanned atleast to some extent or else it will lose the fun. But I was very afraid to tell it out to others as the situation was very very bad.. The jeepwala in Gonnikoppal asked for 800 bucks for a round trip to Iruppu, Nagerhole & back to Gonnikoppal. We still felt that if we can make it to Srimangala by bus we can engage taxi for less. We cling on to a bus to Srimangala and Jai & Bals were scattered and sat somewhere. Myself & Bharath were sitting in the last row and talking how this Iruppu and Nagerhole will be. A guy sitting just a row b4 kept on seeing at us and after sometime he asked us in good tamil (not like Kannada tamil) "Are u guyz going to Iruppu?" Good heavens.. there are people in Karnataka too who speak very good tamil than most of the people in TN itself. He said he knows some van fellow in Srimangala whom we can ask for ride to Iruppu.

The bus reached Srimangala and that guy took us to a shop asking for a driver there. I came to know that guy was from Trichy basically. Now I knew how the Tamil was so good. Jai was very angry that the guy was taking more time in engaging us a taxi and had shouted at him. Then I calmed him saying that he is not working for us and he is doing it as a favour and not for any money. We got one taxi for a 550 bucks for round trip covering Iruppu and Nagerhole. We thanked that Tamil guy and resumed our trip. The taxiwalla also knew tamil but it had a flavour of Kannada. He put some tamil song cassette and the stereo set was a typical car audio which outputs a male voice in female form and a female voice in a child form. We enjoyed it anyway. The taxi took us to the foothill of the falls and we could see a restaurant over there.. very nice we thought. But we were more curious to take a plunge in the falls than to sit back and eat. We gotta climb a li'l up the steps to view the big Iruppu falls.

We were flabbergasted to see it and just the thought of taking bath in it sent chills upto our spine. The water was cold and Bharath was the first to strip off his clothes close enough to show a g-strip sort of jockey he had. He could not resist it and went down into the waters immediately. We were not the only people around there. Lots of others were also there some are inside the water and some are outside just admiring the serene beauty and not taking any chances in the falls. We 3 also joined Bharath and no words can be written to explain the feeling we had when we entered the waters and pushed ourselves under the falls. We were not ashamed of our outfits as all the guys out there in the water were wearing similar things only. The water was coming in such a force that it was real tough to go near the place it fell. The more we close in the more our jockey slipped down and this made Bharath to change the falls name from "Iruppu" to "Izhuppu" falls.

As we were playing in the water, the whole place was brightened up by the arrival of another set of people mostly of kids and others in middle age except for the only one whose aura I am mentioning now. She was a beautiful lass in her late teenage. She was wearing a greenish blue churidhar and looked like an angel to us. We could see all the guyz around were watching her playing with the other children in the water. We were lazier earlier to go up and take the pix of the remaining 3 but now the arrival of that sweet gal pushed me out of the water. I went out of the water and started clicking all over the place. I tried to cover 3 of our guys with that gal in one side of the frame. Then I aimed directly at her and shot one in close up too. I felt guilty in doing that but could not stop my hands doing it. Then I returned to the waters again while Bharath came out to show some of his photographic skills. He took a few snaps of ours and more snaps of her in close quarters. Only when we browsed thro' the pix we found that she had more snaps than all of us 4 put together. We four were playing in the waters looking at her from the side when another group of teens came there. There were some 4 or 5 young gals and a lesser number of guys. We were expecting them to get into the water but they disappointed us by just sitting on the rock and seeing the falls and the people out there. We kept ourselves immersed in the beauty for long and we felt it as long enough then. Then we came out and dressed up again and not to forget I used Bharath's specs for combing my hair. We gave a parting look at that gal and went towards our taxi. Now it is really late for us to go to Nagerhole. We can make it to the safari or ride whatever they call only if we skip our lunch. hmmm.. we decided to skip it but the taxi guy didn't wanted to skip his lunch he halted the taxi in a village called "Kutta" and finished his lunch. There we saw some 10 guys riding 5 yamaha RX135s. They were also like us only just tourists out there. We felt that we too shud have taken bikes instead of relying on bus & taxi. But it was too late now.

The taxiwala took us to Nagerhole and on the way we could see a checkpost saying Kerala border. We were close to kerala there. The taxi entered the gates of Nagerhole sanctuary and it was a good road that lead us to the site where people were waiting for the trip/ride/safari. The road was good and surrounded by lots of green bushes and trees. We saw a lot of Deers in the road. The taxiwala stopped for us to take pix of them and then he took us to the place where we gotta wait for our turn to take a trip. The taxi parked aside and Bharath & Bals went to book the tickets for the ride and myself & Jai walked towards the crowd playing with an elephant calf. The calf was playing like any human baby. It was wrestling with the individuals around and the mother elephant was just seeing it play. Jai was afraid to go near the mother but was very fond of playing with the calf. Bharath and Bals too joined us and we took some snaps with calf & the mother. The van which takes for the ride came and everyone went towards the counter to get the tickets. We were denied tickets because of some other group delta-ed itself in. We were just cribbing that we shudn't have allowed it and we also thought of leaving from Nagerhole since the last bus from Srimangala was at 1830 hrs. We inquired the taxiwala how much he will charge if we have to take the taxi upto Gonikoppal and we were in for another blow. He demanded more and we decided to leave to Srimangala at once so that we can catch the 1830 hrs bus. But the taxiwala convinced us saying that the ride will be good and it will be waste to return without going on that ride. We didn't know what to do. The next set of vans came and we didn't know what to do - whether to leave or take the ride. We made up our minds and took the ride, which is another disaster for us.

