A Trek With My Buddy- The Dog (A Trip To Makalidurga)

Tripoto

He’s “The Dog” to me because I haven’t seen anyone like him in my life. I didn’t believe that a soul like that existed, among humans or any beings of nature. One so pure, that it expects nothing but companionship from you. One that is willing to climb dangerously steep mountains just to keep you company and to protect you from the unknown dangers. The descriptions are not metaphorical. For better understanding, let me tell the story from the beginning …

It was just another Sunday, my friends and I decided to take a day’s trip, I got a list of places near Bangalore one can go to and we chose one from it. The place is called Makali Durga, I thought the pronunciation was ‘Ma-kali-durga’ but turns out it is ‘Mak-li Durga’. We took a direct train from Bangalore Cant (Cantonment railway station) to Makali Durga railway station. We made a bad joke too – ‘Bangalore can’t’ help us now, let’s hope Makali can. The departure time was 7:40 A.M and the fare was just Rs. 15. Among the three friends I had planned the trip with, one turned up – Lakshmi. So, she and I got our tickets, found our train and got on it … eventually. Now, Lakshmi can’t decide which coach to take and I’m restless with the fear of missing the train, so, we run around checking as many coaches as we can and run into one of them just when the train starts moving. Oh, and this happens every time me and her travel together.

Photo of A Trek With My Buddy- The Dog (A Trip To Makalidurga) 1/2 by meghagkrishna835

The train reached Makali around 9:30. We got down and walked towards the Station master’s room to ask for directions. I really like these Station masters, especially the ones in rural areas. They seem like such dear creatures from an old novel about an old town. I had my eyes set on the office, but suddenly, I heard Lakshmi loudly say “buddy”. I turned back to say “I’m not your buddy, guy!” but as I did, I realised she wasn’t talking to me. She was playing with a dog, she had already named him buddy and now she was scratching his head. Buddy sat on his hind legs. He lifted his head up and closed his eyes, enjoying the love this human bested upon him. When he got up, I noticed that he was limping, he had hurt his left leg but he was quite used to it, he came comfortably limping to me and I gave him my share of love. We regretted not bringing biscuits, pet him for a while and walked towards the hill leaving him in the railway station.

We began walking on the railway track, we could’ve taken the road next to the railway track but didn’t. “It’s a railway trek, we should walk on the railway track” we decided. We walked avoiding the slippery stones on the path and a few minutes later, we turned back and saw buddy following us. We laughed adoring him and resumed our journey. We continued walking on the path, after a while we heard a train horn, Lakshmi heard it first, I denied its existence. When we heard it clearly, we hurried and ran to the nearest cement slab that was next to the thorny bushes, a little away from the track.We watched the train go and laughed at our own stupidity. “We’ll find the exit soon” we assured ourselves and continued walking on the track. Buddy, who was following us, left the road and joined us on the track. The exit was 2 Km away, right after the sign 54/400 which I was supposed to keep an eye out for but forgot the numbers.

Photo of A Trek With My Buddy- The Dog (A Trip To Makalidurga) 2/2 by meghagkrishna835

After we got out of the track, we walked on the muddy path, buddy ran to the left, we thought that’s probably where he stayed and continued walking straight. We didn’t exactly want to trek the Makalidurga Hill, so we kept walking and climbed a random hill. We saw buddy come running to us, he climbed the hill too and sat like us, on a rock next to some bush. It rained as we sat there amidst nature and ate the food I had packed for us. It was a beautiful place. We got a direct view of the railway track and the trains that passed on it. We could see a lake that was far away, some hills and many trees. We could also see the muddy road and hear tractors that passed below. We decided to get down from the unknown hill and discover what was on the way to Makali Hill.

What we discovered was something beyond words. We walked on the path that buddy had taken before. We stopped every five minutes to check on buddy and ask him to hurry up. Sometimes we would just stop to rest and pet him. We were surprised at how much energy this dog had and how easily he limped on these hills. We found a temple, many goats, and a few cows, there were also two women looking after them. We took the path next to the temple. The place was filled with green trees, grey rocks and brown muddy paths.

We kept walking and stopped at a place with a view that felt unreal. We were unable to believe its beauty. It was like a painting that I could just jump into. Far away was a railway bridge, behind it stood a hill, a little to its right there were three more hills, they seemed to be painted green, and black, wherever the shadow of the clouds fell. In front of them was just more shades of green and brown. We sat on a mud lump and looked into it, I kept talking of how I wanted to jump into it and Lakshmi confessed that green was her favourite colour.

We stayed there too long, it was just the bottom of the hill, and we hadn’t even started our trek yet. We had a nice chat with two village women who came there to graze their cattle. Our train back home was at 2:20 PM, so, we decided to head back to the station. We walked back, this time on the mud path and found out that our train was to be late by one and a half to two hours. Disappointed, we walked searching for a tea shop. We regretted not climbing the hill but it was too late to go back. After drinking tea, we decided to just discover the place and so climbed a hillock that was right opposite to the railway track.

This place was unbelievable. It was filled with green grass and had a few tress. It almost looked artificial, like a perfectly planned, man-made park. Buddy and I napped for a while and Lakshmi sat looking at the railway track, we listened to music and had an amazing time. We got down and went back to the tea shop. Just then someone informed us our train was about to arrive.

It was time to leave buddy. On the way to the tea shop, he had fought with other dogs that tried coming near us. I had given him a lecture. I had asked him if he was a bad dog and told him that I was mad at him for fighting with other dogs. He had looked at me adorably. I forgave him immediately and pet him again. We had bonded so close in such short time. When my sweater got stuck in the bush and I struggled to pull it out, buddy had run in front me as if to keep an eye out for intruders and waited for me to start walking. He had always walked behind us and made sure we were safe. When we got lost, he hinted us the right side. It was difficult to leave him there. We bought him and his other dog friends some biscuits and got on the train, promising to return. To return to buddy and to return to the hills we haven’t completely discovered yet.

This post was originally published on Miss.Fruitcake