Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Exploring a Virgin - The Wet Dream

"Damn...", we cursed mobile phones in one breath, me and Rohit, when Manoj's phone rang the umpteenth time during the night. Knew, something will come up and it was not long before he told us that his folks require his ass down in Kuttanad, Allapuzha on Wednesday morning for some very urgent family stuff. Though both me and Rohit were not convinced of the urgency of the family commitment, we decide to let him have his way. At least this guy didn't chicken out at the last moment and maybe a trip ended in a good note at home will make way for more to come, add this ulterior motive, then it was all the more easy.


After the adieus, we started rolling on the Munnar - Madurai NH (NH 49), trust me, this is one of the most scenic roads I have ever traveled on and to that add an element of risk because of the narrow climb, aah you have an amazing experience always awaiting you. Through the fog, with the head lights switched on we absorbed nature, drop by drop. Felt like a sponge and sucking in dear life from the environ. Being the motor-cycle tourists, we stopped at many a narrow alley, where none else could stop. With falls deeper than thousands of feet and getting to see the clouds caress your hanging legs from the narrow barricades at the curves, kept to bring in a false sense of safety.

A bit further up ahead, the 'Lock-Heart Gap' seemed too empty for us not to stop. There were none there and with the torch lights in hand, we set out to explore the gap between the two huge hills. The place smelled of bats and a small one, made a dash for its dear life, very close to Rohit's face and it was the end of the cave exploration for him. But off we went, me and manoj, shining the torch on hundreds of supposed to be Draculla's friend creatures. But, after about a 30 meters, we had to crawl on all 4 legs and that was not the best feasible option for me, with my protruding beer belly, so called it a day, clicked couple of times and started again.

The sign board read, Thekkady..Suryanelli...Ayur County... We were supposed to head towards Thekkady and get an off-road to Idukki Dam, but Suryanelli looked too tempting. For those of you who are unaware of the significance of this small tea plantation village, some 25 odd kilometer north of Munnar, a very famous sexual abuse case was reported here. The case was supposed to have involved some very influential people, that at one time, a news channel had minted many a million from this, with all the prime time coverage and audience ratings. The Home-Woman-ministries were alleged to be involved and it was pretty evident with the way the case shaped out. Sorry about getting off track on the blog and losing the trail to Idukki as it was initially planned. We rode till Suryanelli and people never bothered to even look at us. They were familiar with our kind of people, the bikers and so were they familiar with most others.

Homes were turned to 'home-stays' with many a teenage girl to attend to the traveling hippies needs. Not all were definitely nice, nor did take the road, for the sake of the road. For some, the road was divine. Booze, women..everything can wait till the night..and maybe wait till the end of the trip.. But for some, Road is just a mean to booze and what not. No wonder, sexual abuses keeps happening. Maybe, if we were a bit more cautious about people, especially the tourists who stays in our homes, which we call the 'home-stay'.

A heavenly lunch, the typical kerala 'oonnu' from another extended hotel at the side of a home at Suryanelli made me eager about getting back home and to relish some stuff that only my mom can cook. This is where our course of journey got decided and all three felt too happy about the food we just had. With maps spread out, we were looking for the next road to Idukki and the 'chettan' in the hotel told us a short cut. We were supposed to save 30 kilometers if we went by that road and feeling happy about getting good lunch and an absolutely new route, we set of, with our rain gears on, into the rain.


Idukki, always seemed to be between 40-50 kilometers away and at rare turn a 60 away, but how much ever we rode, we never seemed to get any closer. We rode into the rain, away from the rain, at some curves the rain was chasing us and in some it was hiding for us. The branded rain gears that my friends had started leaking and slowly they were all drenched. My appa had got this old military kind of rain gear for me while in college, when one monsoon I was complaining about not having a new nike rain gear. Guess, he did knew he was getting his money's worth the time he had got it. I was dry like a baby all thanks to the visionary, my appa.

