Journey Continues – In search of the Unexpected

The break was just required for me to take a short nap; here I am to continue the story, in precise terms, magical journey. Let us go!!!

Expect the unexpected – These were the exact words Kartik told us once we stepped into the town. Our plan had been a simple one – Visit the temple, do the Giri-valam and en-route visit the Gingee fort. We finalized this plan when we were settling ourselves in Hotel Ramakrishna. The waiter serving us was kind of funny. As his reaction for even the simple order of 3 coffees was as if Simbhu’s movie was a Super hit. Totally odd. But, he gave us the idea to park our bikes in the Bike stand next to the Bus terminus and vouched for his safety, but retaining his funny response style. Phew!! We packed our bags with enough eatables and headed off in the direction of the temple.

Temple was unusually crowded with a bunch of archaeology guys smearing black powder all over the walls and a political group occupying a significant area of the temple. Deciding to save time, we moved on towards the mountain. There we were in a dilemma, unable to choose between what to do. Water melons or Tender Coconut! At last we voted for tender coconut and asked the vendor lady how much did it cost? Instantly she replied, “Pathu rooba Sir!” (Ten Rupees). We asked for 4 coconuts. A foreigner approached the same shop and asked for the same, not ours though. The vendor lady said without flinching, Fifteen rupees. I was actually thinking if that’s what is called technically as Foreigner’s Currency Translation Difference. Hmmm… Got to see a lot of that here. But we heard a different voice behind us. “Not one more step. I’ll hit you arsehole”. Huh?? We were startled. A lady, c/o. foreign country, directed these words to a desi looking stalker cum guide. As if nothing had occurred he curtly replied, “I’ll curse you”. Rubbing salt to the injury she just lifted her finger that was the longest and gestured it to the guy. Fearing further surprises, we rushed in search of the path, since our guide Mr. Kartik couldn’t recollect where exactly it started. Dumbo!!

At last he found it. The place appeared really silent and abandoned. We 4, walking alone (!!!) in an abandoned mountain path, were just an invitation for the trained thieves or robbers to have a field day. A hush in the path, we could see a foreigner approaching us. As usual, we smiled and said a big Hi to him. But, he folded his hands and gestured Namaste. That was a tight slap and a stern reminder that others know our culture and we are just abandoning those. He hinted that there was a cave on the mountain top, known as Amma Cave, which was an ideal meditation place and asked us to follow the arrows that lead us there. We are guys and our plans are never final until we do it. So, we abandoned our visit to Gingee fort and started in the direction of the cave. The path was really like Wow!!-Real-adventure-at-last one. Me and Kartik took the lead and headed upwards the mountain following the arrows. Climbing made Rambo a bit tired and we encountered out first checkmate. No arrows. We were in a dilemma whether to return back or search for arrows by walking upwards. Golden Rule at dilemma is always – TRUST YOUR INTUTION. I thought to push a bit upwards and had Kartik following me at a safe distance with Adi and Rambo waiting for our call. Presto!! We found our arrow about 100 feet upwards. We found a flat rock on which we rested for about 10 mins and took a few snaps again (Camera irukku la). We saw two huge rocks connected by another rock in the adjoining mountain top. I felt an urge to stand in between those huge rocks and shout out aloud, I had such an urge coz I fear heights. We had a schedule on hand and Sun was coming hard on us, so we headed towards the arrows but my heart dying for the other mountain top.

The path was too rugged and was tough to walk on. We took occasional breaks and just kept moving. Guess what. The unexpected happened. We reached the Cave and the cave was just next to the two big rocks I mentioned earlier. I just jumped in joy. I and Kartik ran out till the edge of the mountain to confirm that we were on the right mountain. We were very much on track. I have no words to describe the joy I had on reaching the top. There is a saying Joy overcomes the worst of the Fears. That came out true. I stood on top of the mountain fearless (not exactly fearless, my legs were doing one hell of Moonwalk that puts even MJ to shame). We celebrated our first unguided trekking conquest with chocolates and Glucon-D. Check out the photos to get the good picture of the fun we had. But all this fun was dried down by the fact that there was no such CAVE thing. It was just a normal meditation spot. Phew!! We had to walk all the way down and resume our Giri-valam again. Remember, we still had 12 kms to walk and it was already noon.

