Alarm rang horrifyingly. But for first time it wasn’t irritating one...but felt dulcet. It was showing time 0606 hours Thursday, 04 October. Finally the most anticipated day arrived; for me, my friends, to some extent our family members, our neighbours, to very little extent their home members, milk-man [as our share was no more required for 8 days proficiently to show-off Infosys visit], paper-man also to distant relatives as they were in futile expectation that we might bring something for them from south India.
Adrenaline hormone was at the extremum calibre for me. Packing was done prior night. Necessary phone calls were ended. Unnecessary clothes were well packed in closet. Just last check-up was required. And acted.
Pratik M was supposed to see-off me to Dastur Nagar’s pick-up point. As usual he was punctual and I was about to get ready. But this was the only instant he didn’t mind as it was not college time; more significantly he was not part of tour [regrettably]! I texted everyone to be there by 0800 hours but I myself left by 0830 hours.
Hit the point; stupefied to see that almost every girl was present. Some with family, some with friends, and some alone, some still refurbishing their dress to make sure she look prettier than others. Guys were mere in number.One-by-one everyone arrived.
Their name goes this way-Akansha, Amrita, Ashwini, Divya, Kalyani, Kanchan, Mrunal, Pooja S & M, Rasika, Shrutika, Sonam, Sunaxi, Sneha, Abhishek K & K, Aditya, Archie, GirishKumar, Jay, Jitesh, Mayur, Ojas, Piyush, Pranav, Pratik V and Tejas J. We were accompanied by Himanshu Sir, Burgate Sir, Deshmukh Madam and Khabiya Madam; our respected teachers.
Everyone’s respective luggages were surfaced in bus’s cargo cabinet. Interim time few friends were introducing our classmates to their parents. Chaos was so loud that if we were taken to 1400 A.D then Christopher Columbus might have redirected to India instead of misrouting himself to America...apparently there would have been lesser the continents to study in Geography by today.
Enough of oneirism. So, bus was luggaged. Everyone was in bus. Seated. Smiling. Air castle-ing of what may happen in next 8 days. Hi-5ing. Winking. And finally jilting their parents/friends/brothers/sisters/relatives [neighbours were not present; so got a reason for not bringing anything for them].
Abandoned for Nagpur by Shiv Travel’s Pinkline, 44 seater. It was 0945 hours by then. Professors sit in forepart. Girls were following them and “chengdi” of boys were undermentioned. First 30 minutes went on like pin-drop-silence. Because it was first time Section A and Section B of Computer Science and Engineering, 3rd year were together on akin venture. Some were confronting each other for first time. But slowly atmosphere started getting a bit balmier and girls popped with “antakshari” [a game in which one group starts with a specific song and next group has to find the song with the same words with which their song ends. If that group don’t remember any such song then they are levied with a due known as “bhendi”]. In this every girl in India is like Mrs. Prodigy; they can do PhD in same. So, we guys pushed it [trying to use the stack’s pop-push theory]. But realised that is useful only to score in exams and not in opposition. They convinced all of us and we were up for game.
It shouted with song- aacha sila dia tune mere pyar Ka. And shaggy game were trotting. Guys were singing all the modern song and on the contrary girls were having those old hindi melodramatic Shah Rukh Khan, Yash Raj, DDLJ sort of boring song. The best moment among them was when we were directed with “ha” [ha] in the end we were starting with “halkat jawana” and if “la” [la] were levied then our song was “life ki naughty kahani”. Everyone knowing the fact that both are same songs...and girls were in no position to oppose us to any extent. Fun continued and we had a small breakfast halt on some “kailash da dhabba” kind of place and continued on our itinerary.
By 1330 hours we were on Nagpur railway station. Our train was on 1420 hours. Ample of time were procurable for all of us to settle down and breathe some extra oxygen. This time was utilised by us to allot seats to the pals. Have lunch. Take a look to huckster’s good. Ogling. And some fun!
Our train Mysore Express was late by barely 10 min which was equivalent to before-time for Indian Railways.
I was in S2 coach co-affiliated with Jay, Abhishek and Archie. Girls were in S3. Few of us were in S6 and remaining in S10. All were spread throughout the train so randomly that if some terrorist group asked us to hijack train and demand some ransom we could have done that effortlessly [that’s what my naughty mind thought]. Everyone attained their seats and train departed. In no time we passed Sevagram, Chandrapur, Ballarshah and AirTel posted a message- Namaste! AirTel welcomes you in AP. We were in Andra Pradesh. Roaming service was ON.
