Monday, February 5, 2007

My most adventerous act - Travelogue

Disclaimer: I am a very inexperienced blogger. So, you may find lot of unnecessary details or stuff which you can't understand why I included. So, don't expect a great article ahead. I am still improving writing skills.

Travelogue - Shiva Samudram

I toured to some if not several places till now. I went to Manali on a Adventerous Skiing Camp for some basic course. Have done some guided-mountaineering and some climbing on my own. We did rappling and lot of skiing. The entire environment was different and we are on top of the world being at 8844ft above the sea level. Before that I went to several other nearby tourist spots which includes Vizag, Hyderabad, Machilipatnam etc., with friends.

After Manali, the next bigger spot is GOA on a VU graduation tour. We went on air (9th and 10th flight journeys for me) and stayed in good beach resort called RAMADA (next to Taj both in terms of location and quality). After that I toured to Bangalore, Mysore, Tirupathi with my parents and some other relatives as my job party. ;-) Recently, we went to Nandi Hills where 'we' includes other cool VU guys of Versata.

I think I am pretty much deviated from the subject of the blog. So, let me shoot off at the point. Very recently, I have organized a trip with 9 of my M.Tech class-mates and 3 of my B.Tech class-mates. We went to Shiva Samudram, a place well-known for waterfalls near Bangalore in a Tempo Traveller, a pretty decent and comfortable vehicle for all 13 of us. Infact, its been a hassle to collect people and get their acceptance for the tour because only god knows why they agree to come and later drop-out giving some really strange excuses. Atlast we were 13, a decent number for a jolly trip and ofcourse we enjoyed a lot.

Our trip started with tempo reaching our room at around 7:30 a.m. Pavan and myself boarded the vehicle and we first went to Sateesh's room to pick-up Narasimha, Sateesh. From there we went to pick-up Varun, Anirban and Sumit. By the time we reached Shanti Nagar Aditya, DP and Satish are waiting to be picked-up. Next we went to market for last pick-up of Aravinda, his cousin and our esteemed guest of the day Mr.Devendar from Pune. (Effectively, I listed all our names) We took a group snap of all 13 tourists before we rushed out of Bangalore on the superb highway towards Mysore. Except for the initial traffic till the outskirts of Bangalore, the journey started off great on that beautiful road. Junta felt hungry which reminded us of the breakfast. We stopped at a hotel of our driver's choice and had ordered delicious DOSAs and poori sized IDLIs. After teas, coffees and some group snaps we started-off non-stop journey towards the destination.

Someone proposed DumbC for fun on the way, but I have decided to tell them about Lateral Thinking game before that. I explained the game and Junta caught it right away by out-smarting it. The game goes something like this... we start it with a one-liner which is extracted from a good story, not necessarily a movie story-line. It could be a puzzle, short-story, part-of-a-movie, joke-extract and anything you can think about with your unused part of brain. This is a game to make our brain think out of box, but in the process junta may end-up thinking out-of-universe. The same happenned in our case. The players should ask the story-teller, "boolean" questions and get answers like... "Yes", "No", "Irrelevant". A more excited teller can also say... "Very Relevant" if the question asked touches the crux of the story.

I started it with a one-liner... "It suddenly became dark and he jumped out of the compartment." I think Devendar cracked this nut by revealing the actual story which goes like this. "One guy who is born blind goes through lot of miseries through-out his life. He got operated *very* recently and he got his sight. He is travelling in a train enjoying the colours of the nature. The train entered a tunnel and it suddenly became dark. Since, he is new to this world and being unaware of tunnels, he thought that he again became blind. He doesn't want to go through all those miseries again and he jumped out of the train to commit suicide." Isn't it cool??? Tough nut to crack. Cheers to Devendar and others who got important clues in the story.

Second one-liner was... "By the time he touched the ground, he realised his mistake". Pavan cracked this. The story goes like this... "One sardar gets a call from someone who says 'Your son died in an accident.' Receiving this skocking news and being a guy who loves children a lot, he immediately decides to die. On the way during fatal fall, from the top of the building towards the ground... he realised 'Abhey, I don't have a son and that too I am not even married!!!' But it was too late and he died touching the damn ground.

Later we played DumbC which junta enjoyed equally. During this time, Anirban is busy clicking snaps with this brand new Sony Digital Cam, 7.5 MegaPixel, 12x zoom that costs him around 31k bucks. As we know he is a quick learner, he learned taking cool, creative pics by the time we reached the spot. I signed at two places as we entered the water-fall zone. I paid Rs.20/- at one check-post for which I didn't get a receipt. I realized that, I just bribed a security guy. :-(

The first halting spot just gives us a distant view of waterfalls. I felt good because it was my first real sight of a waterfall. There are lots of signs warning/suggesting us to go home safe by avoiding crossing the fences. We took some group snaps there and coconuts. We eagerly headed towards the second spot when we came to know that we can swim and play with waterfalls because that is exactly what we want.

