January 25 2017: The new office was making no difference for my feeling to get unchained. Even while working, I keep a phase of me caged inside who wish to be free, want to wander, conquer the heights and seas and simply “No strings attached” as Ultron of Avengers Movie says.
It was a sunny day of January 2017 and the capital city of Kerala was peaceful except few protests and all. I was as usual sitting in front of my laptop and was going through my Google Calendar. And Voila, I found something. 26th of January is a Thursday and its a holiday.As usual when holidays strike their red highlight on calendar, my caged phase starts trying to break the barriers and this time he conquered me. I got 3 leave still left for the month and taking a leave on Friday and Saturday will give me a 4 days break from my techie life.
I had two colleagues with me who regularly write articles on tourism.I searched the net and results were pouring down as if google thought I quit my job and have plenty of money to travel for the rest of my life.So I asked them to suggest places.And it was the right move, they went idle for a second and gave me two choices. Dhanushkodi or Wayanad. Both the places sound convincing to me as both these places offered long ride,adventure and scenic beauty.And it was time for me to choose.As Tamil Nadu was having issues on Jallikattu; a protest to withdraw ban on the traditional bull race, I thought Wayanad will be better and I had my reasons.One is the mighty Thamarassery Churam, I have never been to Wayanad and finally I can extend my trip to Mysore and may be Banglore.
January 25 2017 7 PM:I was planning the trip and I was sure that whatever I plan always ends up in tragedy ( aah I was referring to my trips).So I thought no plans just start the bike and go to Wayanad. Then I remembered about the stay issues.Usually for millennials (that’s what economists call youngsters these days) travel is not the problem food and stay is and I thought about my friends in Malabar side. Luckily I had many and I thought of Sooraj who lives in Calicut (aka Kozhikode) and his place is too good to stay.As the place is village and is surrounded by sea river and mountains and also the food tastes superb.I phoned him and asked him to join my Wayanad ride (he is a hardcore bullet rider).He welcomed me with both hands on hearing this.So all set and there comes my greatest fear Money, I almost forgot that my wallet almost got dried up.Its common for a private geek employ to get poor at the end of the month.I called my cousin and a friend in Alleppy to offer help and I felt like thy are angels to me.All set and I left my office and took money from my cousin and picked up Mr.Davis ( who stays with me,married late 30s and still energetic), we call him Davisettan. He works in my previous company.We went back to our place and on the way I filled the thirst of my poor bike who was thirsty enough for long.I filled the tank and when Davisettan was amused,I told him my plan and his usual reply;a smile.
We went back and I slept at 12 and I planned to start by 5 ( I am always deeply in love with my bed that I never lets go of her).But this time I had to take a break from her, and after a long time I saw 4;30 am in the morning.And I packed the whole stuff and Davisettan came and said to drop him at the office (he works in the media field as sound editor,so time is not the boundary for his work).I had a positive feeling that its good to have company till my hangover from bed runs out.And I sorry we took off in my Unicorn.
January 26,2017;5 AM: Trivandrum was starting to wake up from the previous tiring day.All I could see was people who were jogging on the streets and few vendor vehicles.I came to know that it was the wedding anniversary of Davisettan. So I dropped him off at the church and started my solo journey officially.
I had my breakfast at Kottarakara Indian coffee house which is known for its food and waiters.The waiters of Indian Coffee House are given a unique dress code which feels like some king or royal person is serving me my masala dosa. It is because they have a Maharajah type cap and a big belt over their waist.I took the MC Road connecting Trivandrum to Chengannur because the roads are pretty good compared to the Kollam-Alleppy road. My plan was to reach Alleppy and meet my money lending friend.I got the money and my next target was to reach Kochi, the smartest city of Kerala.It was feeling like sun was angry at me because as time passing by, the heat was increasing and my protective jacket was supporting the same.By the time I reached Kochi, I was totally dehydrated and I thought to take a break in Kochi. I went to a restaurant and hand a cool lemon juice and spent some time in the restaurant as there was no other visitors and also AC was there. I saw many riders crossing my way in fully packed.Most of them where Enfield rider packs and Harley groups.From there baggage, I assumed they are going for the long ride and some of them where for a Republic Day ride.I envied all those bikers because I now own a unicorn which no one has ever suggested as an option to travel but since it gave me comfort I have molded my Unicorn to a little beast testing him on long rides at Dhanushkodi, Thrissur, Kanyakumari and I found my bike is superb for under 1000 km rides.
