Sunday, September 18, 2005
My kerala trip part 1
Well i'll be going for the chronicling stuff with retrospective effect...so i'll start with one of the most enjoyable trips i have had in my entire life. That will be my December trip to Kerala, alongwith my family (parents n bro). This trip was in stark contrast to the one we had undertaken earlier in the year when we had gone on the haridwar-hrishikesh-kedarnath-badrinath route. That had been more of a pilgrimage, bitter cold, harsh environs, shabby lodging, and i wont even begin to talk about the food. Suffice to say, it was tough on the body and tough on the mind but that made it very a very special trip indeed. I'll never forget the 14 km walk/trek upto kedarnath...it was amazing...one of the best experiences of my life. The sheer up-climb, the glimpses of snow-clad mountains in the distance, always beckoning, the roar of the mandakini as it flowed alongside in the gorge all made for a heavenly experience. Add to that the multitudes of people, the khacchars (mules, for the uninitiated), the dolis, the pitthus, the coolies, the roadside(or gorgeside, for that matter) tea stalls, and u have the general picture of something unforgettable. The kerala trip, on the other hand, was pure indulgence. Comfort, luxury, good food, even better sights. Kerala has everything to offer - from hills (munnar) to forests and lakes (periyar) to beaches (allepey) to commercial centres (kottayam/ trivandrum).The trip started on a rather ominous note when i broke my glasses on the morning we were supposed to leave for calcutta. I was playing cricket (december is the time u play cricket, don't blame me!) and somehow, the ball found its way to my specs, of all days, on that day. I was initially psyched out but, somehow, managed the situation by running to the optician (i actually availed the bus service, though i cud have driven the scooter, but my mom wud have none of it), and we were able to reach calcutta on time. Dinner was on the Shatabdi Express since we were travelling executive class (for those who haven't guessed, my father's company was paying for the trip...wat do they call it...LTA i guess). We had our flight the next afternoon and it was a rather strange setup. My brother was going on the Sahara flight and we had the IA flight to madras and then we had a connecting flight to Trivandrum. As luck wud have it, both the flights got delayed (for very separate reasons!) and we missed our connecting. This incidentally was the first time i was on a flight (actually once b4 at the age of 10 months, so i discount that) and i did quite well for myself.This though, resulted in some fun actually as IA had to put us up at a nice hotel and all with buffet dinners and hot tubs and large screen tvs and what not. Quite nice, very nice, in fact. Who knows when i'll be able to afford such luxury, so enjoy while u have it. Two international flights later, we landed in cochin and on the way, befriended a local family who gave us a lift to the city (thereby saving us 1000 bucks). This now...rest will follow later.