On reaching the second spot, we jumped with joy seeing several other tourists near waterfalls and the noisy waterfalls. We descended hastily and jumped into the chilled water. I stayed with Adi and Satish, while other just moved on to the other falls. We swam across or rather walked across the pond and entered a larger one where there is 50-100ft deep water infront of a higher waterfall. We sat there on rocks amidst the water of great depths. After some time I climbed upon a tree there. We came back and joined the rest of the group.

Its really a great place where we can experience the force of the fall standing under it. You will feel like 'Will this down-pour ever stop..?' I felt this in particular because, there are instances like... someone poured a bucket full of water on us. Then we bear it however forceful the down-pour may be, thinking that 'it will stop in a while'. But here when you are standing beneath the natural fall which is never going to stop (atleast not in near future or long enough to drain all your resistance). So, we just have to quit standing under it to survive. Hope you are wise enough to map this to real life situation, provided that you understood what I am trying to tell. By-the-way, I myself did not understand it completely yet. :-D

Adi, Satish and me climbed the mountain and went up higher to more beautiful falls. Aravind, Devendar, Sumit, Varun et. al are playing at the bottom of the falls while Narasimha, Anirban and DP kept watching. I fell-off a slippery rock and got a few small injuries. But, who cares???

When junta got ready to move-on, we climbed down. We ate some snacks that Aravinda and others brought (Ariselu, Janthikalu, Verusenaga chakkalu, POLOs etc.) I saw monkeys on a near-by tree and climbed the tree, higher than the monkeys. I sat there some time and a monkey started competing for the branch I am sitting on. Junta is worried that, that monkey may jump at any time on this monkey(me). On thier request I climbed down the tree. I took the entire group to the place we 3 played first. We took boats to take us to the waterfalls, but unfortunately they did not allow us to get-down on the rocks near the foot of the falls. So, we climbed off the boats at near-by rocks.

My adventerous act started at this point of time with Deva's idea of just going around. Though Deva meant something else, I planned a big dead. I planned to climb to the top of the waterfalls we are seeing far away. That is no easy terrain and the path I planned is a-bit risky. Obviously, only then I can call it adventerous. Right? I said the plan to Deva and he plainly rejected doing that. I called Satish hoping that he will accompany me, as he was doing the same throught-out and he knows swimming better than me. He too declined the plan saying there is a large gap breaking the path. But, I have different plans reagrding that gap. Finally I've decided to go alone and asked them to just keep watching so that they can immediately call for rescue in case of any unexpected incidents.

I started climbing with full concentration and completely wary about the surroundings. I heard somewhere that we should move like an animal and keep 3 out of our 4 legs stable at any time. I went till the gap very easily. If I am a real monkey I would have jumped to the other end. Unfortunately or fortunately, I am not. I studied the path where I can see a big slope. Good news is that on top of that rock there is a tree whose root is extending down the slope. So, I thought about taking its help, traversed a little back, took a different path and climbed down the slope with the help of that root. Success!!! I made a check-point there. I asked for a snap because anything can happen further. Varun and Anirban has the camera but they are not taking my snaps thinking that would encourage me to take more risks. However, I proceeded towards my target.

Initially I used to think of coming back on the same path. So, I did not take path where I can go but cannot come. But, now there are changes in my plan. I decided to descend on a different path, so I concentrated on climbing in style!!! ;-) There I saw a natural well-like pit filled with water. I didn't try to measure the depth as I have better things to do. I made another checkpoint with a cool snap and then proceeded. I reached the local maxima where the part of the waterfall we see, starts. I have selected a narrow portion of it and I am trying to jump to the other side of the flow. Junta down there started shouting, may be instructing me not to jump because its risky. But, I jumped ignoring them. Later I thought of 'what could happen had I fallen in that stream?' and the answer is I would have descended the mountain without much hassle ;-)

There on the top of the mountain I planted a (virtual) flag and got a snap to show-up people back-home. The new camera had 12x zoom which turned out to be a curseful feature for me because I got a close-up photograph, as if I am standing infront of the camera. :-( I couldn't instruct from there to take a pic such that the viewers can feel the altitude of the place I am standing. Its okay, I have the memories with me. I did a couple of silly things there before moving towards sea level. As I have guessed, my downward journey is quite easier and I am on ground in no time. But, I took the road less travelled and was there on the other side of the pond. Anyhow, I was picked up from there and I joined the group in flying colours. I got all the appraisals and scoldings from my well-wishers.