Since I lost too many time taking rest under an air conditioner, I had to make up the time and to reach Calicut before dawn.I took the NH 66 highway which our map guru Google suggested.The road is said to be good and is said to make a difference of 23 km less.So listen to the wise words and I took the road via Ponnanni Vadanapally avoiding Trissur city.But what Google doesn’t say was that the road comes under National Highway category but the width of the road was less so I lost more time on the road lagging behind auto rickshaws, buses and all.
The road was testing my patience with its turnings,traffic and somehow I passed Ponnani. Then afterwards the road was pretty good and there was also a calmness in the atmosphere as the traffic was less and I was passing through village and remote areas.The scenes were becoming more and more beautiful as my speedometer readings were increasing.Rivers, lakes and the hardest part was seeing Bharathapuzha the dried up river of Kerala.I have heard stories that this was one of the largest rivers in Kerala and the “was” part occurred because of uncontrolled sand smuggling from the river bed. Bharathapuzha is now nothing but a deserted land carrying the memories of her beautiful watery past.
I was getting calls from Sooraj all the way along as he was expecting me.I was throttling hard to reach his place on time and blaming it on traffic, I reached Parappanangadi,Sooraj’s place in Calicut at 5:30 PM.
Sooraj’s place is beautiful.A calm and scenic town with river sea and mountain surrounding the place.The homes are built on red sand stones and people there are luvable. One more reason was my usual weakness, food.I have been to his place before when I was in college with my hostel mates.We were welcomed with food in plenty and that too in different types.I still remember eating till our stomachs got to the verge of getting bursted. And that lingering memories brought me to his place and there are other reasons of being economical, finding a co rider etc are there,hi hi. But seriously I had no such intentions( side effect of having a good mind).Sooraj recently got married and I missed his wedding.I had my lunch at 6 PM because I forgot to eat while I was conquering the roads.
I got fresh and I met a couple of his friends and we went for little sight seeing.The place is too good that I told Sooraj that if I wish to buy a place to stay, his place will be on the list.He has amazing friends who do crazy things and will be with him all the time (something I had but now I don’t). Sooraj is also a DSLR guy so he took his camera with him.We went to a beach and then to the port side.It was beautiful and his friends said the place has been taken over by government as a part of building the country’s first ship designing institute for Indian Navy “NIRDESH”.
An awesome place and a friend with DSLR, what else do I need.Next was feeling the wind and taking photos.Well these moments are hard to find, to find a DSLR friend and an awesome place.I climbed the stones and sea walls to take different styles for different pics.Then we went back to Sooraj’s house and talked about our college days. That’s the specialty of having an awesome college life.When we meet our old mates, we will start to remember all those crazy things we did.
As I said his place was too good so was the people.He had crazy friends who do crazy things all the time.We went to catch crabs in the lake at night.Well it was a filmy thing for me as I now spent much of my time in a cubicle and live a city life.It was totally amazing setting up traps using flesh waste and the traps were hanged from bridges so that crabs will come to eat the waste and gets struck in the net.We put several traps and I had the luck to get most of the crabs.As time passed by, we went back to his home and his mom and wife made delicious food.It is said that the love of the people of Calicut can’t be measured as they loves us in such a way that they will suffocate us to death.Here it was the food. Sooraj’s mom put so much chapathis and ordered to empty the plate.I tried my level best and fell on the war zone because my belly got full.We then watched his wedding photos and our college pictures.I was happy to see that he is having a good life.
The food, the long ride and peaceful place gave me a good sleep……
January 27,2017: I wake up at 7:30 AM instead of 5 AM. The sleep was that good. Sooraj said he will accompany me till half way as he has got some other plans.It gave me a shock but the high voltage shock was yet to come.He said there is nothing much to see in Wayanad now due to high temperature, all major spots have been closed.It was like a slap on my cheeks.All the 450 + kms and all for nothing.So I took my plan B ( which I was planning to execute anyways).I told him I will have a quick look in Wayanad and will go to Mysore and then to Banglore.The new route offers several benefits; more ride, forest ride, see my bestie in Mysore and reach Banglore via Bandhipur forest and see my friends there.
I visited few of his relatives and took a bath and had food.Then I got packed up and started my next destination, Wayanad.
Destination : Wayanad
I rod the bike through roads unknown to me to a place far heard and yet I haven’t seen.The roads were good, the places were offering nothing new to my eyes untill I reached Adivaram.From there, I saw the sign board, Churam begins.That was like adrenaline rushing through my veins.I remembered the famous dialogue of Kuthiravattom Pappu…
to be continued……………..