Monday, March 28, 2011

The Awesumm wala trip's travelogue Day 5!!

Day 5!! I know this is coming very delayed…so might miss a point or two. Don’t think you would complain. Being a travel day, with people dozing off and sun beating down, there aren’t any pics either to write home about.

So day 4 ended with Neelu crying like a 4 yr old “Mela acha waala chhabun kahan gaya?” (or something like that), disturbed sleep for many, chest congestions for Santosh and me.

So Day 5 began with…yeah again heaps and pile of idli, dosas and poori bhaji, for which Santosh, Anish, Body and I couldn’t be part of this time. Santosh and I went to see a hospital. Actually a single room (maybe 15’X15’) divided into 4 by partitions. After 45 minutes of wait, we realized doctor isn’t coming to clinic now and the doctor present, an obstetrician, wouldn’t have been able to help much.

We got Aneesh for company and marched towards the Mahavir Jain bhojnalaya from Day 4. By 12 we had to leave the cottage and munnar. Deepika utilized the rest of morning in catching some sleep, which Daisy and Neelu, by the music produced by their respiratory tracks, denied her in night.

The next destination was Kodaikanal and by some heroic search by Blackberry boys, we had found ourselves a place to stay in KK. In couple of jeeps, we started. The jeeps would take away only to a destination from where we could get a bus.

The destination, the name of which I have forgotten by now, had a very good biryani place. And people hogged upon delicious biryani, with Divya complaining about non-availability of Nimbooz. With stomachs full, nobody was in the mood of topsy-turvy ride of the bus, equivalent to erstwhile blulines of Delhi. So we hired a couple of Sumos, and reached KK by late eve.

Again a day had been lost in travelling and that had been point of contention when Neha and Chiru got involved in minor altercation, which I being most responsible of all, sorted out peacefully (by telling both of them to shut up). I have seen it before. Large group, long trip, tired legs and minds do create some disturbances. Nothing to blame people about. And by same standard the trip was “extremely peaceful” :)

I, Santosh, Neha, Deepika and Daisy decided to stay back at the hotel, while people went for dinner. Dinner wasn’t playing on our (santy's and mine) mind when we understood we had to walk uphill 1 km, on way back. L But the guys didn’t let us starve and we relished upon chicken fried rice and chilly chicken brought by them. In the meantime India somehow managed to win against Netherlands in a group match.

There was a hurry to sleep in rooms not occupied by either of snorers, the group that was now joined by Anish and Body as well.

Although I slept early owing to bad cold, but people did have fun in late night’s poker session, the details of which can be sought by the participants. The cold has been a nemesis. It has taken away from me, much more than the CFO position that day. I announced Neelu as my successor, for good or bad it remained to be seen…
End of day 5....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Awesumm wala trip's travelogue Day 4!!

I was definitely amongst the stupid ones to not see in advance how cold munnar could have got. Early morning wind were the chilliest I had experienced in a long time (I did give delhi winters a miss because of our IIMK academic schedule).

The cottage caretaker came to take order for the breakfast and I asked him to bring 5 of each of the items he named. Of course there was a rush for bathroom as hot water wouldn’t have continued for eternity. And considering we had been travelling entire day before nobody except Neelu could have thought about skipping the bath.

We literally pounced upon the food when it arrived. Everybody was so hungry that we had to repeat the order. Neha, meanwhile got angry as people didn’t leave anything for Daisy (and Devakee) as they were busy under shower when food supplies came. Second food suppiles came and got finished in no time. Morning coffees and teas never felt so good against the chilly wind blows of Munnar. I had 3 cups of coffee, a personal record.

We had called for two commander jeeps to take us around in town. After having loads of jokes cracked on Daisy and Neelu over their snores, we made a move to explore the hill station. There are three directions roads take us to in Munnar. We could at most cover two directions in one day.

The first destination was some screwed up flower garden. Why I said it was screwed up, was the fact that they wanted us to shell 20-30 Rs (plus 50 for each camera that we take inside), to see a place with randomly grown plants, some of which had few colored something at their branch ends. We stopped there to provide for holistic satisfaction of shutterbugs accompanying us. Of course they were seeing the first of million tea gardens that we saw on our trip.

The next 3-15 (I can’t remember the number) destination were named as “'X' Point”, with X standing for words like Photo, shoot, 'Y' View (with Y standing for words like valley, moutain etc), chunnu, munnu, tilli, villi etc. ‘Pleasantly surprised’ was my reaction when people unanimously decided to skip all of those. With that pace we could have made the record of going in all three directions in a single day.
The next point we stopped for was some Elephant ride place. Chiru’s troubles got a positive reinforcement by seeing elephants shitting all over the place. We could see the unrest clearly on his face (Santosh claimed he saw unrest over his lower tummy too).

