Happy (much-belated) Twenty-Twelve!
Last post was 49 days ago, so this will be a pretty long one covering two maiden trips, multiple celebrity meetings and probably the worst fortnight of my two-decade old life.
That Madikeri Visit.
So the important meeting one fine afternoon in late November turned out to be about the annual employee excursion. 20 minutes in, we had, much like the Parks and Recreation mural episode, a one is to one is to one is to one is to one is to one.. tie about the place we wanted to go to xD Much later, consensus happened. Madikeri. I was happy as it was a place I hadn’t been to before.
Departure happened on Friday, 2 December at around 9 p.m in a comfortable bus. Comfortable because the seats far outnumbered our site’s modest staff strength :D Arrival happened pretty early in the morning. My initial reaction was “So this is Madikeri. How awesome. I can’t see a thing” =P They don’t call it the Misty City for no reason.
After freshening ourselves up and completing our morning duties at a small, nice place
of stay – something in between a big house and a small lodge :P – we headed to the town centre. I had breakfast a tad quicker than the rest, pulled a couple of colleagues and headed off to the Government Archeological Museum I had spotted on the way down. It wasn’t on our itinerary. If it is old, and if it comes with a story, I sure will find it appealing ;). This museum is housed in a very small, old church (which Google tells me is St. Mark’s Church) inside the Madikeri Fort. It has coins, items of clothing, weapons, literature, art and other century old artifacts that reflect the local history. The wooden and stone carvings, and the stuffed Leopard were my favourites. It definitely is worth at least a 30 minute visit. How can you not be excited about seeings the very things used by people just like us, ages ago? :) Try not to miss it if you’re there. (The museum is open 09:00 to 17:00, except Mondays)
Then we rejoined the rest of the group (who were stiillll having breakfast :P ). I went back to the museum tagging along a different couple, came back, and then all of us proceeded to the Garden that has a Toy Train (The one with Raja’s Seat), much like our Cubbon Park. This was much like our own parks back home in Bangalore, except Mistier :P Much photo-clicking later, we headed out to Talakaveri. After reading/studying quite a lot of poems and stories in school about this place, it was nice to finally be there.
Talakaveri is, ofcourse, where the River Kaveri originates from. This was the first of four encounters with this river on this tour. We went around the temple and trekked up a hill barefoot, much like at my Yana trip earlier this year. There is this ritual where people throw coins and wish (pictured). I had one coin and that landed right where it should :D (See Gallery at bottom of post)
First of the celebrity meetings happened here. Some of us in the group recognised a famous actress (who I did not know). And of course, photo-ing happened. If you know who they are, please do tell! I can say “Yay! I MET *insert name here*!” xD
We then proceeded to Abbey Falls, with a stopover at Bhagamandala, where the second and third encounters with River Kaveri took place. Bhagamandala has a Triveni Sangam where the Rivers Kaveri, Kanika and Sujothi meet. I stayed off the water, as usual. Not much of a fan of deep waters, me. There’s a big temple too. (*Clearly* travel writing isn’t my forte! xD It’s okay, I wanted to try it once. Just once :P ) After lunch at Bhagamandala and an unexpected run-in with some sweet childhood memories (pictured), we got back in the bus and dancing-in-the-aisle-d our way to Abbey Falls.
It was much dark by the time we got to Abbey Falls. The trek from the motor-able road down to the waterfalls was *beautiful*. Again, much like a smaller Yana. Day 1 plans ended with us coming back to our place of stay. Me and BC headed out to the town centre to do some destination-less exploration. I like to try the local cuisine of new places I go to, which is why I disagree with one of those travel agency ad that says “There’s no food like Indian food” . Why go all the way to Switzerland and then eat Dosa-Chutney?! On a related note, I also order ‘un-had’ things on a menu and/or weird items. This can be much #fail though; Chilli Ice-cream isn’t as exotic as it sounds. Never cried eating an ice-cream ever before. :P Back to BCs roaming around Madikeri – We tried to locate an eatery that served the famous Pandhi Curry. We kinda did. And I realised I look more Mallu than I thought I did. Because all of my questions in Kannada to several locals were answered in Malayalam x_x My Kannada does not even have a non-Kannadiga accent; Tons of grammatical mistakes, may be, but NO accent! =P
Day 2 of the trip was my favourite. I came across something I love and something I dislike a lot – Elephants and Deep water, respectively. Dubare was our first of three stops. We did still-water rafting as two teams. (We did still-water rafting-racing?! xD )After rafting back to where we started from, some of us had lunch. I could NOT go away knowing there were Elephants across the river. So again, I tagged along a few colleagues, some almost forcibly :P, to Elephant-ville across the river. Literally across the river. There was this shallow, rocky part that we could wade through to get through to the
other bank. I’m much scared of deep waters after almost drowning on a tour back in 2004. I don’t know swimming, either (Which is really stupid. I must learn soon). I’m pretty sure the river was calm and all that, but in my mind, I was crossing this x_x. I was doing it too slow too. Every one who started with me reached the other bank before I was a little more than half way through. But I did it. And it felt awesome! :) Onward to my reward, the majestic Elephants.
