Thursday, December 02, 2004

bohemian rhapsody

Last weekend.. we decided to play "bohemian rhapsody".. so 11 of us.. friends form office, randomly packed up our bags, and headed out to "God's Own Country (that's Kerela, for the uninitiated) for a miniscule weekend break..

It was a dark and stormy nite.. well evening anyways.. so we arrived at the famous Majestic Bus Terminal, at 7.30, straight form office.. all wet and tired and ravenous.. and proceeded to eat everything in sight...

A 12 hour all night bus journey.... not pleasant by any standards.. driving through the night, jolting out of sleep every time I JUST gotten comfortable...

We were taking the Mysore highway route to Kerela... I woke up around 1.30, due to a biting wind coming through my window... to look outside and find that we were going through a dense forest. We had chosen a "full moon" weekend for our trip.. the leaves were filtered sliver in the moonlight.. it was magical.. very like the Enid Blyton stories we read in our childhood, where the fairies would come out to play..

Yet another time, I was woken up by a friend.. she was doing a "bhatakti hui atma" routine in the ½ inch space of the bus aisle... peered out of the window.. and was awestruck... mountains looming over us, blue-black in the moonlight.. far, far away one could see little pinpricks of light, coming from villages. The bus drove up and down winding roads, taking us from one crest to the next..

We all woke each other up, to gaze in wonder at the world... everyone was quiet.. the rest of the passengers were fast asleep.... dappled silver light, just for us..

Wrapped the shawl tightly around myself, opened the window.. and drank in the sight of mountains bathed in moonlight, forests dark and dense below us, in the valley... passed little villages, consisting of three houses, two shops and a masjid, with a spotless courtyard.. took me back to my trekking days in the Himalayas, and bus journeys just like these, meandering through hills and vales..

Passed through Calicut.. a signboard sprang out of nowhere, selling Johnson N Johnson marble tiles, told us of the fact.. was wondering how much it had changed since my cousin was here.. and trying to see whether IIM was anywhere in the vicinity, and which was the road that she used to stumble back late at night, after getting peacefully drunk with friends J

In a way, this bus ride was the highlight of the trip... the journey was magical...stared dreamily out of the window, and fell asleep with a smile on my face..


shadz said...

hey srirupa,

This is great, letz plan some more trips like this so that u can write some more..



progga said...

The journey, and not the destination, as ever. :) No sights and smells of Kalasipalyam? I remember it being a throng of buses, tiny seedy hotels where you could eat a hurried plate of tamarind rice for 5 bucks, or surreptitiously buy beer to drink on the journey, while the rest of the world slept. The journey I took umpteen times between the real world and my phantasmic campus... the journey on which it all began.
So where's the rest of the story?