August 30, 2004
Misadventure is also an Adventure
Day 1 Friday was a late night with friends dropping in and that resulted in a groggy morning... but still our anticipation to hit the highway was not dimmed by this. So here was me at 6:15 dozing on the way out to Mysore ... dying for a coffee to wake me up... After an hour or so we came across Kamat Lokruchi and I was thrilled that we will be able to have some nice breakfast but one of our senior passengers told us that he had a better place to have breakfast. We respected his wishes and carried on. There were 3 people with us .. in the Jeep.. A, J and G. The rest of the crowd would be there later on. Now A being a senior journalist and having lots of contacts.. knew his way around. He was a great person to be with too. So then we stopped at Shivali MTR restaurant where we had the most delicious dosais. They are simply out of the world. If you are in the Mysore Highway I highly recommend this place to stop by for your food break. The menu is limited but delicious. On reaching Srirangapatna, we took a diversion at Hunsur... to Illavalla... ( I simply dont seem to get the phonetics right about this place. ) I drove through this wonderful road which was flanked on both sides with lush green vegetations, trees spotting bright yellow flowers and very few vehicles on the road... thanks to the trucker's strike. Meandering through the roads, doing almost 100 plus kmph... we reached the Tibetian Settlement at Bylekuppe ... near Kushalnagar.... Last time we had not driven through the settlement but this time the whole scenery was a pleasure to our eyes... who said Karnataka was not green ?? This was the greenest landscaping that I had ever seen. It felt like the paintings and drawing I used to do when I was a kid... painting the land green and drawing a meandering road between that. The Namdroling Monastery glinted its presence in the hide and seek of sunlight. We went ahead and visited the monastery and took Buddha's blessings. I shall never get enough of this monastery. The smiling Buddha looking benevolently down at me filled me with great peace and serenity. Now it was time for lunch. Call it coincidence or whatever, this time too Shirin of Dhege Restaurant was sleeping this time too when I called for her. She was dozing in her room last time too. She did not seem to recollect but after sometime she remembered me and heck we ordered a hefty lunch. For Mr A, it was not great I guess since he was a vegeterian. But for the rest G And J it was a fun experience. The taste buds of the South will never get used to the bland taste of Eastern mountain food. Momos and Beef Thuppas were the highlight of the meal. After having a meal of some 6 to 7 plates of different dishes of food... plus water plus cool drinks... the bill came upto 162/- amazing huh !! but thats the way we travel.... LOLOLOL My travel mates were surprised.. and Rocks and me were laughing away at their expressions. We always believe in travelling economically yet retaining the quality of the travel... Reaching Kushalnagar, we felt like we had reached a Ghost town. I could almost hear the refrain of a Western movie... LOL For a moment I thought we came to the wrong town. We were informed that due to some political shoot out, the whole place was under Section 144. According to that we cannot move anywhere or sit anywhere in a group of more than 5 . And I was thanking God that we were just 5 of us. The whole town had gone to sleep. There were khakhi guys everywhere. We somehow managed to find this veg place where A could have his meal. It is difficult being a vegeterian. SIGH. We found our way to the Inspection Bungalow which was a beautiful slightly dilapidated old building. A's contact had booked us in but the dicey part was that rooms might not have been available since all the Khaki guys were swarming around. After some discussion we managed to get a huge room with a big Bathroom and a big dressing room. We tried for another room but we were out of luck. ( the rooms cost us 40/- per head.... ha ha ) After a short break, where I exlpored the surroundings of a nice driveway and lots of trees and green grass... made friends with the local canine breed, we moved on to visit Harangi reservoir. We missed out on this last time since monsoon had not started and the water level was very low... This day, there was no one but a few of some wanderers like us at this place. And believe me this dam was small but water was gushing out like white snow and there was rainbow everywhere you put your eyes to... courtesy the huge spray of water.. billowing all over. After taking some shots and exploring the area some more... we headed back to the Bungalow to change and attend the mehendi function. Now I was wondering how our friend would manage given the fact that everything had come to a standstill. But standstill or not life has to go on. So the function