Monday, December 05, 2005

From Vazhimutti to Meenmooti!!!

And so it came to pass that eight lazy souls who were the only surviving relics of an unbelievably eventful schoolife had an xmas vacation to spend in trivandrum. The year was 2001 and our final semester of engineering college life was winding its way to the finish line. Thomman, the most dreaded and loved loyolite ever in the annals of the school's history arrived in trivandrum from the NDA. The scars of a disastrous trip to Ponmudi, six months back had barely begun to heal. Under pouring rain seven of us had set out on 4 bikes, but Naga, G-Sec of the CET College Union, the redoubtable SFI leader of a dozen strikes in college and enfant terrible to the College Principal had his reputation in tatters as he fell of his bike thrice with the aid of the rain and a little extra beer to go with it...and the bike he loaned from ponnan looked just a shadow of its old pristine self. To add to it the bike thomman and i were on ran out of petrol and we pushed it in the rain all the way to Vithura which luckily happened to be "only" a few kilometers away. And motta escaped by the skin of his teeth when a flying squad jeep caught him and asked him to blow into the balloon...it wudnt inflate and since then our confidence in KP methods hit sky high. And so Thomman, Muthu, Paili, Raman, Khaja, Motta, Naga and I set off stopping on the way to buy supplies of barotta, beef, kuppis and water.

And thus we set off to the proverbial Meenmooti aided by descriptions of the place from Muthu and me which seemed to coincide. I started having my doubts when we got off at Kallar and began the trek as my earlier visit to Meenmooti had been from the Neyyar dam. Anyways we set off and in 45 mins reached an imposing single peice of rock towering almost 200 feet into the sky at an angle of 60degs. It almost looked like a cave inside and the Kallar river flowed by its side. We wondered for a sec if this was Meenmooti...but the place I had been to with the same name needed 2 hours of trekking thru the forest and there was a waterfall and a TB nearby. Muthu was doubtful as his cousins description of the place they had been to didnt seem to match exactly. And so we walked until we reached a clearing and on two sides there was a deep gorge and a vague path leading into the deep forest. Against our wiser counsel we set off and entered the jungle cracking dialogues like jagathy's in yodha..."ee forest muzhuvanum kaadaanallo" and like. By now it was well past noon and the jungle grew thicker and thicker, the sun's rays barely made it to the ground, and after a while we srarted seeing stones assembled like milekuttis... somebody remarked that this was the tamil nadu-kerala border and we dimwits shook our head in agreement.

Soon the path disappeared and again we kept troding...thoughts of the mythical meenmooti tempting us further and further into the thick rainforest. The tree barks had become so thick even clasping two of our hands around it wasnt enough to cover the diameter, we started seeing giant spider webs with a span of a meter. And then it happened...a load of fresh anappindam!!! A shout of unison was heard among the boys...ente amme...and the next second we ran ahead at breakneck speed(i wonder now we didnt run back!!!)...but it was increasingly becoming clear to me that my meenmooti was elsewhere and we were heading for the wrong track...i made a tepid suggestion but was dismissed rudely...i looked around to build my case and found support in motta and muthu. Khaja and Naga became fencesitters while Thomman, Paili and Raman wanted to push ahead. In normal circumstances with Thomman around I would have kept my cool but I got pissed that his Armyman's bravado was coming in the way of his seeing reason. In a fit of rage I threw my bag to the ground and said I wont move an inch and we had to head back the way we came. Soon sides were taken and a war of words began(I always thought it cliched seeing fights breaking out in movies when ppl got lost but now i realised the psychology behind that!). Soon I had my way and we headed back. But we had hardly taken 50 steps when we couldnt even know which way we came. The forest lay thick and spread in all directions...whatever path was there we had left behind almost an hour ago...

Bickering broke out again on pushing forward but I stood my ground...we were all tensed and the realization of being lost in this jungle dawned...we were still game for jokes though...motta got hold of a branch and started practising tarzan tricks in anticipation of a long spell of forest life...thomman and paili decided to scout the area and there they saw a spring emerging from under a rock and a stream flowing down...paili listened carefully and he heard the sound of a river in the distance...we had followed the kallar upstream for an hour and if we could get to it all we needed was to follow it downstream to reach the rock cave we had seen earlier...for a second we marvelled at paili's genius...he was always belittled with the nickname shishu from school but today he had risen to the occasion while all we self-proclaimed streetsmarts couldnt think straight...by now we had all come to agreement that the cave was meenmooti...and immediately we ran for our lives...on the way we saw a giant giant spider the like of which i'll never see again in my lifetime...we ran at double speed now and a kilometer on we saw the anapindam again...the relief it brought to our face cannot be described but we wondered if the kattana was close by and fled for our lives again!!!

Wearily climbing up a small hillock we had the golden moment of the trip...struggling to climb using a creeper, khaja was miffed to find a lazy and tired muthu hanging on to him in the hope that khaja would lift him up and khaja came up with a repartee i have not heard in the best of malayalam films...."uriyil thoongunnavante pariyil (tvm lingo for ass) thoongunnoda"...hearing this muthu gave a cry of "ente amme" and fell back in resignation while we threw our bags to the ground and broke out in a long long laugh. Although the sun had not set and it was just 4 or 5 in the evening the forest had begun to get dark but we reached the rocky banks of the kallar and followed the river to the cave. On getting to our campspot we just jumped into the river for the refreshing bath of our life...worries about the notorious under-currents which had taken many a young engg and medical student life at kallar was the last on our minds...we just had a memorable adventure to relish for a lifetime. After the bath we returned, suddenly felt religious and muthu recited the "gayatri mantra"(in the evening!) and paili said an "Our Father in Heaven" before we got down to business. Well by business, I really dont need to explain further but the end result of all this was the comic sight of muthu camping in a lungi and all set to fly to america taking exception to our constant barbs about the standard of his english and saying stuff like "I am standing on the 30degree inclination of a small rock" to prove he wasnot fit and we were concerned at not having bought ginger and garlic to ward off snakes but naga "gamefully" beginning a vomitting spree that drew a virtual lakhsmana rekha around us and oh the smell...let me not talk about that! There was a bonfire, old memories, new ones the day had given us, talks of where the future would take us...oh what a night of fun we had. The dialogue "Anapindam Oramyondo Jabba" just like the "Thomaskutty Vittoda" dialogue in In Hariharnagar became part of our class folklore and 4 years on, this december I see the faint outlines of another disastrous vacation taking concrete shape...

