Journey thru kerala

A New entry to my online diary. This one's about my all kerala trip for 3days. From the lush Campus of NIT,Calicut to the scenic hilltops of Vagamon. This was supposedly a official trip to NIT's Fest TATHVA '08 but then you know plans change and people flounder. The trip started on the night of 23rd, Oct. These below paras would describe each phase in detail( as much as i can recollect).

Trivandrum -> Koikode
We, Me, Jasim and Thampi, left for koikode on the TVM-MNGLORE EXP on the night of 23rd. It was raining like hell and we were all soaked to the skin. Jasim left late as He was coming to Thambanor by bike. He had to get money as well as food for us while me and thampi caught seats for us to sit, you see traveling thru general comp. has its disadvantages. We got to the station by bus, took the tickets and waited for jasim in the train. He came after a few minutes with parcel for us to eat. My fav, Chapati and Peas Masala, was on the menu. We had our dinner b4 the train left, washed up and curled onto the seats for a goodnight sleep. But then this is the gen. comp. and so as soon as it was time for the train to leave, a multitude of travelers besieged the train filling up its every nook and corner. And there went our hope of having a good night sleep. Somehow we managed to catch a few hours of sleeps in between. For the rest of the time, there was a book for Thampi, newspaper for Jasim and the radio for me. By the time we reached Koikode, we were all damn tired and somehow managed to get off. On the station, we met some of our junior guys who were there for the same "official" purpose. Thampi and jasim are natives of Koikode and so we were intending to go to either one's house for freshening up. Thampi then left for his home while me jasim and Abhishek, S3IT, headed in Jasims' direction. Another journey was to begin.

Koikode(Jasim's) -> NIT,Calicut
We, Me, Jasim and Abhishek, came to the bus stop, had tea and then got into our intended bus. There was some waiting but then we had a cute babe for all of us to vainokkify and so time passed. Finally after completing a journey of around 45 min into "pattikaad", jumping over holes and splashing around of water, we reached jasim's house. There we met his Mom, Dad and Sis and her two children. We freshened up, had a wonderful koikode breakfast, beef curry, patiri and iddiappam, my mouth still waters while writing this down, and were beginning to get out when the rain gods wanted to play "kabaddi" again and google was up taking snaps of the events below. That forced us to wait and finally, Jazz called up an Auto. Then we, especially me , had the most wonderful experience of a roller coaster on the road. The rain seemed unrelenting but we pushed forward. Somehow we reached Mukkam Junction, from where Ajay, S3IT again, picked us and brought us to NIT campus.

NIT,Calicut ( TATHVA '08)
We were already late but then we got registered for the "TUX of Wars" and sat for the prelims. Somehow we managed to answer most questions, and why not when we had Jasim pulli on our team. But when we got the key, our hopes were dashed since the answers showed another way of getting around the questions. We were hoping, against hope, that some PRO guys would check since there'r always more than one way to get things done in Linux. After a few moments of rest, we got into the next competition, "KODER KOMBAT", and since most of our college guys were in this competition, we decided to have fun rather than just serious coding. So we, GECIANS, got around and sat with each other hoping that one of our teams would make past the prelims. There were talks of helping each other out and we seriously tried but then we were no match for the "Bhujjis" from IIT's and the NIT's. There ended our, Mine And Jazz's, foray into Tathva competitions.
In between these times, I met my ex-classmate Merin, who incidentally is doing M.Tech in Information Security in NIT, over there. We exchanged news regarding our old classmates and then she showed us the NIT Campus ( or rather some portions). We had Noodles "from Mini Canteen"( nvr try it out for ur stomach sake) and then back to the Common room where all GECIANS were staying after bidding Merin goodbye. She showed us where Deepak sir & Vineetha Ma'am were staying. We met them after some time.
We were hoping to get back to Erathupettah for Ajna's Brother's reception by 3:00 afternoon next day. But then "what Man Proposes, God Disposes". There was a heavy downpour which made us abandon the plan and we headed back to the Common room with the rest of the guys. There was a party in the common at night ( a small one with us GECIANS and three other guys from Chennai and pondicherry) and we had a lot of fun and frolic. While the rest of the guys were already asleep or starting to do so, our party came as a jolt. They got up and moved away to find a another place to curl up but alas, given our voices, that was a hard one to come by. After the party, pranks were on the menu. So we decided to call customer care and play a prank on them. We called them up, connected the Malayalam department and then spoke to them in Hindi. The call center people were puzzled and we had a jolly good time in seeing them try to help us out.