From there protruded the terminology that was no less than foreign language for all of us. We called it “jalebi” [shape of sweet edible that resembles the words of that language] language; it was telugu. Only word I was familiar with was “ra” means friend.
With every arcsecond, every second, every minute every passing hour we were confining to our terminus. But we were on huge tenterhooks. A suspense that was more powerful than the nuclear bomb bombed upon us by Principal on our industrial tour stand [for more reference visit my previous blog]. Our Infosys visit was planned on 6th October. But due to Kaveri river water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu the bandh was harbingered. And it was on same day. So, Infosys invalidated our visit a day prior to our departure. I was in quandary to when, where, whom and how to tell everyone. I know many of us were coming because of same rationality. It would have been like an earthquake; even higher than 26th December, 2004’s Indonesian on Richter scale. It was very arduous to wield the situation. Because it was me only who dealt diplomacy with Infosys. So, even if I don’t divvy any section of decision making committee about logistics of Infosys and neither do I shall drink a single drop of water from Kaveri River ever in my life; I was supposed to be responsible for cancellation of confabulation. I was needed an underwent steering then. Someone who can make everyone understands about the playscript and considerations. I headed to Himanshu Sir for same. And he told me to tell everyone all truth regarding it! I was worried. Vexed. Concerned. Was machinating myself for the questions I might face. Answers I need to give [more harder than I ever did in my vivas]. More preferably; diplomatic answers.” Ghuma-firake” wale. At first I started it from S10 boys compartment; Tejas, GirishKumar, Piyush and Mayur. They blasted-off the seats. Rejoiced. T20 World Cup was ongoing. Many people might considered it India winning it. I was happy. Then S6. Boys; Aditya, Ojas, Jitesh, Abhishek, Pranav and Pratik. Same scenario. I went cavalier.
S3. Girl’s compartment Mrunal, Ashwini, Sunaxi, Shrutika, Kanchan, Akansha, Divya and Pooja S. I stepped in. I was aware that this won’t be that easy. It was like battlefield. Fearfully conquering one by one compartment. Reached the topographic spot. Re-planned my logistics. Revised expected questions and my answers. Tactics were done. Foes were playing cards. I took a deep breath. Was willing to puke everything at once. Giving no time to their Central Nervous System to think and reply the stimuli that my words caused in their eardrum. I puked out everything in no less than 5 seconds. It was fast-forward [that also 200x] for many. Mission accomplished! But it was the silence before the hurricane [even harsher than Jupiter’s Great Red Spot]. I crucified hydrogen bomb on them. I thought everyone in that compartment was defeated. Everyone went numb. Dull. Dumb. Obtuse. Speechless. I did my job. Ready on my starting line which ended on my coach...S2. Was about to tell my conscience Get...Set...Go. Then instead of hearing gun-fire; some chivalry hit me. Sanket asaa kasa..?? Apna Mysore ka jat ahot..?? Industrial tour kadhi ahe mag..?? Shewti ahe ka..?? Udya kai karayacha..?? Aj rahnar kuthe ahot..?? Pudhache tickets kadhlet ka..??
These were surely more interrogations that I was expecting and in-return prepared for. And now my mind went numb. Dull. Dumb. Obtuse. Speechless. This time they did their job.
Analyzing each question I started answering one by one. I was vulnerable. But slowly everything was calming down. New civilizations were resettling in same surface area. Flora and fauna was blossoming. Blooming. Enriching [I was the nurseryman at last]. They settled down. It was the period of ceasefire. Diplomatic talks were going. Some treaties were signed. And finally peace was established. They were ally now.
Next mission was another group of girls in same coach. Kalyani, Amrita, Sonam, Puja [very nice friend circle I shall always respect] accompanied by Rasika and Sneha in another compartment. I was experienced now with better tactics to use. But these opponents proved to be weak...they hardly raised any questions and I moved to S2; guys coach Archie, Abhishek and Jay. No big deal. They were okay with that. Thus my missions were accomplished. Was willing to shout Ahoo!! Ahoo!! Ahoo!! [But thought that it won’t be healthy for me to do so in public; idea dropped]
All were preparing to have a sweet nap by now. Everyone was in their Bermudas, 3-4th and sweatpants. Heat was tense [thanks to not-so-great Indian Railways’ ventilation system]. Everyone was tired. Retarded. And was drowsy. I spread down my bed-sheet. Assured my luggage is well placed, made pillow of my jeans. As per my knowledge all were snoring.