11 comments:

Geo said...

Man, great narration :_D
U took me through the forest :_)
Reminded me of some of my treks... thanx...

That Uri, P*r* dicol was too good... ROFL =))

And abt Naga vomiting... he will start puking if he goes beyond half a glass of beer. :_D

silverine said...

This made hilarious reading:)) I always look forward to these posts from you. And you described your journey thru the forest so well that I could actually visualise the thick canopy and the darkening forest floor with each sentence. And you are indeed extremely lucky to have found your way out.Great post! Hoping for more such posts of your wonderyears escapades :)

Jithu said...

Naga! he smells and become punya-VAAL-an!! :p so do Geo :p :p

great writing man :-))

Jithu said...

> geo
just thought abt our first vellamadi party at ganapathy bhavan.. he he.. the pranks we played on those innocent fellas, our friends cum colleagues.. :p..

hmmm.. mole susie.. ichayanu karachil varunnodi.. :-((

Geo said...

Da thendee jithU, the fact that ur comment is after mine doesn’t give u any privilege to accuse me of anything u feel like...:_D

The ONLY time I (allegedly) threw up was after those 8 larges of Fenny from Goa. I still have a doubt if it was Sabari or me :_)) onnumillenkil njaanoru pala achaayanalle...jeevichu poottedaa :_D

I hadn’t joined u kids (;-)) for the first vellamadi session. :_D I was only part of the demo session.

For the others, this was another interesting episode of our Mumbai escapades... four of em got slightly drunk... and started acting fully drunk and playing pranks with the other innocent non-drinkers... with dialogues like the one he mentioned, and getting sentimental, crying, me acting like controlling them....the entire episode was just ROFL.... the highlight was jithU trying to use the paunch of another friend of ours as his pillow and trying to sleep on it :_D. I think he even broke an egg by knocking it on his head. =)) I forgot if he only attempted or he actually did it :_))

Jiby, hope u wont mind our intrusion :_)

Jithu said...

yeah i remember now.. kids were not allowed in the first vellamadi ;-)) dey, puking is like losing virginity. done once and thats it. so adhikam dicols adikkanam ennilla.. :D hmmm.. those beautiful days..

Matter of Choice said...

hey jiby....

great post to come back to!!!!!....me was totally rofl with this one..probably because we did something very similar and equally hilarious sometime back..and oh yeah the bravado of nda guys is something to behold!!! their contemptuos looks at our civilian paunches can get quite irritating. thankfully, now tha most of them have started "active" service (active as in sleeping in a bunker in J&K n NE and drinking rum from morn to eve) such looks arent common nowadays. infact coupla us are actually planning a trek to meenmutty..dont know if and when it will happen..but i shall request your expert guidance if it does!!

Jiby said...

hehe...jithu and geo with great difficulty i'll forgve u guys 4 making this a vellamadi blog... but then looking back every moment of those days gave memories to laugh about for a lifetime...dang man why didnt this idea of anonymous blogging strike me earlier. naga sure is gonna kill me for this!

silverine, glad you liked it... we were really close to encounters with elephants and leopards... now the wry joke doing our rounds is that seeing one of them would have been more thrilling...and the boys are planning one more foray into the deep forest this december!

anish, i am still absolutely puzzled which the real meenmooti is...it seems there are 2...one which you get to from the neyyar damn and the other from the golden valley...but both are wonderful trekking delights!

flaashgordon said...

Am not exactly someone in favor of risking life n limb for climbing a frickin "hillock" (u can also define it as laziness/inertia too)

But ur account ws too good..so good i wouldnt mind a trekking trip myself..

Well i hav an NDA cousin myself; once when in Mumbai i visited him at Lonavla n he took me n a couple of my MBA frnds to climb the Duke's Nose- a famous peak in Lonavla....

Like Christ goin up the Gagultha i also fell down thrice ; and just like the cruel Roman Soldiers ; the NDA dude in question pushed, ridiculed n prodded me all the way up....

Dont remmber if it was the amazing view frm the summit or the drinks at officers-mess after the climb which made it all worthwhile..!!!

Back in mumbai;my pals told everyone abt the trip n free booze they had at the naval base. Someone later came up to me n asked "Sunaa hai teraa navy mein ek cousin hai? Pehle pahaad pe chadathaa hai aur phir daaru pilaatha hai????Sahi hai kyaa?"
cheers
flaash

Anonymous said...

Hey i was looking for my long lost friend whose house name is kattakkayam and i found ur blog...its pretty intresting, u are a good writer ...and by the way do u by any chance know some one named arun joseph kattakayam..he is frm kottayam..i think his house is in kumarakom...just post ur reply here..i will chk it..thanks...and good luck with everything...man i want to g oback to kerala one dasy too...texas is fine but there is no place like home..

Jiby said...

flash, that wuz funny man...glad u cud relate with this post.

hi anonymous, thanks for dropping by...i dont know this person but if u wud drop me an email, next time i go home i cud find his details and email you.