Next we made way for the damn oops Dam.

Everybody tried their “Shooting Balloon” skills. Three people actually managed to hit the balloons they were aiming for. Divya looked very funny with her shooting stance, barrel over her shoulders.

There was another smaller Dam, where few of us chose to enjoy a pony ride. Others including me, found a dhaba serving delicious vegetable maggi, omlette and another dish (which I can’t recall now). Divya had been crying to go to this place, where adventure sports were being held. So we had to make an early move from the place. We stopped at another view point with Santosh daring to taste chocolate tea from a stall named after Anish.

We faced our first dissentment as Neha, Daisy, Chiru, Deepika and Devakee found the adventure sports idea too risky. And santosh rejected the idea to split. And Body, Divya and I wanted to go for the adventure rides. (The reason that they were for free was another incentive). Finally we split up and group of 6 left for the adventure sports, but it was joy to find out later rest 6 turned up to. After 2 hours (most of it involved in waiting for our turn), we made our move back to the cottage. We stopped at a place called Mahavir Jain bhojnalaya for dinner, where food was of decent quality. Santosh disagreed (dying to dig his teeth into something meaty)

At night it was heavily debated, in a light tone of course, what to do with the snoring people. I had troubled cough sequence everytime a joke was cracked, which in all probability ended with Neelu maiking an entry in his diary!! :P

We somehow managed to sleep. By this time snorers campaign had claimed two more victims in form of Body and Anish. The four distinct yet rhythemic sounds, with their unique composition could have put even Yanni to shame. Deepika couldn’t appreciate an orchestra of such great quality and finally surrendered by moving into common room, finding respite on a chair.

to be continued.....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Awesumm wala trip's travelogue Day 3!!


Day 2 had been very good. The problem with Day 3 was that we would have spent almost whole day travelling. Anu had to leave for Trivendrum airport which reduced the travellers’ number to 10. The next destination was Munnar, a not so commercialised hill station famous for Tea Gardens. The trouble was our train would have taken us to Angamali, from where we would have found some way to go to Munnar.

Now, all the high maintenance people had been converted to low maintenance. So we boarded a bus from Angamali to “something something”. Now “something something” was a crowded urban area. We waited at the bus station for a bus for munnar. People had early morning idli vada as breakfast in the train, so they found a bakery cum juice shop to their respite.

After a wait of about 40 minutes, bus did arrive. We managed to find 10 seats and quickly went into sleep mode. Chiru and Aneesh had few troubles because of bus travel but we had to wait till next 12 hours before we got our first casualty to “loose motions”

Deepika and Shaily had reached Munnar in advance and booked a good cottage for us. During the last hour of travel, most of us realised it was cold out there and very few had actually got garments for the purpose. Thanks to Anu I had a jacket that was able to cover my arms till my elbows and my waist 3 inches above my belt buckle. But beggars couldn’t have been chosers.

In this part of our travel, Neha and I invented a game of conversating only in questions. (Credits shared with Luniya). Neelu and Divya joined and then I wasn’t proud of being a co-inventor of the game. We had dinner in supposedly the best non-veg restaurant. They didn’t serve boneless chicken. So I was disappointed as were my fellow meaty-mates.

Cottage was great and we felt like one big family in that bedroom with 5 beds. Adjoining were 3 bathrooms, which did have geysers but hot water was avaiable only in wee hours (7-9 am). Few of us took baths with that freezing water.

The following day wasn’t going to be good for Santosh and me. But before that the night wasn’t going to be great for few more, as were going to discover the power of “The snore”. And Daisy wasn’t alone this time. When I and Body made way to our beds, we couldn’t stop laughing (for me read coughing as well), when every moment was coupled with snoring music composed by Daisy and Neelu. We somehow got to sleep. Day 4 was bekoning us.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Awesumm wala trip's travelogue Day 2!!

While sleeping late on Day 1, we knew we had an early start next day. Santosh Hegde, seemingly most responsible on the location and the occasion, ensured that everybody got ready well before the ususal “just in time”. The three chettas from the day earlier were bang on time with their off white ambassadors. After a 30 minute ride and semi-altercation over the enhanced desired price by them, we reached Trivendrum station.

The first thing we discussed was about the extravagent nature of our meals. Everybody agreed with the cause and we made a great beginning by having brunch at “sasta and tikau” Indian coffee House. The bill was INR 600ish. I felt a great respite as FO (the C had been dropped by then or it wasn’t…damn as if it made any difference)

We got sleeper unreserved tickets, which ensured better rest for our asses, all for Rs 60 a piece. A lot of people had been woken up untimely. So, 20 minutes into the ride and they were almost snoring on whichever empty births they could find. Few of us, i.e. Neelu, Aneesh, Daisy and I played cards.