started... we came in for the ceremony. Mind you this is not a North Indian ceremony where the friend of the bride pust mehendi and there is a lot of fuss and giggle around. This was simple... Some puja happening and after the groom donned the Mehendi and completed his rituals, it was the bride's turn. Here we were, donned in our best finery hoping to see a gala function happening. I was imagining about the food that I would get to eat.. Could not help it . I was hungry... Suddenly an aunty came up to me and asked if I would put Mehendi. I am not a Mehendi freak so I hestiated... but that aunty... almost forced me YES YES .. come come ... Myself and J thought it was great to have Mehendi on our hands... and we readily agreed. We walked up the stage where the bride was sitting. Two cones were given to us.. I thought to myself.. Ah.. so we do not get to put the mehendi.. we had to put a little Mehendi on her hand.. how quaint. I did it ... and then gave back the cone, then came the bride's response... No Pallavi you got to do the whole thing. J was doing the other hand. Whole HAND.. was she mad... I peered up and could see a group of expectant faces smiling at me..with almost grinding teeth.... Sheesh.. Then and there all my creative juices dried up. For all you know Myself and J would not be allowed to move by the aunties unless the deed was done. And both of us were definitely not Mehendi professionals. The lady concerned did not turn up so we had to do the best we could. Nothing doing... so we got to work.. me jotting down dots an dashes in the best way possible. All done... we left the stage in a hurry ... to have food... Promptly... a glass of dark rum like liquid was plonked in the table with the banana leaf and then came some rice and chicken curry no frills there. Then when I saw a beer coming towards me.. i was happy that I saw something familiar... but one hiccup of a guy... swandered drunkenly and snatched the beer from the tray... Then I thought enough was enough... I asked for a beer... and well I got a beer. Then came in the pork which I was waiting for. It was black... I said what the heck... I took one gulp... YAAAGHHH ...EGAD !!! To say that the pork was spicy would have been an understatement. It was bloody hot and I could not for the life of me find any flavour. My poor taste buds were dead... I could hear my mom saying to me " My child .. never expect too much.. expectations only bring in disappointment".. Mummmyyy !!!! ... Having had the most delicious food in a Coorgi wedding my taste buds were all alive.. Now after having that... my stomach was doing a sommersault inside.. A was lucky since he got to have some veg stuff somewhere else outside the wedding hall. We went hunting for icecreams to ease the fire in the pit... but none were to be found. We gave up and went to bed with groaning abdomens. I popped in a Pudin Hara ( I never travel without one) and felt better. But cannot blame anyone.. the party was also pressed to do the best they could inspite of the bandh .... SIGH... To top it all the aged geyser in the bathroom was smoking with sounds of PHAAT.. BOOM .. BANG... HISSSS... It so happened that water had not reached the geyser and it was boiling steam all the while.. we were lucky it did not blow up on us... I guess Lady Luck was there with me after all..... Day 2. The next day dawned to a bright morning,. J spent jogging around the long driveway, I spent walking. Had our tea, freshned up and went to the wedding hall. Kushalnagar was buzzing with life today... We attended the marraige function and did not wait to have the food. It was decided that Dhege restaurant it would be for lunch.. This time Shirin was prepared to entertain us with yum food... Observation We saw some broken crow wings being hung from the place outside where we had sat to eat. I asked Shirin why it was so... She gladly explained that if you hung crow wings in places .. crows will never come to bother you.. and it was true.. compared to last time.. there was not a single crow to disturb us... Crows' wings act as a scarecrow for the crows... What a brillant idea... now who will kill a crow for me... ??? Will dead ants and dead cockroaches dead parts have the same effect on the living Cockroaches and Ants ? I wish the logic was true for other species too.. would have saved a lot of trouble.. ( A had to look for a pure veg restaurant again .. poor gentleman..we felt really bad for him...but he was very sportive... ) Back on the highway by 2:00 and after a long winding not so peaceful drive... since the trucks were back at hammering the streets with their bulky bodies... we reached Bangalore by 7:00 and then crashed off with lush green memories of just wide open spaces .... and me at the wheel... Snaps will be up shortly... meanwhile ... thats it from this end of the cyberlink.... Destination next.. Hampi.....
Posted by Pallavi at 8/30/2004 09:06:00 PM