Then we started back though sad to leave the place. We had water-melon and coconuts as we missed out our lunch. Anirban took some really cool pictures of the scenery as wel as the group and then we headed back home. Most of us changed while some preferred to remain in wet clothes. A normal group will be tired in the return journey, but as you may have sensed... we were not. We stopped near a very long bridge and took some what-we-call creative photographs. Later we say a truck with sugar canes. We immediately stopped there and got few canes to chew on our way. Thus we travelled at our will and stopped at a dhaba for a nice dinner.

I wished we had cots as shown in dabhas in movies. But there weren't any cots so we got tables arranged outside the huts. But the dhoop they used is not able to control the mosquitos, so we shifted into the huts. We ordered the lot of delicious dishes to satisfy our palettes and our appetite. We invited the driver too for the dinner and he preferred eating in separate hut. We had a real hot discussion about non-vegetarianism. As always, none won. But I myself got new points to support my vegetarianism argument. I used to eat egg but recently stopped that too though I have supporting arguments that 'not allowing egg to breed and eat is like family planning or birth control and it is not a murder as is the case with non-veg'. After my yoga classes in ISKON I quit both arguing that and eating egg. Anyways, after the nice dinner we started having taken a group snap at the restaurant too.

We played more lateral thinking with two more interesting stories. Sateesh came up with interesting story line 'He ordered a dish available only on that island and started crying after eating the first peice'. You can stop reading right here and try to guess the story. But, I understand that it is next-to-impossible to guess the correct story-line with all those twists, unless you know the story. The story goes something like this... 'Three guys A, B, C were somehow stuck in an island where there is no food available. B goes to find some food and brings flesh of what-he-says a rare bird. They could not find where guy C is, so A & B eats that and survives till they both get out of the island. Here in this restarant A ordered dish made-up of that rare bird and this tastes different. So, based on this and some conflicts between B & C, A concludes that B killed C and brought his flesh. So, he started crying learning that he ate flesh of his own friend.'

The other story line was from Pavan and Narasimha. The story line is... 'On a summer day he waits for someone and then goes directly to 12th floor but in the rainy season instead of waiting for someone he goes to 10th floor and walks till 12th floor.' What's the reason for him to behave like that and what does seasons have to do with all these? Read ahead if you give-up. The story is... 'The guys is a dwarf and couldn't reach lift buttons. On a summer day he waits for someone long enough to press the 12th floor button for him. On a rainy day, he generally carries an umbrella wityh which he can reach only upto 10th floor button. So, he goes to 10th floor without anyone help and walks-up from there.' Hope you liked these lateral thinking stories as much as we all did.

With all these fun, we reached Bangalore in no time and everyone got down at their respective places. On the whole the trip went well and all of us cherish those moments. Its special for me as I have organized the trip successfully and did my most adventerous activity till now. Now that you wasted a lot of time in reading this no-so-useful blog end-to-end, you can carry on and do some useful work. :-P

Have fun!!!


Sumit Sorde said...

Welcome to the bloggers world dude!
btw ur adventurous acts were good enough to make us (or for that matter anyone) believe in evolution theory :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this.

Anonymous said...

The global economic meltdown has taken its toll on almost all the industries across the globe. Developing countries like India badly suffered in the wake of inflation and recession. Business, that was coming in from the developed countries particularly in the field of IT dropped down drastically triggering off a series of reactions in related industries. Along with business travelers, the number of leisure tourists also dwindled partly because of the sagging economy and partly because of the horrifying attacks of 26/11 in Mumbai. Places of cultural and historical importance like Vishakhapatnam that tourists used to frequent, saw a crucial drop in the number of leisure travelers recently and the occupancy rate of the hotels also went down. Even the start up hotels in Vishakhapatnam, in spite of lowering their rates are witnessing a low occupancy rate. The occupancy rate of the budget hotels in Vishakhapatnam as with the rest of the country has seen as high as a 30% fall in the occupancy rates. Known as the “Jewel of the East Coast” Vishakhapatnam is a very important industrial hub apart from being a tourist destination. In addition, it is very well connected to the capital of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad which is one of fastest growing IT hubs of the country. It is only natural therefore that there are quite a many top class business hotels in Vishakhapatnam. However, the current economic condition has changed the complete scenario and has affected the hospitality industry also.

Anonymous said...

anai Rock on...