Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Kerala Roadtrip

Drastic things have occurred in the past 5-6 days since my last blog. Most have been to my utmost liking, while a few have made me a tad uneasy and one that made me feel absolutely pathetic. But we shall be looking only at the positive incidents.

If you’ve already read Dhimant’s blog you must have a pretty good idea of what is going to ensue next. Yes, I shall be recounting the adventures from a mega-roadtrip that 6 of us undertook. To the put “mega” part in perspective, here are a few stats – we drove around a total of 1500 kms in the Scorpio, a total journey time of almost 32 hours that included one completely overnight journey! If I hadn’t known my adrenaline limit earlier, I definitely do now. Notice I do not say stamina because I rarely run on it. :)

The following were the principal actors in the trip (in order of their appearance) –
Chilli aka Me
Morsemium aka Ameya
PJ King aka NASA aka Anil Ambani aka Akshai
CEO aka Chakku aka Mukesh Ambani aka Dhimant
Drona aka Flower Show aka Bandhar aka Indrashis
Kokilaben aka Mama aka Achuth

The places we hit along our roadtrip were Salem, Coimbatore, Palakkad, and Munnar. This was the general route we followed with numerous diversions and bypasses along the way. We (excluding Mama) started from my place around 7:30 PM on Wednesday night and began the journey to Hosur Road. As expected, this drive through Bangalore traffic was more sapping than most parts of the journey. In fact, the total number of traffic signals we ran into from Hosur Road and back were 5 or so. BTW, The number of signals from my place to Majestic was around 7!

Before I get into the details and the key incidents of the journey here is what we did in a gist:- We left Bangalore on 13th night and reached Palakkad at around 6:30 AM. After relaxing and refreshing ourselves we roamed around a bit before making her way towards Munnar, which we reached on 14th night. The 15th was spent in and around Munnar, and we began our journey back on 16th morning, landing up in Bangalore at midnight.

Now to the medley of incidents, dialogues, jokes, etc that happened along the way. They are not in any order whatsoever.

* “This scenery has the capability to compete with European standards” – Morsemium
In response to this I went “Oh is it? Do none of these pass muster to get through the screening test for having the capability to compete remotely with European standards…?”

* “Morse code for SOS is blah blah blah. And in industries they use some puffs blah blah blah” - Morsemium
Anil Bhai goes, “3 puffs eh? So is it veg, chicken and egg?”

* “The system looks for a gap in the ferrite coating” – Morsemium
As you must have guess already he was at his finest moment of knowledge transferring. So all we had to set a trap by asking him how a tape recorder is able to jump tracks. True to his reputation he didn’t disappoint us one bit!

* “Some BIG vehicle is coming!” – Anil Bhai
Anil Bhai tries to do his bit of navigation and failed miserably. The “BIG vehicle” in question was a Maruti 800!

* “There’s a truck coming, be careful!” – Flower Show
Another supreme display of navigation, this time by Bandhar. He used his position as navigator to gobble up all the snacks prompting PJ King to christen him as an “alligator”. Anyway, the “truck” which was apparently coming up the hill turned out to be a motorbike!

* Board meeting
The minutes of this meeting are completely confidential and will be shared only with a select few over this weekend. For the general public all that needs to be known is that the Club starting off with Kokilaben, Anil & Mukesh was completely destroyed by my brilliant closing arguments. Instead we have now a 2-member Club with the presidency shared between Mama and me.

A black mark on the Club's proceedings was the callous way Morsemium treated the membership. “Yes, I shall try for one month and then tell you guys!” – and that was the end of his short tenure. He has been banned for life and that shall remain, despite his childish comments of holding 50% stake when the company never went public!

* “If you look at them itself you can make out. They look like Seths” – Anonymous Cop
When we were stopped at a TN check post in the middle of the night, this is what the sentry had to comment on the passengers in the car (i.e. excluding me and Anil Bhai)

* NASA delayed launch and Vostok’s misfire
Decency prevents me from explaining further. I am sorry.

* “You need to cover all the entrances” – name withheld
Same as above! :)

* Green tubelights
TN roadside hotels seem to have a fetish for green coloured tubelights. One might have thought that a colour like blue or red would have attracted expected jokes from Anil Bhai, but these green ones did as well. “All green light areas!”. Whatever that meant!!!

* Convincing Moresmium that he was actually eating Tomato Uthappam made out of tomato puree while it was actually Drona’s Egg Dosa
In keeping with his tradition of experimentation, Drona ordered for an Egg Dosa. Things would have been fine if he had recognized it when the waiter got it. But as things turned out, he passed it onto Morsemium who was forced to eat this “tomato” dosa despite no signs of tomato anywhere.

* 100 rupee flower show flanked by jackets worth 1000 rupees
The flower vase which was responsible for bestowing the Flower Show nick on Drona had a very comfortable journey back home. All our jackets were used to protect it!

* “If my demands are not met I will let people get into the top of the townbus” – Anil Bhai
Anil had a tough time sitting at the back for two reasons. He was jostled every which way. And more severely he couldn’t hear our conversation to insert his PJs. His threat to make money and leave towels out for drying on the townbus fell on deaf ears.