Two hours completely wasted. Output was-am still decelerated. I hardly saw any of mine crushes in my dream. Nap wasn’t satisfactory. With no second thought I set my berth and departed. Headed towards guys’ coach. The battlefield was well flourishing by now. Trade was blooming. Edibles were passing to others. Curves were visible on lips. Smiling everywhere. They asked me to have some. But so early trade with ally was not good. So, I didn’t have it and kept marching to S6, gathered them all and then pointed to S10. Girish did brought a big wooden casket amidst; Nagpur Orange. All of us did enjoy it to fullest. Girish was having great knowledge of how to choose a sweet orange over a sore one. Expect him everyone’s tongue turned sore. We asked him to choose all succeeding oranges for us and we enjoyed them with great taste.
Then we played the best cards’ game I ever played in my lifetime. It was-Good Morning, Professor. It names suggest to be pathetic but believe me or not; it wasn’t. It’s all fun is basically in its rules. Game was like everyone is distributed cards equally. With everyone’s turn he places his card without flipping it. If there two persons who consecutively place same card number then specific action were assigned to it. For Ace all have to place their hands on the cards that were dumped by everyone. And the one placing his hand last was considered out and all cards were given to him. Similar way if two consecutive Jacks were placed then all have to shout Good Morning, Professor; for Queens all have to bow down and for two consecutive Kings all have to salute. It was a harebrained game but all fun lies in the action to stimulus of our body. Many times it happened person doing two actions at once like saluting and saying Good Morning, Professor or saluting and bowing down as well. The laughter was so loud even aliens could have found humans [SETI would be gratified; only problem was that sound don’t travel in space]. That game continued for next two hours. Then we had our dinner and were spatting on useless topics from all over the world.
Meanwhile in girl’s coach smiles were spreading. One of our friend Sonam’s father parcelled them with the great hotel-food dinner. Kalyani explain me about the entire scenario. They were carrying parcel. Firstly they feel weird of how to tell everyone about the dinner stuff. No one was attentive of it. And secondly none of them ever talked prior to it to anyone of other girls. But somehow they made jugad of giving their share to them. We guys were deprived of this fun.
In our domain we shift ourself to another game. Teen Patti on 1 Re table basis. It was the first time I was playing. We all settled down to play 10 games. It started. I was completely awestrucked. I won 4 straight games. Thus pulled in 16 Rs. This was my first occasion. I was happy. But lose all next 6 games. Finally Pranav was posted with 14 Rs of mine and I guess 5 Rs was won by Piyush. Instead of taking them in cash alternatively we decided to have some junk-food. Bluff was also one of them [even known as Challenge]. Game continued.
I was done by now. Feeling drowsy. Stuffed with all tasty dinner that my friends brought. As decided I was placed in girls’ coach to sleep. Girls’ demanded that they need someone for their accompaniment. One who can handle their tantrums. One who is trustworthy. Handsome. Smart. Cool. And all such adjectives. And I was the solely one to fulfil all these needs. Henceforth, I was now sleeping beside the girls’ compartment. Only guy down the aisle. Was about to sleep but then Mrunal, Ashwini and Shrutika came and we elapsed our gibberishes. We talked about all the fun that took place it boys coach and explained the game. Whereas, remaining girls were doing the things that I never thought they can do or might do. In college I saw everyone to be decorous, well-mannered, and studious but realised that they are hellions in turn. Can’t public the things they were doing.
I called-up Ojas to accompany me; more significantly was feeling awkward. We both explicated the Good Morning, Professor game. Not letting second hand of clock to step forward everyone gathered in one compartment. On one berth was Oja, Ashwini, Me, Sunaxi and Akansha. And on our front berth was Mrunal, Divya, Kanchan, Pooja and Shrutika. The game was taking pace and all of us laughing like hell completely forgetting that we were in public place. Clock tickling past 2300 hours. Our laughs turning into roars now. But in the whole movie an unwanted person was introduced. Mr. TC [Ticket Checker a.k.a. Ticket Taker]. Watching all of us he said something in his maternal language. We all were like-aaaaaa!!! Did you said anything?? Do you want to play with us?? But sir we don’t have space!! Can you wait for next turn?? But his facial expressions clearly conveyed us that he was not willing what we were considering. Then in his telugu-hindi accent he said-yaaa pe taaj khelna Mana hai! Baki logo ko taklif ho rahi hai.