We kept circling around the hills of Adimali and Iddukki, but never got to the dam until very late in the evening, by almost 5:30. By that time, we had covered so many small dams and places I have always wanted to go, AAnachal, Baison Valley, Ellapara.....Pooparra....Kallar..Kallarmutti. The places we covered in that heavy downpour was dream like. After almost seeing all the dams that makes up the Idukki Dam, we were disappointed when a guy, to whom we asked directions said, we wouldn't be let in now. But nevertheless made the climb to the top and was greeted with a locked gate, with many a warning against being present there, taking a picture and many other things. We did take pictures and stood there smoking. Being an Indian, I guess I can see any place I want to and I don't mind fighting my cause for it in Court. A bit disappointed, with some curses on islamic terrorist and their recent activities in the serene green ghats of Idukki, we made the climb down.


Now with the gigantic structure staring at us, I and Rohit, looked at each other. It was an acknowledgment, of a wish while in college come true. We traveled all the way across to the other side and beat security and gained access at a vantage point near to the dam. Bloody hell, charge me with trespassing, our college mates father is the big guy in police at those parts and guy sure can be trusted to get us off. I guess it was what all three of us had in our mind, the time we crossed under the wire into the protected zone. Took some amazing pictures, smoked another cigarette and remembered to not leave the bud there ((lawyers for nothing, have the criminals working inside always i guess)) and our hearts filled with bliss we rolled down to the base via Kullamavu.

It was getting dark and the rain was growing stronger. My hands and feet which been exposed to the rain was feeling horrible, I can't just wonder how Rohit and Manoj hanged on to the bike all this while. There was an urgency in us to make the climb down fast to warmth. We didn't feel like un-packing and calling it a day and off we went navigating the huge curves, slippery tar and arshole drivers, who never learned to drive. The smell of metal rubbing on wet tarmac and the faint sparks that it brings about seemed so very adorable to me during the climb down. People were often amazed with the pace both the bikes been making the climb down, we kept passing slow careful drivers and some stared in awe at the acute angles the silhouette of bike and man was making.

It was just after 7 in the evening and it seemed much late, The rain had settled in and now it was a constant downpour. We were used to the wet clothes and now it really didn't matter. After having 2 extra big mugs of black coffee and tapioca with fish curry at a shop in Kulamavu, we hit of again. This time, there was no stopping and we circled around Moolamattom and the Hydro-Electric Substation and hit it straight of to Cochin, via Thodupuzha. All the way from Kullamavu till Mallika, we never stopped and rode in the rain at an amazing speed. Towns went passing by and almost everything gave way to the BULL. We were returning experienced mahouts of the BULL and now very few things really seemed to stand in the way. There is this feeling, one has while riding a BULL, which I don't think one will ever experience driving another bike. ((I am not sure of the Harleys and things of that league though.)) A feeling of being invincible and that is what best described us while we reached the signal at Vytilla in just over a hour and a half. Wow, good timing for the night and rain, I shouted to Rohit.

The traffic was not much, but enough to give a run through the rain. A thumbs up signal and we set out for a reckless final stint. With the engine warm, and the BULL roaring, we took of in between buses and Manoj was just too scared to follow us to the space in between a bus and a truck. We came better off and apart from some trailing glimpses once in a while never saw him until we stopped at the big gates of Malika. Trusted him to make it safe home from there. The rain miraculously stopped the time, I rolled the BULL to the shed and all three had a good mighty laugh looking up at the sky :)

3 comments:

  1. Its these little things that give immense pleasure. The breakfast and chai at roadside eateries, walking in the rain, thanking appa for that rain gear....

    Your travelogue was detailed with delicious pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I read in one of your post on this tour that you even longed to be the estate manager in one of those estates.
    In fact that reminds me of my time long go, when after those trips to Munnar and Idukki, I applied to Malayalam Plantation Co for the post of Asst Manager. But in vain. It was a fantasy .

    The route you mentioned and the places are so vivid, Kullamau, Surya nelli....etc.

    As for the concept of "Home stay" is it not a pseudonym?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Insignia @ how much more richer our lives will be, if we stop to appreciate the little things in our lives :)

    Anil @ listening to you mention about applying for the post in the tea estate, i have a feeling, not just the trail we followed, but also the trail of thoughts too must have been very similar..

    "home stay", a pseudonym definitely.. but the words it stands to represents is taking away the charm of the word 'home' from the stay..

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...