I have an obsession with Elephants. And Snakes. Both are so.. nice. Overpriced Elephant ride happened. And thus, another thing on my Bucket List was checked-off. There was very-mild animal-cruelty involved. That made me really sad. :( Of course, after that exhilarating ride and walk back to the bank, I realised a not-so-fun realisation; I had to cross the river back! x_x I did. That was fun, thinking of it now, from my very dry and not wet Sofa. That was much fun.
Nisargadhama was our next destination. We had lunch there, at a fancy place, that played Kolaveri on loop as long as we were there. I don’t know why – I’m usually almost always up for any kind of travelling – but I decided to stay back in the bus and not enter Nisargadhama. Apparently, I didn’t miss much. I think the river thingy sapped all my physical and mental energy.
Seeing we still had an evening left with all planned places already visited, after more one is to one is to one.. votes, we decided on Brindavan Gardens. We saw the musical-fountain performance, started on our way back home, had dinner at a dhaba 20 minutes from home and then finally reached home! :P So yes, 52 hours of fun. Now that I’ve no more an employee there, this is one awesome memory to have of the place. I’ve always felt bonding happens better over tours. Undergrad Class tour of Uttara Kannada in April 2011, in our final year, probably brought some of us closer than the preceding four years did :)
Ah yes, I know. Picture quality is terrible. That’s the best my Nokia C1-01 could do. Sony Cybershot W530 has been bought. Expect crisper pictures in future posts :) (And Congratulations Felix, this is now the longest post in the 17-month existence of Bleh! :P)
The Maiden Metro Ride
The sunday after the Madikeri visit. Me, BC and another colleague, after the half-day
work, decided to watch a movie. Since there were no good movies to watch, we decided to test ride the Metro, making us, officially, the last of Bangaloreans to ride our pride! :P We rode from MG road to Byappanahalli and back again. While having a belated lunch at the MG road KFC, BC’s phone rang and much excitement happened. Apparently Asif Ali was shopping in a shopping centre nearby. At that point in time, I had no clue who Asif Ali was. (Now I know, but I still haven’t watched any of his movies.) We joined the phone-call friend (an awesome guy, I must say. More ‘Mutual Friend Friending’ :P), Here also photo-clicking happened. As a bonus, we also found Ann Augustine shopping with Asif Ali. She, I knew. Finally! Someone famous that I met that I knew! :P
This post has been in the drafts stage since forever and I am *so* happy that I’ve completed it, after a six-hour typing marathon (I really have no idea why I take so long to type so little). This post is (boringly) long enough without the worst fortnight of my two-decade old life part. Maybe some other day, that. Or may be not.
Tehehe. Procrastination had won so far. But my OCD-ness was the eventual winner. Did *not* want to miss out of January in the list on the right of your page. ;) Also, on January 28, I headed down to our stadium to watch Kerala Strikers v Telugu Warriors. Pliss to add 30+ celebrities to the list, including The Mohanlal, Bhavana, Venkatesh and more. Sigh, I am star struck easily.
I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them ~ Mark Twain
I am the answer. Kilometers and kilometers.. In these days of degenerating decencies of Miami beach to Washington when diplomacy and duplicity become interchangeability of from complicated America to America ~ The Mohanlal in Mazha Peyunnu Madalam Kottunu xDb
The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff ~ Britney Spears
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. With much adoration, with much grief, with many memories, I dedicate this post to the memory of the Wonderful Brightie, Tejal. We have lost a world, indeed.