NIT,Calicut -> Ernakulam
The next day morning, the same thing happened. There was heavy showers and the whole of Koikode( at least the bus stand and Railway station area) were flooded. So we had to postpone again till 10 am. Then we left for Thampi's house from NIT after bidding our newly found friends a warm goodbye. On reaching Thampi's house, Me and Thampi freshened up, and all three of us,Thampi, Jazz and Me, had breakfast. Then under slight drizzle, we left for the station. On reaching there, we found that the next train to EKM was at 12:30 pm and so we had another session of "Bird Watching" at the station. When the train finally came, we were more than pleased to see it. So finally away from the "English weather" or was it ? During the journey, the rush was far greater than what we anticipated given our previous experience. So somehow, bearing all the shoving around and the never ending drizzle, the three travelers finally reached EKM North(by 5:00 pm) from where we alighted and made it to the Private Bus Stand for the next leg of the journey. On the train, we had a field day in making fools out of our other friends who were also reaching for the reception,but from Trivandrum. They actually believed we had reached Ajna's house long b4 they had and we're waiting for them to arrive. But little did they know our actual plight.

Ernakulam -> Erathupettah
Next leg of the journey was a 3hr Bus trip to Erathupettah. The drizzle was always around us as if "Google" was mapping out our footprints on kerala soil. We had to stand for most of the journey, but what's the loss if we had so many beautiful achyathis for company. There were so many getting up and down that we, especially me, lost count of time and when we reached our destination. In Erathupettah, there was good news for us in form of Abu, S7 MEC, who incidentally returned home an half an hour before we landed. He picked us up and we got to Ajna's house. There we met up with the rest of the gang which included, Thomson, Binu, Arathy , Anu(S7 EC), Rizwan and his friend. They all had landed by 5:00 pm, had food and were waiting for us to get there. We( Me, Jazz and Thampi) met the Bridegroom and the Bride. We wished them, chatted a bit and then onto the main business. We were hoping to have a lot but the travel had dampened our appetite. So with what our stomachs could manage, we inserted food and then made it to upstairs. I forgot to mention earlier but Ajna's house is like palace with huge rooms and posh interiors. The view was breathtaking as the house sits firmly on top of a hill with a bird's eye view of the area. We were supposed to return that night itself to trivandrum but then. By the time ,we started to think of getting out it was too late. The icing on the cake was that it was the bride's, Ayesha, birthday next day. So there was a small party at 12 in the night after which we 5 ( Binu, Thampi, Me, Jazz and Thomson) left for Abu's house for the night. We reached soon after. We met his mom,dad and younger brother there. His mom got us hot black tea for the night. After that, we had a good sleep and got up late. There was a small plan to see VAGAMON hills and we all agreed. After having breakfast at 11 am, we left in Abu's car for the main stop.