We suddenly bend our faces in his respect as if he is the supreme person of India. We packed everything and said him sorry. Not with perfunctory politeness. But to kick-off him. He was off. And we were up with same game. After an hour or so same villain was now re-introduced [this was even worse than Harman Baweja’s re-introduction is Victory after Love Story 2050. Atleast to save ourself we can avoid going to theatre but it was not possible here.] This time he was more tensed. BHe was with better Hindi words that we did interpret. And ameliorate converting power. In that time I tried reading his name-plate. The name was so long that even an eon would have been insufficient to read [but not larger than-Prabhakarna SriPalaWardhana Atapattu JayaSuriya LaxmanSivramKrishna ShivaVenkata RajShekhara Sriniwasana Trichipalli YekyaParampeel Parambatur ChinnaSwami MutuSwami VenuGopala Iyer; a film character from movie Dhamaal]. I felt like hypermetropic. But this time we turned a bit serious. A wisdom-man woke us up. And we were on respective berth by 0130 hours. More importantly Sunaxi started feeling unconscious. Bid everyone good night.
I was up. Check out if all are fine. Felt hunky-dory. Gave a look outside the window. The eastern horizon was layered with scarlet colour. Sun was yet to rise. And on the west stars were still visible; twinkling. I was witnessing this for first time. It was very impressive. My hands automatically entered in my college-sack and in dark find way to my camera. Took some photos and they found out to be satisfactory. Again went to my berth and slept.
My luggage was still settled in S2. Went there and had jibber-jabber with Jay, Abhishek, Archie, Rasika and Sneha. Same instant saw some people shouting my name. I was like-haaaa!!! Am I that famous?!?! But those were my insane S10 berth friends. Foiled!!
I landed-down on platform. We all started o in engine’s direction. Amazed to see it was not there. We kept on thinking that may be diesel engine will guide us from here. We all were facing same direction. With our back; facing train. Then Mayur heard train whistle. There was no train expect our on that station. We back-faced our self and dreadfully run towards it. Our train was leaving. In early morning people are supposed to go on jogging...but we were running faster than Usain Bolt. He was for silly Gold Medal and us for our luggage, friends and those 7000 bucks we paid to Kesari Tour and Travels. Someway we all caught it. Hushing. Gushing. Breathing hastily we settled down on my berth. Drank water and cardiogram seems to be normal.
After some time went back to S6 to survey. They were up and running. We all joined them. Had some fun and went on with jabbering.
Almost everyone was in S3 now. Not because girls were there. But because Ojas’s power-plug was borrowed by me to charge everyone’s mobiles. The strain was clearly visible on eyes that everyone was putting to see who end-up with their charging and we go there. Meanwhile Jay and I checked the PNR status of our advancing journey to Mysore. It was clear. And tickets were confirmed.
Bangalore City was visible by now. Multi-storey buildings. 4 lane roads. Everything under renovation. Refurbishing. I asked permission from Himanshu Sir to get a photo under the yellow coloured “Bangalore City” board. I seeped same in everyone’s billions of neurons. And everyone followed me.
Bangalore arrived and as planned all of us headed straight towards that board. Luckily base was available for my camera [happy to see I will be in photo]. Set camera on 10 second timer. 10...9...8... and our cheese smiles turned into awful one. Our train was heading away from us. We were still willing to have that photo. But what about train? What if it was gone? I forced everyone to hold-on for next few seconds. Shutter blinked and we run faster than ever in our life. Not even giving second thought all climbed in the most approachable coach. Climbed it. Rushed to go to our coach from inter-connected way. But found out to be unavailable. We mistakenly jumped into General Coach of train. Then all pitty girls instead of waiting for next station and changing our coach; at the same instant jumped out and climbed in next coach. We were in right coach. We were doing nothing except watching each other’s facial expressions. Our breaths were calming down and with that speed of the train as well. Later get to know train were positioning it. Again we boys were out of train. But not our counterpart. Mistakes are often done to not repeat. But we were repeating it again...and it consequences were visible on our tour.
Again same thing happened. Train departed and everyone rushed-in. This time we wasn’t grinning. Situation turned tense. We lost our one friend on platform-Tejas. Strained. Distorted. Sieving the situation to handle it. Girish and Piyush said they saw him climbing up the train. But not certain. We gave this news to Himanshu Sir. And he called the basis culprit of this accident. It was none other than Me. I was scolded by him. Called on the carpet. Very soon train stop somewhere in middle of route. Abruptly I jumped on the tracks. And start marching towards the last coach. It was me who was supposed to so. I saw no-one following me. This made me aware I am alone responsible. Climbed general coach and dig out all compartments. But they were lacking the thing; my friend- Tejas. This was one of the worst feelings I had in my lifetime. I thought of not going back into my coach. Got down of that coach. Channelized towards my destination.
