my dearest dearest reader friends,
i am addressing this to all you folks for two reasons –
1 – i realize that small as the number maybe, i do seem to have a few of you whom I’ve somehow managed to strike a chord with, and so you seem to be hitting upon my space frequently. This is my way of saying thanks 🙂
2 – my blogging has thus far been a purely ‘singular’ exercise of my writing something for god-knows-what-reason. now, i guess i have the additional responsibility of communicating with you fellow citizens of the world. not that it bogs me down. far from it, i am enjoying it immensely. communication is one of the basic and instinctive urges of mankind, i suppose.
my short travel trip was most wonderful and like always, i enjoyed it to the core. The one thing that I personally find most exciting about travelling is that it always, always throws up the unexpected. no matter how much ‘planning’ goes into it, there is always the last minute change of plans. unless of course, it is a package tour, and i haven’t had too many of those sordid affairs.
be warned, for this is going to be a long one – on account of it being a sort of a travelogue. i shall now endeavour to convey some of the highlights of my weekend trip. we went, among other places, to nagarhole national park and gopalswamybetta, both in the state of karnataka. most of the experiences, including the places visited themselves, were quite unexpected!
1) the sunset.
was riding on my mobike from madras to bangalore, which is about 350 km. i was exactly half way through, somewhere near chitoor (A.P), when the sun was setting. as i was riding, i could observe the setting sun for nearly an hour – at various positions in the sky, against varied backdrops (rocks, hills, water bodies, or just the horizon), at different points of time, each refelcting different moods. i don’t think we normally spend so much time observing the sunset, but it was breathtakingly beautiful.
i think biking, especially when u do it all alone, is very meditative. the trick is to ride responsibly, and maintain a sort of an optimal speed limit. it calls for absolute focus (else i’d be dead!), and yet, once we get into the groove, it allows so much room for observing the things around us.
2) the company
one of the guys travelling with was a married fellow. no offense to all the couples out there, but i have some kinda mental block against married people. i’ve somehow thought it makes them boring 🙂 and whats more, this guy – he had his family along. we had to drop off his wife and kid at their in-laws’ place in mysore, en route wherever we were headed. so we had to be extra careful about every little thing we did – from taking a leak by the highway to smoking a cigarette to making some harmless guy talk!
even the trip to the wild life sanctuary (thats nagarhole) got a little boring, for everytime i wanted to stop and get off, these guys wouldn’t let me.
“it is dangerous“, is apparently what they kept saying.
“the officials would object“, was one other reason, and as far as i could see, it was just the woods, some animals in the wild and us!
“it is unlawful“, now, when did we ever start sticking to doing lawful things?!?
“the animals would attack you“, well well, i’ve always thought it better to be killed by a tiger than to die a totally unadventurous death 🙂
there were even times when i was beginning to be put off, but told myself that it was all happening for the best. after all, i was a part of a group. and it was teaching me the much needed lessons in being patient and accomodative.
3) the stay
at nagarhole, all the lodges were full and we were wondering where we’d crash for the night. like i mentioned, my friends weren’t the kinds who’s just crash by the roadside ;o) so guess what we did? we were at a bar. nothing major, just a lil tavern of sorts in that little town called kutta. we went there for a couple of drinks. and then we requested the owner to let us spend the night there! after much pleading, begging, and what not, he finally agreed.so thats where we slept – just the four of us, with nobody around but the sounds of animals, frogs and crickets!
4) the animals
this is not entirely unexpected.we were going to a national park, so we’d obviously expect to sight animals, u’d be thinking. it is the numbers – we saw so many, that i suppose we could call ourselves lucky.
deer – spotted, sambhar, barking.
a few monkeys (wonder why we did not spot too many of them – will have to look up and check the ecosystem).
birds, the names of which only one of the guys knew and i, unfortunately, do not recall.:(
wild bison – gaur
lastly, my fav was the malabar giant squirrel. this thing was huuuuuge, black and red in colour. it was superb to find this helluva big fellow jump across trees, with the branches swaying due to its weight.
no tigers though. and i’d expected this bit – i have been reading too many reports of the second tiger crisis and how the whole ‘project tiger’ is turning out to be a big bunch of crap 😦
5) the rain
this was on my way back, when i was motorcycling as usual. from hosur, all the way to madras, which is some 300 km, it was raining. and i mean RAINING. sheets of rain, just pouring, almost continuously, without respite. saw all types of it during the next 5 hours or so – small drops, like stings. big drops, like stones. vertical rain, skewed rain, even rain that at one point seemed to be almost horizontal. and it was one mother of a downpour i tell u, no kidding. almost nil visibility, i was just riding in approximation, hoping to keep the mobike on the road, soaking wet. i mean down till my underpants and all.
am sorry there aren’t any photos – like i said, i am yet to own a cam. have been saving up, and once i have enough money to buy a decent SLR, i’ll bombard this place with photos! yes, there was a cam with one of the guys, but i have no idea when he is going to pass them on to me. if he does, i shall be glad to share them with u folks. oh, and if u’ve come this far, thanks for the patient reading. phew…
love u all so very much,