Erathupettah -> Vagamon Hills
On reaching Erathupettah, we got a direct bus to Vagamon Hills.It was supposed to be half an hour ride. The ride to the top was breathtaking, to summarize it, but truly it was magnificent. The view, the chill , the journey and all the other stuff were simply great. The road snaked it way thru the hills, with small waterfalls thru out the road. As we gained to the top, the temperatures dropped, to think of shivering at 2:00 pm in the afternoon. Jazz and Thampi were clicking away to glory thru the entire journey. On reaching the top, we first had lunch from a hotel on the top. The rest of the trip can be subdivided into 3 parts :
Mottakunnu -> This was our first stop on the vagamon hill range.A series of hills lying high and reaching out for the skies. Here we saw clouds brush thru our faces. The chill was there but so was the adrenaline rush. The scenic beauty took our breaths away. We criss-crossed thru the hills till we reached "The Dam" where we had some rest with feet in cold water(aah.. aah..).While crossing thru the numerous streams flowing b/w the hills, we caught some "ATTA's" on our feet and had a nasty time getting rid of them. Finally after wandering about for an hour or so and absorbing the beauty, we left for the next spot.
Pine County -> The place where Pine trees were grown( silviculture, I think). The place was starting to feel cold as it was almost 4:00pm. The ground was covered with pine leaves and the place was wet,really wet. We moved around the pines until we found a small waterfall. The whole place was eerie as the winds whistled thru the Pines. We felt as it was gonna rain. Forgot to tell, but for the 1st time in 3 days, we were seeing a clear weather. The skies were clouded though. After wetting our feet and fighting with the "ATTA's" for the umpteenth time, we returned to the entrance and onward to the next stop.
Suicide Point( Suvisesham Point for our guide auto-driver) -> The place where the vertical wall was seen. It should have been Suicide Ridge, rather than suicide point. The place was a small trek of around half an hour from the entrance thru the surrounding hills. The place seemed lonely, since it was already late, around 5:30 pm. We came up to the ridge edge. The Sky seemed below us and the clouds seemed to rise from the bottom of the ridge onto the place where we were standing. There we shouted our lungs dry to hear some echos but to no avail. Since the last bus was supposed to be at 6:15pm, we had to hurry back. There at the entrance of the Suicide Point, we sat for more than an hour but no raksha. So we started moving in the direction of Pine County.

Vagamon Hills -> Kottayam
While we were walking on and cracking jokes abt each other, a bus approached to the opposite dir. We somehow managed to stop it and reached Elapara. This was supposed to be another stop of out tour itinerary but due to lack of time, we had to forgo it. From Elapara, we got a Bus to Muttada and then a connection bus to Kottayam, which we almost lost b'coz of Jazz's nature calling. On reaching Kottayam, we had a hell of an entry into the town. Nearing the Stop, our bus put a sudden break after we heard a crack. It was that a Swift had ploughed into a Esteem in front of our eyes. Everyone got down and rushed to the site. The Place was real mess with the esteem headlights out and the Swift's front gone flat. The police reached there within minutes, which for me was a novel thing. They caught the guys in the Swift, took them away and then the traffic cleared. While we nearing Kottayam, there was a plan to go for film since the next train was around 1:10 am. But since we reached by 9:30 pm and no new films were playing, we let go of the plan and headed for the station. Nearing the station, there were again instances of rash driving but fortunately no accidents occurred. It seemed Kottayam was on a high for the night on Sunday. We reached the station without anymore trouble. The lady at the ticket counter was cute and so we all stopped to have a look while Thomson led the pack to buy the tickets. After that, we searched around for a place to have dinner. But on a Sunday night, there was none open. Finally a shopkeeper directed us in the opposite direction to a tathkadaa. We ate appam and kadla curry. to say the truth, it was far better than what some hotels out here sell. All of us had our stomachs filled to max. Then back to the station where the bird watching session continued for another hour. Then all of us were tired and so we came to the platform. There we slept in the waiting room until 1 am. Finally the train came.

Kottayam -> Trivandrum
The train was 20 min late and it was so full that we had no place to land our feet. Yet somehow we managed to get in and find a place to stand/sit. The rest was another sleep time until Trivandrum. On reaching Trivandrum, we waited at the station until all the fellow female passengers (< 30) left the building. Getting out, first thing we did was have tea from the roadside shop and buy newspaper. From there to the bus stop and finally heaven in tvm, our own sweet KANIMANGALAM.
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