In lieu of climbing from S2 I raised from S1. I know interrogation was on my way. What to do next?? Should we talk to TT?? Or dial 139 [they won’t even understand my language either]?? Or catch another train back to Bangalore?? All hypotheses were being analyzed. Consternation was visible. Trotting; I reached the end of S1. My eyes meet a familiar physique. I tapped his back and found to be Tejas [my expression did dreaded Tejas]. Thus I was able to breathe with ease now. He and I get along to our coach.
The atmosphere was happy now. Everyone was happy. This certainly was a great sigh of relief for me. Himanshu Sir. Burgate Sir and all our mates.
Things got back to normal. And by 1630 hours we were in Mysore. Yes! Finally we are in Mysore. A place we were waiting to reach since last a month. We brought the bacon home.
In India going in another state is more often like going to another country.
Completely distinct language. Different cuisines. Rituals. Customs. Wardrobe. Attitude. Call rates.
Even petrol prises. We were in Mysore, Karnataka!!
So, finally we brought the bacon home. Everyone was rushing to get out of the coach as if we are walking down of general compartment and we have to get down in hurry; else we might leave alone in train. Last check-out of all compartments we resided. And done!
The fresh Mysore air was gushing into the lungs. Temperature was mild. Somewhere close to 20 degree. This was okay for us. Felt like singing the song-
Socha kaha tha yeh jo yeh jo ho Gaya,
Mana kaha tha yeh jo yeh yo ho gaya,
Chimti koi kaaton na hai ham toh hosh mein,
Kadmon ko thaamon yeh hai udte josh men!!
Badal pe paaon hai?
Ya chhoota gaaon hai?
Ab toh bhai chal padi
Apni yeh naaon hai
Chal pade hai hamsafar,
ajnabee saa har dagar.
Lagta humko magar,
kuchh karne ke hum agar.
Thaame jo dikhaa par tha chhipa
bas jaaye woh nagar
re re re re re
Enough of sounding (felt like Hema Sardesai for a second). Luggage was settled and counted. In no time we found some mid-age-crisis kind of people circling us (same way eve teasers might be doing). Husky. Shaggy in luck. This actually worried us. They started talking in-between themselves (obviously that was harder than Morse code to interpret). Our respected teachers entered into their conversation. Later realised they all were guides as matter of fact.
Convincing them was as hard as telling a girl she is looking great in a photograph (though I turned mastered in this after this tour). But they were putting all their efforts. They were ready with hotels. Places they will take us. Prizes. Almost everything. For an arcsecond I even thought of taking my 7000 bucks from Mahesh Sir (Head of Kesari Tour and Travels Pvt. Ltd.) and go with these people around. But then heard thundering sound of someone shouting with very high pitch (from it I calculated the event is happening just close to me. Because as it was a high pitch...so was sound of high frequency. As pitch and frequency are directly proportional to each other. And low frequency sound travels longer distance on contrary high frequency can travel shorter distance. Perfect examples of low frequency are conversation between whales, elephants from 100s of miles). Enough of geekyness. Final conclusion; it was Himanshu Sir. Soon all that guides fled away faster than Harry Potters Disillusionment Charm.
Our bus was waiting for us outside station. Manjushree Travels (only readable terminology for us in visible landscape). Luggages were ported and we departed. Reached our Hotel Vyshak International by 1730 hours. I was accompanied with Ojas, Jitesh and Pranav in room. Dumped everything in allotted rooms. Freshened up and were on ground floor with glowing faces. A shining grin was visible. All were excited. Even the 32 hours long journey was unable to bring minuscule glimpse of fatigue.
For a moment I thought to order him like – Hey Rascala!! Giva me thos Dosas yend Idalis toe-toe playt. With yextra butter yend yextra sambar. Wit small-small tomato peces.
Again planned dropped (my many plans are dropped in similar fashion. If all of them came true then I would certainly been died of embarrassment by now).
Everyone had what they think would be tasty. Dosa consumers share with Idli and Idli one with Upma, someway or other we tasted everything. We were unsure if we might get this food again or not. Each and every molecule of Idli was felt. I could feel it through my pharynx. Grub in. They were the tastiest thing we had till date. Stuffed with all ferment food we headed towards Chamunda Devi Temple.