The ride started in a good road but gradually the road got deteriorated and the van was tumbling even at very low speeds. The van driver was driving slowly so that we can sight some wild animals. But to our misfortune again.. all the animals went into hiding and we cud see only a few deers. Suddenly a total calmness spread and driver was spotting something and said something to the people in the front. We were sitting in the back just a row b4 the last. There was a family in the last row. The enquired which animal is spotted? I said "There was a penquin out there".. goof there was a loud chuckle at the back. The ride took one hour to complete. We spotted some bisons and some peacocks. But cudn't take any pix as the cam was out of zoom and the animals went into hiding b4 we cud zoom properly. Can you believe... even in this ride Bals was in "Descending" most of the time. He wud have been the only one sleeping in a ride like this. The dad at the back of the van asked his daughter "What did she see?" She said.. "I saw I saw... deers..." and then a long thought then again "deers... peacock". The dad asked her again "What did father see?" The girl said "Papa saw.. Papa saw.. people in the bus" and again a loud chuckle at the back of the van. The ride was almost coming to an end when we sighted a big bull elephant. We thought we were fortunate to see an elephant in wild but we realised that it has been tied there just to make the riders feel that they saw atleast this animal in that ride of 75 bucks. We have seen the deers very close from the taxi than in the ride. I felt it was useless than the ride that I took in Mudumalai when we were in final yr college.

By the time the ride got over it was almost dark and our taxi took us to Gonikoppal. It was a very long ride and the road was very bad. Somehow we made it to Gonikoppal and we were very hungry since we have skipped our lunch too for that useless ride. We went to one bakery and wanted to buy some biscuits. The bakerywala was very congenial. He asked us if we wud like to try the puffs. Bals didn't want to eat anything there (he was afraid of donating his meal to another dog!). But the puffs tempted him more and we bought puffs too. We got a bus to Madikere in the Gonikoppal bus stand we opened the snacks we bought. We finished the puffs fast and opened the bourbon pack. The biscuit was not crisp but still we ate it. Then I opened the orange treat biscuits and gave it to Jai. Jai ate a biscuit and gave it back to me. I distributed it to Bharath and I too took one. I felt that something wrong with this biscuit and looked at the expiry date. The pack got expired a very long time b4. We can't spit what we had ate already. We kept our fingers crossed who will be the next "Vomit vallal". We went into descending again and the bus reached Madikere but stopped in the main road itself. The road was blocked and so we gotta get down there itself and walk up to our hotel.

Now its Bharath's turn to do the donation stuff. The orange treat and the puffs he ate came out but there were no dogs around. So his donations went waste. But Jai wanted something to donate to some animal. So he threw an apple to a cow nearby. But the cow gave a bad look at us and went away as if it were saying "were u guyz eating this s* all the time?". We went to our hotel and took rest. By the time we came down to the restaurant it was closed (Someone wud have paged them that we were coming there!). We went out looking for some other restaurant and found one open too. We had our dinner there and now we were feeling fresh. We heard from others that the whole night the town will be celebrating. The whole place was crowded even at that time. The fort was still open and we heard that there is a procession of Navarathri festival being enacted there and there will be many such procession and they were adjudged by jury and awarded prizes for the best looking enactment. The fort was too crowded and there was a very small passage only. Only one person can go in that passage and it was almost a stampede waiting to happen there if not for the police control. Still people fought against police too and entered thro that way and made the people wait to exist if they gotta use the same way.

Inside the fort we saw one enactment of Navarathri procession. Goddess Kali with her angry face and a trishul in her hands was waiting for the Boar-headed asura. The procession was about to move to the streets from the fort. Jai wanted to take a movie of it. So we 4 moved to the other entrance of the fort thro' which the procession will hit the streets. There I saw another enactment... It was of Bals simulating the film azhagi. There was a teenage girl standing near the gates and watching at us. Bals and that gal were fixed eye to eye and just kept on staring at each other. The fun lights from Kali's head fell on that gal's face and Bals started singing "Oliyile therivadhu dhevadhaya!!". (The only thing he didn't knew was that he was crossing mine and that gal's line of sight and mistook that gal is admiring him.)

Earlier just b4 our dinner we went on to a ground where some live band is performing only A.R.Rahman's songs and many Tamil songs were played. Even in the streets one stereo shop has put only tamil songs and there was a big crowd dancing in front of the shop for the song being played. We all bought the optic fibre light and took snaps with it and thus that night went on for some more time like that. After midnight we were tired and went back to hotel and slept. This night I don't remember Bals seeing Hallmark or any other channel though it was the much awaited Saturday night. But it was late even for the late night movie!!

This post took me a hell lot of time. Will try to post the day 3 exp asap. Comments plz...