Can’t remember the exact time but it wasn’t long before we reached Kanyakumari. With eco-mode still playing on minds, we took affordable yet decent accomodation, adjacent to the railway station. The sample room shown to Aneesh and Body, found their acceptance. Only later did they found that sample was immediately booked by some fellow and Aneesh couldn’t do ‘it’ in Indian styled loo. So we had to upgrade one of the rooms to have Aneesh’s butts pleased (and even mine after the ‘magic’ time)

Without wasting any time, we set off for Vivekananda Rock memorial. The ferry ride was memorable to say at least with wild waves and dirty life-jackets. We warmed up our eyes by ‘checking out’ some salwar-kurti clad firangans and then compared them to girls accompanied by us- no chunni, no pallu, and no ghoonghat. :P

We were among the last to get off the little island, not because any of us had a great interest and passion about the historical significance of the memorial, but because we had 11 crackpots, all looking for getting the next 200 of their facebook profile pics. We found childlike pleasure in spotting crabs, wishing for a fish to be able to return back into the sea after been lashed onto one of the steps and seeing ephermal rainbows resulting from the misty air created when waves lashed onto the memorial walls.

The windy surroundings were romantic for “few” and introspective for others. I could easily see people lost in thoughts. Somehow sea, horizon, sky etc. makes people think long term, I guess.

Anyways, we were hungry after returning back from the memorial. ICH food had long been converted into joules and calories and was more than spent in posing for photographs. But we wanted to see the meeting point of three waters. While others took a pass a bit earlier, I , neelu and Divya went till the southernmost point of Indian mainland (at least we believed it to be) and enjoyed waves crashing against us from the three directions. Aaakchhoooo…there I got my first sneeze of the trip. We caught up with others at some idli-dosa place and gobbled up whatever someone suggested and we ordered.

People then left to do their respective shopping and retiring for the day, while we three reached back at the small beach to enjoy “Mirchi ke pakode”. We prayed at the Tsunami memorial and spent couple of hours having nice long chat around life and philosophy. :)

We reached hotel, and watched some WC match, while people enjoyed the noble liquid. The eco mode had been a great success, and we wanted to have Chinese food as a celebration. We found a place, whose owner asked us to not pay the bill, if we didn’t like their food. Food was good amidst some great Murder film tracks (only hindi music available there).

We made our way back to hotel amidst, few dogs calling each other names. A few ladies got worried for Aneesh, lagging behind while talking to his sweetheart over the phone. Everybody managed to return unscathed. While most people retired shortly after, Body, Aneesh, Neelu and I played 29 for couple of hours. Daisy provided background score with his Snores.

And, then “Magic Nite” bagan. We showed card tricks one by one. Finally we decided to record the combination of them all. Body was the magician and I had to play the innocent audience who had been summoned to take part. Had a hearty laughing time and before we could realise, santosh came to wake us up. Day 3 had begun.

The Awesumm wala trip's travelogue Day 1!!

We deboarded the train at Trivendrum, 3 taxis took us to a seemingly economic accomodation (later we found, we were paying much more than what it was worth for). Anyways, the sun was out and we couldn’t wait much to take a plunge into the sea. We made our way to the nearest beach (except Divya, whose stomach gave her troubles yet again). The beach was totally sunsaan, with small dead fishes spread all over, dogs and crows feasting upon them. And the waves were wild; the ground seemed to have a steep slope into the sea.

We decided to make a move to a little more inhabited beach. Moving south we found one within 400 mtrs. All of us threw ourselves into the waves, with daisy and me getting bruises. Of course Daisy had someone to take his care :P
At lunch we crashed in a place called “The lobster Pot”, an expensive place where we got 4Kish bill without even appetisering our not so little stomachs. CFO went cashless for the first time.

It was decided that we would move to the Lighthouse after bathing with fresh water at our residing place (I would rather not call it a hotel). Girls understandably took time to dress up. Combined with that, a false assurance of Lighthouse entry till 7pm, made us reach late. All we could manage was few pics besides the tower.

For a early dinner we found a first floor restaurant, with a nube as its waiter, who was as unsure of the menu and the dishes as manmohan singh, when he was made Prime Minister of India. High on trip enthusiasm, we ordered in excess of 5600 and “toing”, one day into the trip and we were (each) already 1.5K down, with more expensive destinations still to come.

Then people (read girls along with poor boys who were their friends) dispersed into nearby shops to shop. While 4 of us Me, Neelu, Aneesh and Body, doing some eye-warming exercise. Then the waiter from the restaurant came to thank us, seeking our next visit. We told him about our plans to go to Kanyakumari, for which he suggested some place belonging to one of his friends. The follow up discussion turned into light-humored way of making us realise how people were not so fit in our group and we couldn’t resist gigging, though later felt bad for it and apologised to concerened people.