It was situated on a hill; 8 kilometre [4.9 miles]. Imran bhai (I don’t remember his actual name. Seems my neuron died where I hived his name) accompanied us enroute. Traversing through zig-zag road we reached Chamunda Devi Hill. Counting ourselves among the luckier persons who got the pleasure to bow Chamunda Devi. It remains close most of the times. Happy!! On the itinerary back to Hotel Vyshak International we take glimpse of world’s biggest Nandi Bull which according to rituals was growing an inch every year. India really has some very awestrucking monuments!
Now we were at the same location were Shahrukh Khan (Suri – Punjab power lightning up your life) proposed Anushka Sharma (Taani partner) in movie ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ with the entirely city lights showing “I <3 You”. It was simply splendid! I took a wide-angle photo there (atleast I could propose my girlfriend editing it in Photoshop then). Camera set on manual mode. Shutter speed- 30 sec. Aperture-6.3. ISO 100. And done. Got a fabulous snap!!
Next destination Kaveri Handicraft and Sandalwood Handicraft work. It was silk saree shop, which naturally turned out to be most boring part for us. Some came to purchase saree for their Mom, Aunty, Granma; even girlfriends (I feel myself luckiest person at such bits). They were standing on the aisle of shop, trying the sarees. All of them replicated those three women from MDH Masala advertisement jingle –
MDH aise flavour jayage,
Kitchen king ho ya garam masala,
Pav bhaji ya chane ka masala,
Kasoori methi degi mirch,
Asli masale sach-sach,
(Now am sure many girls already unfriended me and blocked for above verdict). Don’t think anyone bought sandalwood related product. They were too expensive. We soon deserted the shop.
Back in hotel. We then had the gags by calling any random room from telephone by simply dialling room number of respective room and asking them for any order, extra bill and much more. Ojas turned out to be prankster in this. He was aware of girls’ room number. Amid we got the call for dinner. Then we had masala dosa and potato curry along with it. I started getting a feeling – Are we going to served same food in whole trip? If so, certainly I would end up with my year long storage allocation of south Indian food!
The jibber-jabber continued and upstairs we had more fun. Biggest one was with Pranav, TV remote control and TV itself. Sorry to say, but I can’t public it!! Akhir ijjat bhi koi chij hoti hai.
It was Archie’s birthday next day. Jay, Abhishek with some jugad arrange cake for him. Archie cut the cake exactly 0000 hours and everyone in drowsiness sing - Happy B’day to Archie.
(if accounted the whole energy spent today I am sure all of us can build their own personal pyramid with our own mummies in it. Of which King Khufu will feel diffident of!)
Everyone went to their cosy bed. Whereas, I was shifted in room with Mahesh Sir, our Kesari and Tours co-ordinator.
Realised if first day is so much fun, then how might be the upcoming days be. Got more excited with a smile on face. Body systems shutting down gradually.
YES!! The clock struck 0525 hours. I was sure everyone was tired and no one is used to wake up early. So, before I would take my weapons (so called toothpaste, toothbrush and cold water) I went to every room to awake them from their intimate dreams (am sure everyone cursed me for same). But it was demand of time! Reconfirmed all still awake, not doing anything more than yawning. I went back to my room and got fresh.
For us it was Day 3 of tour. We were supposed to do rafting, visit Golden Temle and a local park in Coorg. And then stay at Coorg. Distance 86 km.
But for media, India, newspaper, court, Kanarese, police persons it was a big day. Supreme Court declared that Karnataka has to release 9000 QSEC of water to Tamil Nadu. Which was later opposed by Karnataka and refused to follow the orders. For this reason Kanarese took aggressive stance and declared ‘bandh’ [strike] on 06th Oct. And with that our Infosys visit was already messed; we were under surveillance.
Mahesh Sir supercharged us to do everything hurriedly. And that resulted too much heightening.
Lunch included bread-jam. We gulped our lunch leaving digestion completely to small intestine and large intestine and flagged the bus. By 0745 we were out of Mysore. Imran Bhai and Mahesh Sir told us that out of three groups (We, EXTC and CMPS 2nd shift) only we survived this catastrophic event. EXTC were trapped in Mysore by police and were escorted back to hotel whereas 2nd shift was not even lucky to see how Sun looks in Bangalore.
We continued our journey to our next destination. White water rafting!! Yeee!! You heard it right...I mean you read it right. It was first of its kind for many of us or being precise for all of us.
