Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(Mis)adventures at Thenmala

Here's a misadventure of a trip that came to pass in the middle of my short break in God's Own Country. [Coudl'nt resist putting up a photo walkthrough with my own pics either :P]

So 5 of us cousins set out to Thenmala, an eco - adventure tourist destination somewhere in Kollam. We were inspired by the beautiful pics on the website and an article in the Yaathra magazine that fired us up with enthusiasm about adventure laden treks and activities. Little did we know that Kerala tourism is sometimes a bigger letdown than even the worst Mallu movies.

The information counter was pretty informative, allright, except he failed to mention that the only 'adventure' in this place would be trying to find anything adventurous at all. So, grabbing a few tickets and thanking God we were not 'international tourists', we set out for the 'adventure' zone.

The 'walkway' was a beautiful sight, in fact it was a pic similar to the one on the right that started off the Thenmala plan.

When we reached the 'rock-climbing', unfortunately, we received our first shock.A small 10 metre rock stood in front of us, with a signboard saying

"Feeling adventurous? Try this.. You are safe in professional hands.. " .

Yaa right ! It was safe allright. 10 metres. If its safe, then wheres the adventure, dude ?

Anyways, enthusiasm unbeaten, we proceeded through the 'natural trail' (a small kachcha road through the woods) to a small lake, which was supposed to be the centre of the remaining 'adventure'. The lake was beautiful allright.

But the rest of the let-downs came quickly in succession. The 'ropeway' was nothing but a small piece of rope around 20 metres long for people to hang on and cross. The 'spider net' was a rope net that we used to play on as kids, or find in theme parks. 'Flying fox' and 'freedom fall' were worse than they sounded even, you dont even want to guess what they really were.

After the adventure zone letdown, though, the 'leisure zone' turned out to be better. It was a beautiful area. The view of the dam and the river was breathtaking.There was a trail through the small forest area, with all sorts of 'modern sculpture' in between. The 'modern art' was so abstract (read as 'corny'), they had to give us a pamphlet explaining what each one meant. Some were as foolish as a man holding a ball, and a long crappy explanation to follow it. The type of bullshit we write in our History exams. Probably some engineer after 4 years of bullshitting in his exams, decided to find a job in tour-packaging instead of coding in C++. The pic on the right though, was one of my favorite ones. Its called Meditation - it signifies that man should 'keep aside' his 5 senses to attain salvation (and u can see how the 5 'senses' are 'kept aside' in the sculpture, literally)

More sculpture photos follow.

That last one means "Why try to attain pleasures you cannot reach (the moon on top) while you have simple pleasures of life within your own hands (the moons reflection in the girls hand)".

The rest of the story was scenery. The walk along the dam and river, the garden and the 'boardwalk' (we prefer to call it bored-walk) are better seen through the pics than words.

Finally, wondering whether to kill the Yaathra magazine writer, bomb the Thenmala ecotourism society, or sue Kerala tourism authority for what they'd done, we were on our way home faster than we hoped to be. And that signpost. Theres one that will still leave me in splits of laughter and anger together.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy blogday to me!

Looong time no blog.. so this one is out of pure desperation to blog.. in the last 2 weeks I've been over thousands of kilometres, home, college, relatives, friends, and back to Nanyang tech. In 2 weeks I've been through so many different worlds that sometimes this world seems completely out of place to be. And now, finally, somehow it seems dramatic that the first time I get to blog in this year should be on my birthday too !

Had a nice celebration, thanks to a great bunch of loving friends here. My mind really went back
to my 21st bday 2 years ago. 2 years ago, I started this blog. That was Calicut. And now here I am.

Celebrations... make u feel happy for living. I wonder how would it be if everyday was a birthday for me. If everyday I could wake up feeling happy for having lived and still going on.

After all the usual birthday dose of kicks, cakes and calls, I came back to my room and comp, to good old G-chat, and I saw this on my friends status message :

"You are dying slowly... If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain. If you do not go after a dream. If you do not allow yourself, atleast once in your lifetime, to run away from sensible advise..."

So I've decided. Time to fix some priorities. Take decisions about things I really wanted to do. Photography, music, travelling, exploring.. the list may be impossible and endless. But theyre MY dreams.

So time for me to go after my dreams. And let the 'sensible' advise go to the trash can...