* “One thing is clear - the headquarters should be shifted to Kochi” – Kokilaben
As the proceedings of the Board meeting unfolded, this realization dawned on Kokilaben. Both the sons had been cheating him, but I was able to give him company and share his load of leadership. :)

* Drona being stripped off his title
After failing miserably to use an ordinary manual camera, the Bandhar had to be unceremoniously stripped off the grand title of Drona. Anyway, Flower Show acted as an able substitute.

* “What this is?”, “What it is?” – All of us.
If I could attach an audio clip along with this blog this joke would be more obvious. Until then sorry folks!

* Never be able to go to Coconut Grove
The breakfast at Mama’s house consisted of infinite number of Aappams with coconut stew, sambhar, chutney and an equal number of Idlis to match. Then came the topping – the dessert of Vazhaipazham Puzhinjadhu. (I request all the readers to repeat this name atleast 50 times. Fun aint it?) I doubt I would ever be able to go to Coconut Grove and pay so much for 2 Aappams and stew which aint even half as good as what Mama’s mom had prepared.

* Flower Show refusing to return Morsemium’s Masala Chai
As has already been mentioned, FS has a pretty bad habit of picking the wrong items in the menu. When all of us were enjoying this incredible Masala Chai at View Point he sulked on his Ginger Tea…until that is an unsuspecting Morsemium handed over his cup of Masala Chai.

* “Technically…”
My repeated usage of this in all my sentences. In my defense, hanging around with Morsemium does make one speak in such parlance. Thankfully I am out of it. :

* Song pattern of “Yun hi chala” -> “Yeh jo des hai tera” -> “Yedho ma” -> “Boondon se baatein”
Every leg of the journey was inaugurated with the following songs in the same order. It also prompted PJK to say, “If the last song is sung when we are eating it would be called ‘Boondi se baaten’”. Aargh!!

* “If this isn’t destiny, I don’t know what is” – Myself wrt GE
Hmm…all I can say is “Good Luck to Flower Show!”

* Ikon’s stare
Same as above. :)

* Mama and Morsemium coming in the way of Flower Show’s capture of …….
Decency prevents me from elucidating. Sorry.

* Mama and Chilli’s Himalayan car rally up High Range School
When we went to drop off Mama’s friends at this school, we thought we had lost our way as the road just kept climbing up giving no indication of any kind of civilization. Thankfully, we didn’t. Else I might right know be somewhere in Kodaikkanal.

* “Don’t jump to conclusions. They could be just a huge family with lots of cousins and brothers” – Anil Bhai regarding Charlie’s Angels
His comment on seeing 3 couples hanging out at Echo Point. Definitely the Eternal Optimist.

* “Aeroplane” Qualis trying to take off

* “What is the cow’s name?” – Myself. “ is called cow!” – Teashop guy
Well I was expecting a name like Mahesh, or…I don’t know maybe Rajjo. Hehehe.

* Mukesh Bhai freezing most of the time
As his blog makes it pretty clear he would even find the day temperature of the Sahara Desert on the colder side. Sheesh!

* “Do you really want a vada that badly?” – Myself to Anil Bhai
Well Anil didn’t. If he had, he could have gladly taken the one that had been lying under our table…half-eaten.

* Mukesh and Flower Show playacting for the benefit of the “bad English speaker” from Maratha
Sadly this had no effect. I am guessing it had to do with the fact that the object of interest was on her honeymoon. :)

* Ultimate Happiness?
Now this was a huge debate on the way back. And it still hasn’t been resolved. The weekend is just around the corner…maybe we can dish it out then.

I guess that wraps it up. I am sure I’ve left out a lot more stuff. But my memory isn’t what it used to be. (Hehehe I love saying that!) I can only hope that the others blog in their versions and that would eventually fit in the missing pieces.

Apologies for fooling around with all the nicknames. I know it makes for some tiresome reading, but I just tried to place the names according to the context.

Double apologies for such a LONG post. Definitely my longest. But the times spent were also one of the best. So that justifies the length to some extent. If you’ve managed to stick around to this part of the post without dozing, then you might as well stay around for the last part that is just my view on Ultimate Happiness –

If you are able to keep your family, loved ones, friends, people who matter to you all happy and contented irrespective of how you feel, that is the Ultimate Happiness.

Atleast to me.

Good Night.


At 8:11 PM, Blogger DhiOnlyOne said...

A sentence from Ameya's blog:
"Yours truly provided the navigating services".
Hahahaha...he is indulging in his imagination.

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Sridhar Raman said...

Dude, kids always have such petty indulgences. Let him be. Once he hits his teens he will realise. :)

Till then, Moresmium marige swalpa leeway kodona!

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Bloggard said...

huh? how did i land up here?
get me outta this place....mummyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Bloggard said...

"Happiness is a warm puppy", said the anaconda.

At 1:47 AM, Blogger The Village Idiot / Soldier said...

Great post! paints a vivid picture of your trip. Especially the bit about the navigation - when big vehicles (read maruti 800 and truck ) were approaching. :)


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