But this is India, where simplest work can be transformed into most complicated way possible. The Karnataka roads were quite good in terms of conditions but political circumstances were bad. The toll emerged from no where. And then we were prevented from going ahead due to bandh. Saddened!! I got sentimental very soon. My playlist was still alive which I saved when our HOD was not permitting us for IV. I was about to go deeper in the marshland. But then decided to see if anything is possible. Got the info that toll gate will open at 1100 hours...it was mere 0930 hours. So, we decided to visit Golden Temple. Prior to it we pre-order thali in a nearby hotel Top N’ Town.
We then headed directly to Golden Temple! Parked the bus and we were standing on the entrance of Golden Temple.
It was way too beautiful than gestated. This was very insinuate. Eyes were trying their best to get the best possible light and the gleaming, glittering gold was visible on the top temple. Have I been Spider Man (or preferably Super Man) would have stolen all gold on the dome, but was lacking sky-scrapers.
With every single step the view of Golden Temple was visible. It was getting broader proportionally our eyes as well. First we get passed a lawn, where a group of pigeons were placed with very magnetising flowers blooming. Then a big gong, campanologist not present; it was tied. Hundreds of bhikku (monk). There came the Golden Temple main building. The walls were very colourful (camera capacity of distinguishing 16 million colours were insufficient). They were picturised with two persons. With a broad moustache, tache below lower lip (just similar to mine :P) and protected with heavy armour (that I guess will leave Madhuri Dixit in embarrassment for their Kahe Ched Mohe - Devdas dance with 30 kgs of outfit for which they are proud of), with some deities or servants serving food to them.
We then entered in the temple.
O.M.G!!! O.M.G!!! O.M.G!!! O.M.G!!!
What is this? Am I dead or alive? Is it heaven or what? I search for top in my pocket to spin it, but didn’t found. So, I pinched myself! It was hurtful. We were surrounding by gold everywhere. Three big statues completely covered with gold were withstanding there. Was it real? I wasn’t sure. Or rather wasn’t in the position to handle two awestrucking moments that so in this short span. All of us were like – WWWOOOWWWWW.....!!!!!....!!!!! Already widen eyes got wider (I wish if Guinness Books officials can be made available; Jalisa Thompson’s record was easily breakable). But unfortunately whole gold was well protected; I was expecting even some invisible LASER rays for same. For that I borrowed deodorant from friend to sprinkle over that domain (in return we signed the deal on 60%-40% basis); but futile.
After noticing each and every corner of temple with every minute detail (enough to make Golden Temple Map for ants/spiders/mosquitoes dwelling their) we saw a group of very small children. They were from nearby school. Very silent. Polite. Praying. Everyone’s eyes closed to attain their ultimate life aim - Nirvana!
Then came we people. Notorious. Atheist. Sinful. Completely opposite to them in many aspects. They were so cute and beautiful. Girls went to all of them like they are their own children and am sure many even might have dreamed of having same future child (but no one of us was bold enough to tell them-Girls you need to have a cute husband to have children like that!!). Click!! Click!! Click!! Shutter sound was echoing more than our sound. They were all like Nepalese Buddhist. I have heard many jokes prior to this that these people looks very alike in complexion and facial expressions. And these children were proof of same. Being a curious person I went to two of them and checked their finger prints (visually scanned). EUREKA!! Finger prints also matched. But again planned dropped (you know its reason now).
The temple was emptied by us. Students were placed and remain sat silently. Encompassing landscape was receipted. It was breakfast time for them. The classes of younger bhikku (monk) were over and then they went in another building. Some were roaming. Some were playing game on mobile (as they are not allowed to have wife so probability of chatting with crush was mere), some shying, and few laughing. All dressed in Kasaya with saffron/yellow robe. Time was running by and we have to make through before 1100 hours. In hurry we left the hypnotising Golden Temple. And it was again those kids standing outside in queue. Girls again attacked them (it was more aggressive than Chinese diplomacy in China Sea), but this time many of them ran away. I thought of distancing myself...cause anything done in excess is harmful. Even LOVE and CARE is no exception. I was introduced to a very shaggy person standing there. He was from Mumbai and his son was working in Infosys. For a second I thought- saala south se sabhi engineers ko job pe lene ka theka Infosys ne hi le rakha hai kya??!!? But as long as that uncle was interrogating I was enjoying. He asked all things regarding us! He blessed us all, I thanked him and wish him good future and thus finally we departed.
