Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A trip to Wayanad with a bunch of Crazy old Engineers.

After 8 months of slogging in Uni (no need to smirk!) A trip to Wayanad has left me rejuvenated. On a not-so-sunny Monday I boarded Chandappan Travel’s mini-van (Yes, Ninan Uncle, the name is Chandappan) to Wayanad. In the van with me were 5 hyper ex-collegemates, 2 lovely ladies (1 of whom is also among the alumni) and 4 not as hyper-as-their-dads teenagers. ( Umma stayed back as Velliamma wasn't feeling well.)The occasion? A mini reunion of ex-CETeans.
Starting Place: Pavangad, Calicut
Destination    : Wynd Valley Resort, Wayanad ( I don’t know why they spelt it that way)
So, we pushed off from Calicut around 12 pm ( After a 1 hr ‘breakfast and bathroom’ delay) with our driver Raghu ettan. Poor guy, had to put up with 13 noisy people for one whole day! The drive was the best and the worst part. With the lovely scenery- lush green fields, rain soaked leaves, the tiny yellow flowers playing hide and seek with the ferns- when one, enchanted by the scene, starts his reflection on nature and it’s beauty THUD the van hits a pothole and you are jolted out of your reverie. The people at the back took the worst hit I guess. However, the journey was fun and we had a good break for lunch at Upavan, a beautiful resort, situated on the way.  After meen curry -chor and porotta-chicken with full tummies we pushed off. In about an hour we pulled in to Wynd Valley resort. It is, as Shirley Aunty said, a mix of old and new. It is a uni-block with around 12 rooms with sloping roof and attached balconies with cane chairs, facing the ‘park’… the works!
After tea ( I think I can write a whole post about the Malayali fascination with tea), now joined by few more of my dad’s friends we pushed off to Ambalavayal to see Phantom Rock. Yes, you read it right it is PHANTOM rock. This is one huge skull-shaped rock (hence, the name Phantom) placed over another, naturally. (By Allah J ). On a similar note, the mountains in Wayanad really made me come back again and again to the verse in Qur’an-  Description: Have We not made the earth as a bed, and the mountains as pegs? Description: (Quran, 78:6-7). ( Another really nice verse is- "And He has cast into the earth firmly set mountains, lest it shift with you, and [made] rivers and roads, that you may be guided" (16:15) )

On the way to this Phantom Rock the hyper excited ex-classmates were seized with a desire to eat pazham pori (batter dipped and fried bananas ). This craving is something that hasn’t left any of them since their college days and only gets intensified when there is another CETean in the vicinity.  So our harassed driver was told to stop at every thattu kada on the way till they could locate one where they could get some steaming pazham poris. All the while the men were remembering their dear friend Chands who couldn’t join them for this trip (Ninan Uncle, they really missed you and the name of the mini-van just heightened their nostalgia as they were going at their pazham poris.  :D )
We reached Phantom Rock and, surprisingly, the area was empty. This gave us freedom to move around and explore the place. The rock is quite something. If you are in Wayanad, this is something you should check out. Since, words can’t really do justice to it, here is a picture-  

From there we headed to Karapuzha dam. Here Shereef, Fenwick uncle and Santhosh Uncle decided to sprint towards the top on the slope (Separately). And since I was the photographer I didn’t bother chasing behind them (or should I have? :S) 
Walking amidst this greenery framed by majestic mountains, one can’t help but feel humbled by the beauty of god’s creations. Even after man’s technological prowess in the 21st century, can he ever make something as simple and as beautiful as a dew drop on a leaf or something as majestic as a mountain? Another thing that fascinates me are the different shades of green that exist here- bottle green, parrot green, emerald green, lime green...and all of them so cooling for the eye!

After a long walk my dad, true to the food-lover’s blood running in his veins, herded us into a thattu kada and we relaxed over cups of steaming chaaya (With and without :D) . My Dad's beef-sensitive nose sniffed out beef fry and soon we were enjoying spicy beef fry with our tea. We even packed 6 plates of beef fry for dinner (Which, not surprisingly ceased to exist once it entered the 'boys' cottage)

Dinner was an elaborate affair with a spread of porotta, chicken Al-faam, puttu, appam, curry…even my brothers ( who have pits for stomachs) had to stop after a while. Even, I gave up my, ahem, diet at the sight of the amazingly barbecued chicken inviting me to dig into its juicy legs. Ok, that made me sound like a vampire, anyway it was amazing.
 Following the dinner was a surprise mini-party for a couple amongst us who were on their 25th wedding anniversary. Santhosh Uncle and Jayashree Aunty had cakes, a speech and couple of songs waiting for them. 

After the cake cutting we retired into our rooms with tired shoulders and aching limbs for a good night’s sleep.

Next day morning we checked out of the resort after a complimentary breakfast (I am sure the resort management will cease to offer such breakfasts after the way we went at it  :D ). We were headed for the last stop in our trip- Banasura dam- the largest earth dam in Kerala. Again, words can’t describe the beauty of this place, neither can my amateur photographs capture it. However, here are a few shots which might come close to showing the place.

Here we youngsters  had an amazing speed-boating experience. Once on the boat decked in the jhatang orange life suits and halfway into the ride it started raining. And if you have never tried speed-boating when it’s raining, it’s something you should try. The wind and water whipping on your face- amazing! By the time our parents received us we were one drenched bunch with chattering teeth.

After that last activity we piled into the van and were on the road back to Calicut  (Now accompanied with uppilitta maanga and nellika- I can’t  find a good enough English equivalent to describe these tangy vinegar-preserved fruit slices). 
After one more stop at Kunnamangalam for lunch we were back in calicut in 3 hours. Tired but happy ( Most of us, atleast).
The ex-college mates slowly slipped back into adulthood and by the time everyone left my dad was back to being my dad :D

1 comment:

  1. Amazing travelogue. Brings out the nostalgic transformation of classmates. Descriptions are quite simple at the same time brings out the details. Nazreen, try some serious writing.

    To Santhosh who might be reading this:

    ibrahim babu