Friday, February 29, 2008





























Periyar
To many it's a holiday hotspot. They come, plant their asses on a boat, put on their Ray Bans and English hats and allow the cool breeze to touch their faces. If the hubby wants to hold hands in a flourish of romance, so be it. Spotless white complexions, the mehendi still quite dark yelling out to the world that "hey! don't look at her like that, she's married." Gold, heeled sandals and a lost look, perhaps wondering, "what the hell am I doing in the middle of this blasted lake with this offensive man I didn't really want to get hitched to??"Then somebody yelled out. "WILD BUFFALO! GAUR! STRAIGHT AHEAD!" Those interested in species other than themselves slipped out binoculars, some their shiny digital cameras, while the kids got all excited, trying to jump up and see over the elders. The one who shouted ran to the fore, steady stance, binoculars in position, eyes fixed. Two minutes of bliss, before the boat began to swerve away from the bank. Hair unruly, dirty pants, muddy shoes, smudged kajal, brown arms, thanks to the sun's generosity, a perpetual mad expression. Welcome. That was I. Behind me, the newly married bitch says, "What's the big deal, it's only a buffalo?" What stopped me from whirling around and telling her that "Honey bun, a tiger would think twice before attacking *that* thing, which means that *that* thing has something exceptional about it. But then, what would you know? You can scarcely look beyond your own nose."
Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Some people just don't have it, and the sooner I accept that, the better for my temper.

The 9-hour trek was fantastic. We went through about four different kinds of vegetation, from shola to semi-evergreen to grasslands to something else which I fail to remember. The terrain was rough and challenging and we literally climbed up and down mountains, reminding me of the last scene of 'Sound of Music'. The tiger pugmark discovery was thrilling.

The camping was a different experience all together. Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed being the only woman amidst 8 men - 4 guides, 1 armed guard and 3 cute Swedish boys. Zigzagged in and out of the forest, walked on the banks of the lake and finally reached the camping site, a picturesque location on a hill slope, beside the lake. The night was even better. No sign of human habitation, no light except from the silky moonlight and the bonfire. In the night, we heard elephants across the lake to the other bank, trumpeting angrily and bathing too. Thank God for that wide trench encircling the camping ground, or we'd make for some good elephant mattresses. I'll never forget that wild pig I scared out of its years growth, when I went into the foliage to answer the call of nature. And the poor soul will never forget me. Nasty human!


I worked out my muscles pretty well, rowing that bamboo raft for 2 hours in the hot sun. Hence, the tightness of my arms and the blackness too. Hard labour, but good fun. I wonder how it'd be if I became a rower to earn my living. Push-ups would become easier for one thing.

There are just too many things to recount and I don't feel like recounting them all. But O! I'm so smitten!

And the best part is. I was alone.

2 comments:

Babushka said...

:)

arundhuti said...

nice. i love d sarcasm n d temper... like d way u described d married woman thingy... bk home it IS a big deal. women n der HUNT for securities. i don't get it. nyways, seems like u had a hevaenly time... amogst d 3 swedes n other men n d baby pig!