We enjoyed our lunch at Top N’ Town on ₹ 100 / plate with ₹ 20 extra for extra chapatti. It was just ₹ 5 in Maharashtra. But still we were okay. As rice captured each and every corner possible in stomach. Next destination white water rafting.
All were excited from the core to have rafting on river Kaveri. In travels only we decide who will sit with whom. We planned accordingly. As we reached our destination we ran as faster as we could and set the end point to the canoe renter’s shop. Me, Ojas, Jitesh, Piyush, Girish, Mayur and Tejas reached there. The rate was like ₹ 100 for 2.5 km with 10 persons in each raft. But we bargained a lot to reduce these rates (very proud moment foe any guy). He came down to ₹ 70 with same specifications above. We were done. We went back to the folks standing and looking at us with intense hope (as if they are jobless from 15 years and we are giving them job without interview and aptitude test). But later we came to know that Mahesh Sir already booked the canoes and thus all efforts went in vain. But our plan or rather sitting position was still intact. Our canoe included the same seven persons.
In no time everyone was up and we were upfront. Jacket, helmet and ply were provided. We started plying with all the energy we could. At first ply was handed by everyone except Ojas (only six ply was provided). Then we decided the person with muscle strain will substitute himself with Ojas. We were out front of everyone. Also learned new word – pasti maad - meaning move forward. Our accompanied canoeman on boat was guiding us very well. Even with language barrier in us we were able to understand each other from non-verbal communication in terms of facial expressions (Yes! Communication Skills study is not dissipated). Tree branches from surrounding marshy land were hovering over us. It was amusing going through them. They were giving the feeling of green cave. But nothing with us was supposed to go normally. Being human all habits of ours was inhumanely. Piyush with a shock shouted – Lets jump!!! (a noteworthy thing is am not sure if he even knows “SWIMMING” has two ‘M’s or one). Knowing our intention our accompanied canoeman shouted with all his energy – ALLE!! ALLE!! ALLE!! (I assumed that stands for STOP!!)
But he was too late. Heard a big splash. Girish jumped in water without even giving second thought to what Piyush said. All of us started laughing so hard that Girish’s face shrank to minimum it could (but it didn’t, in return it swell as he was in water). Our evil mind worked and we started plying as fast as we could. He being a good swimmer wasn’t able to equal the energy of six of us. But our consciences show some sympathy and we pulled him up on canoe. It was 25 to 30 feet deep water.
Soon we reached on bank and all of us enjoyed bathing, swimming, swimming techniques, spanking in shallow water. Nearby water turned completely muddy. It was longest bath for many of us. One by one of us started retreating of it and pioneered to dry themselves. Done with it! Well packed the wet clothes, distinguished them from other goods.
Coconut water was financed by Mahesh Sir. Thanks to them for same. Some gagism happened and we were off to Coorg.
Reaching Coorg’s Hotel Nisargadham; this time with Mayur, Girish, Tejas and Piyush. We did the obvious thing of putting the wet clothes to dry. Being ingenious, instead of placing clothes outside me placed all of them in room. This was a well planned plan. Its reflex reflected other morning. Freshen up. And visit a nearby garden – Natural Park. It was a normal garden (afterall zillion visits to Anand Sagar in Shegaon my hometown garden will withdraw interest from all other garden prevailing on earth).
Prior to having dinner we played two games. One included of making a human circle and then saying kacchi papai and pakki papaione by one and another included of pronouncing chota fish and bada fish but trick in this was when shouting chota (small) fish you have to show predict fish is big with the aid of hands and when shouting bada (big) fish you have to act as if fish is small. In both games defaulter get flunked and was eliminated. Thus winner came out as Amrita, Mayur and Archie (DAMN! How I let them win?). Yet, khel mein haar-jit tooh chalti hi rehti hai.
Had our lunch in Food Court. As thought Dosa and Idlis were served. Done with it. Following it we had sweet dessert as birthday treat from Archie. First time tasted the Bubblegum ice-cream flavour. Loved it though!
Then placing ourself to respective room we slept after playing bluff.
And with this our 3rd day was over!!
Before sleeping I giggled the song-
Yeh dil na hota bechara, kadam na hote aawara,
Jo khubsurat koyee apna humsafar hota!!
Suna jabse jamane hain bahar ke,
Ham bhee aaye hain rahee banke pyar ke,
Koyee na koyee bulayega, khade hain ham bhee raaho me!!