Sunday, September 03, 2006

Kodai Chronicles

The semester had begun and things had settled down and things were starting to get boring when rumours started flying around that we would be going for tour. With time, rumour became reality and we found that we would be going on an "educational" tour to two places Kodaikanal and Munnar. Organized with exemplary "precision" by Venkat, Ram, and Siva, in the end it was deemed a "grand success". The fees for the whole affair was never really fixed, what with people making last minute changes to the schedule, the principal butting his head in to find fault and exert his non-existent authority, and students bringing wrong amounts and begging for some with their friends.

On the first day, we went by the Vaigai express, a pretty uneventful journey, and reached Dindigul by evening. It was here that news reached us that Anna University had released the results for the previous semester. Raja Deepak managed to get a good friend of his to call him long-distance all the way from home and recited everyone's number to him over the phone, while the good (or bad, depending on what news he said) samaritan raked up a huge phone bill. Barath however was insistent that he be not told the results. News spread like wildfire, and soon Raja was surrounded by a gang of giggling second year girls wanting to know how they'd fared (Much to certain people's consternation). He finally managed to extricate himself and we made for the waiting van. The van stopped at a small restaurant just about to close and we had a hasty couple of Dosas, before the long ascent into the mountains. The van had a cassette player, but played it at 1.5x speed, resulting in terrible music becoming terribler.

We reached Kodaikanal in the wee hours of the morning and stood shivering while the rooms were being allocated. We found ourselves crammed into rooms that had absolutely nothing worthwhile. Everyone decided it was time to party, and got out the bottles. Soon everyone was pretty intoxicated, Raja and me being exceptions, having only sipped a little each. This went on to give us all a few comic incidents, which I do not know would be alright to mention. We went out for a walk and came back to sleep in the morning, while everyone else was waking up. We were supposed to have started off by eight, but we only woke up at ten and well it was very funny.

First we went to a totally useless place called the Coaker's walk. It was a kilometre long stretch and was suppossed to give you a breathtaking view of Kodaikanal (with shops selling odds and ends at breathtaking prices), but the fog was so thick we were not able to see beyond our nose and had to make do with looking at all the shops. At one place a guy was making a fast buck writing people's girlfriends' names on a grain of rice and putting it in a small container of water. Raja got his inscribed with you know who's (or you dont know who) name and gave it to me for safe keeping. We spent an obscenely long time there, while the other van consisting of the other class guys had long gone.

We got into the van and made our way towards the Guna caves, after a completely boring stop at some place called the pine forest. We went through the broken barriers that were supposed to prevent people from getting across and killing themselves. We jumped across two-hundred feet deep ravines and went to a really high over-hanging cliff. I went to the edge and peered down and saw the sky. I was able to see nothing but clouds, but they were all below us. It was a dizzy experience, which can happen to you if you lose track of the position of the horizon.

Well I have described to you approx twenty-four hours worth of the tour till now. I will do the rest in the next post. I would have done it all in one post, but you most probably wouldnt have cared to read so long a post and would have gotten away with a "Nice post man" comment or something like that.

Bowing out.