Autowallahs literally looted us by asking for 125 bucks for less than 2 Kms distance. One even coated 400, upon which I angrily replied “why not show a knife and then loot me?” (the incident later on gave birth to the dual-theories propounded by Neelu.

Engalnd was playing Ireland and when we retuned to our lodge, all tired and down, found Ireland has successfully chased a 300 plus target. Daisy went to sleep early. Then others followed. Not very late into the night Chiru and I heard Divya’s scream. We thought matter to be serious and tried to follow the voice, only to find Divi, along with Body, Neelu and Anish were chillaxing over the terrace.

Chiru said he is going to retire while I made my way up, explaining them the scenario I thought woken me up from half slumber state. They joked about me and chiru sneaking out for privacy. Within few minutes I came to know about what was the discussion all about. Triggering from auto incident, Neelu was saying it was “human behavior” to get the maximum out of the situation and 125 was our “individual threshold”. So the overpricing was justified.

After over 2 hours of pointless blabber (which included few ghost stories, scheduled to make a comeback in Ooty later in the trip), we went to sleep. The same cab drivers who dropped us at the lodge had agreed to take us back to Trivendrum station next morning. The Day 1 had ended.

To be continued……

The Awesumm wala trip's travelogue Day 0!!

What does MBA (oops Post Graduate Diploma in Management) teaches you? We employed all of that while setting off on our (11 later 10 later 12 amazing people) great South India trip.

Doing things “just in time”, in accordance of principle of “time value of money” (spending extravagantly early in the trip, to realize self on Eco mode 2 days into the excursion”, “money value of time” (i.e deferring time expenditure on an activity), “last mover’s advantage” (cuz anyways the ones to get ready have to wait for the ones who dress up last, not always girls, in this case), “Dual leadership” (cuz everybody needs someone, sometime to blame for something at someplace etc. (a phrase meant to show people/readers to believe you know more than you actually do)

And how could we miss our own contribution to the world of philosophical Jargonology and redefined principles like ABC theory, threshold principal, peer/beer pressure and Human behavior, which in totality can explain any damn event under the sky. More on that, later. Copyrights owned by PartyPPlz.

It all started when we (the PartyPplz, the only college gang with a “Z” in their name) that almost everybody other than them was partying on and off the Kampus. The problem with a big group is that nobody (including me) wants to take initiative upon executing a plan.

Under such trying circumstances, couple of creatures from Venus, took the matter in their hands, roughly outlining the plan for a 10 day excursion of South India. With just two days in beginning planned for (courtesy Indian Railways and their online reservation system), the trip ended up being more random than even what it promised initially.

So, on Mar 1st 2011, 11 people were scheduled to leave Calicut aka Kozhikode for the “Once in lifetime adventure” (damn!! I should have undersold it). 1 hour before the train departure, Neelaksh comes to my room, asking for Iron for he was left with nothing in civilized wearing condition for the trip. Add to that couple of undergarments, which were still wet owing to all year long humid weather of Kerala.
Anyways, we did manage to start “Just in time”, with Neelu even pleading to stop at a juice hawker en-route to station. Everyone was brutal enough to negate the possibility. We arrived at station 15 minutes in advance, with Neelu cursing us for not stopping for his much desired Juice bar.

5 minutes into the events, we found ourselves searching for Neelu’s suitcase (which now had all the clothes that could fit him after a year of swelling up). I went back to the place where we unloaded all the luggage from the cab and upon not-finding the missing suitcase, asked a Police personnel, if he had spotted any unclaimed luggage. Lucky for Neelu (his only clothes that could fit) and for us (as it threatened our entire trip, at the very beginning), we found it in his possession.

Train was already on the platform. And I was made the (C)FO, handling all the common expenses. It was five minutes to the departure when I was told by Anuradha that dominos guy was on his way to deliver pizzas. Shocked initially, I found myself waiting at the station gate looking for dominos guy and train at the same time, cuz as priorities both (cheese burst pizza and boarding the train) felt equally important. With 2 minutes to go for the departure, a call from our bogie pleasantly surprised me when told that Dominos guy had delivered the pizzas in our coach. Dominos Rocks!!

Later, to my disappointment I found that the pizzas were non-cheese burst. It was just 2 hours into the trip and a lot had happened for me to write about. After few couple more people were either dozing off or busy in small talks in small groups. I was simultaneously told that “Plan mein thoda change hone ka”. We were disembarking the train at Kovlam, giving Kanyakumari a miss by a day.

To be continued…….