Again change of plans, Kartik silently called me and asked me to drive straight to Gingee fort en-route without informing the other guys since they were too tired for another hike. I obliged as it is once in a lifetime trip. To our surprise we had company, a doggie. It started following us from the mountain path and halted everywhere when we stopped for breaks. It was a great time to chat, excepting the hot sun burning our very bones. Since I ran out of company to speak to, I started playing songs in my mobile and sang with it, (I am neither Elvis Presley nor A.R.Rahman, but definitely not unbearable kinda singer). We walked for two hours and the dog kept following us. We halted and inquired to a few guys about the other mountains around. One lil guy named Mani said there was a place called “Nandi-vaai” (Literally meaning the mouth of Nandhi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva), which was accessible from the Ramana Maharishi Ashram. Yeah, we had our next visit planned out. It took us nearly 4 hours to complete the hike and we reached the road by 3.00 PM with our loyal friend following us till the very end. Exhausted beyond comprehension, we took an auto till the bike stand to retrieve the bike and headed to Hotel Virudhunagar for lunch. I ordered a Pulao and other three ordered NV meals. Eating it was like watching Nalanthana song from Silambattam. So I returned it and ordered Veg-meals. I am not gonna describe you the items from the menu so don’t you worry.

Off We Go.

It was 3.45 and we thought it would be better to start back to avoid driving during the night. Against our plans Rambo took the rider’s place and I was to sit in the pillion with that misfit helmet, it was punishment, really. We convinced him to head to Gingee fort, but on reaching there we found that, there wasn’t much to see under the hot sun. So, our adventure having ended, we thought it would be best to ride with fewer halts to make it home in time. But riding in the right direction can lead us home; whereas I and Rambo took a road that we thought takes us home. Adi called us after we crossed 4 miles in the wrong direction and asked us to return. Thank Goodness!! Had we rushed, we might have reached Madurai. We had tender coconut and resumed our journey, in the right path.

Home Sweet Home!!!

Alas, we reached Kartik’s home by 7.45 where Maheima (Adi’s better-half) had a great fried rice and Gobi fry for us waiting. I ate to my fill and with tiredness in my body; happy memories in heart and Costing class in the morning took my bike back home. Home at last. One more thing guys!! I didn’t go by bike and went by a car only. Remember Car!! That’s what I have said to my people. Let this be a secret……

All the time I had was to crash into my bed and dream about the day and plan for the next journey – Operation Parvatha-malai. Probably by the end of May.

I wish the fun lasted a bit longer

And my legs were much stronger

My heart longing for more this summer,

Hope is what makes this Nocturnal Bird sing forever.

Check out the pictures here – http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=kartiksrinivasan1987&target=ALBUM&id=5442773677451963009&authkey=Gv1sRgCO3f2cyGoqjRMQ&feat=email

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shiva
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 09:59:26

    I was expecting something spectacular to unearth after the buildup, though a good one.

    I feel the ones involved with it would have loved it da than others (my opinion though) because we are unable to connect. Being disconnected, I wasn’t able to appreciate your ride.

    Slightly confusing areas:

    1. You had parked your bikes (oops car) in stand and how come kartik asked you to drive straight to gin-gee fort.

    2. Did you complete the Girivalam.

    3. What happened to the Dog? Did you kill him or gave something to eat.

    Things i want to tell you.

    This could have been condensed and completed in one part even though it was a slightly lenghthier one. To come back and be disappointed. Hmmm…

    Could have inserted some clips.

    Conclusion

    This will be superb, interesting and exciting for those involved in the trip, (deja vu) but for others…

    Kandasamy or SMS fulfilled the expectation compared to this. Sorry if this a bit harsh.

    All the best for the future blogs

    Reply

  2. Shiva
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 10:00:57

    PS: What does Noodles Soup means.

    Shiva

    Reply

  3. Divya
    Mar 13, 2010 @ 14:30:35

    worst fellow y do u hav to giv reference to Simbu time and again?????

    Reply

  4. chandru
    Mar 15, 2010 @ 16:31:50

    TRUST YOUR INTUTION – manasula ennna raghavan’s instinct nnu nenappa

    Reply

  5. Aditya Ravindran
    Mar 25, 2010 @ 04:16:22

    I waited to complete my blog to read this. Your narration is very good and I became nostalgic reading the article. This trip will definitely be remembered for a long time to come. You had covered some points which I hadn’t and thats good. For my narration on the same adventure visit http://onlyfact.blogspot.com/2010/03/destination-mystery-land.html
    Read and enjoy. Will plan another such experience.

    Reply

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