What a weekend! - Trip to Kuduremukha

After the CSTP proficiency evaluation we had in our company, I really wanted a break. A break away from all the tensions, worries and busy city life. On Friday, one of my friend Girish came up with an idea.. “How about a trip?”. Well, this was something I was looking for and I readily agreed. But, it was such a short notice for all that I doubted about the execution of plan. It was 11 AM and we were not in a position to waste any time. Surprisingly, we could gather people beyond our expectation! At first it looked as if a car like, sumo or Scorpio would be sufficient. But soon, we had 14 members ready for the one-day outing, and so we had to arrange for a 15-seater cab...

The next important thing we had in front of us was the place... “Where to go?” For one day, we had no much choice and kudremukha – Hanuman gundi looked feasible. Everything was planned within 2 hours and luckily we could also book a cab through one of my dad's friend. We decided to meet the next morning at 7.30 and move towards our destination by 8... Since some of our crew members were from the places near Santhekatte, I asked the driver to make Santhekatte as the first pick point. Later that day, I bought some snacks and went home hoping for a great weekend ahead. I was pretty relaxed and so fell asleep in no time after setting the alarm to 5.45AM.

That night ended very soon and my alarm started to ring in the early morning... Soon, this thought of going for a trip enlightened me and I was up and running in no time! Just like small kids who become excited when they are going for a picnic... After finishing all the daily routine, I packed my bags, wore a nice T-shirt that my cousin sis had gifted. I messaged everyone to make sure all are awake and ready. After having breakfast, I left my place at 7.30 with dad, on bike wearing my shades... The excitement level was high, so I raised the accelerator. But then I realized my dad sitting behind, so didn't give him a chance to remind me that I am not riding in a Moto GP race ;) My dad suggested to take some salt if we encounter the bloody leaches... So after buying the same, we reached Udupi taluk office which was the second pick point. Soon, everyone came there and then the cab. "Lekar prabhu shri krishna ka naam, hum nikal pade udupi se pure josh se...". Chandru joined us that morning which made our count to reach 15.

Everyone looked so energetic, fresh and excited. We had a TV and music player in the cab. When the music started, eventually everyone started to put some steps... This never happened in our previous trips, as people used to take some time to get settled. It all started with “let the music play”, “we will rock you”, “aisa jadoo dala re” and other dance mixes. Thankfully, there was no good dancer in our crew otherwise he/she would have committed suicide watching us putting those crazy steps that no one could ever imagine :D In Konkani this is called “bhangi” dance... ;) Our first stop after getting into the cab was Karkala. Me, Ganu and Giri decided to visit Shree Venkataraman temple and the Hanuman temple in front of it. It is one of those sacred temples of all. On the way, we just peeked inside the kamath clinic for the lady doctor that we had seen during our last visit.. ;) But no luck, I guess she wasn't there. Anyways, we reached the temple after 1KM of walk, as the cab was stopped in front of Sagar hotel near karkal Bus stand. We prayed for our safe return and thanked lord venkatesha for what he has given in our lives. After spending some time there we were hungry so started walking towards the hotel. On the way, pandu joined us, as he had come to karkal directly from his place.

After having some snacks and juice, we were all set and charged up. The parcels of curd rice and pulav were bought from the same hotel for our lunch as we cannot get anything in kuduremukh. We took some snaps inside the bus and people started singing or perhaps I can say shouting ;) with the music... This gave me an idea of playing antakshari and so, the game begun... While entering the kudremukha hill station there was a check post where the police took all possible information from us and gave us clean chit! Probably they were making sure that we were not naxalites.. You see, these Western Ghats are highly affected by these naxals... Then our vehicle was going through those beautiful green valleys and forests. The temperature started dropping a bit which was quiet nice and we were feeling relaxed. By then we were tired of playing this antakshari and so the people settled down enjoying the beautiful nature.

The cab then stopped near a bridge. I don't know what was that place. But man, it was awesome... A river flowing in between two mountains covered with lush of greens. Some of us decided to go down the bridge and spend some time over there.. However, there was no easy way to get down. The way to get down was near the pillars of the bridge where it was quiet steep. They had put those OFC cables for something and we used it as support or rope to make our way down. At first, I hesitated coz it was slippery and I had almost fell down, but then watching others enjoying I couldn't resist myself. It was not that difficult but ya, little risky. But I tell you, it was worth taking the risk. The water was so clean and cold. It was absolutely free of pollution and no other people around. I wished to dive into the water and swim for a while. But that was not planned hence we had to return. I and KP played that throwing the stones and making them bounce on the water game. For a while, I felt as if I am a small kid playing with stones :)

Our next stop was some police station! :) Not exactly, I mean we didn't go to the police station. But it was told to me that we had to take permission for something. I don't know what that was for. However, we were busy taking snaps in front of some horse like sculpture.

Then we reached lakya pollution control dam. Damn! It was closed and the police didn't allow us to go. The timings to visit were 4.30 to 6.30 except on Sundays. Our break dancer kannu bhai, tried convincing the security but that fellow was not ready. It was 12 PM and I felt it was a waste to come till the dam. As far as I could see from where the gates were closed, there was nothing special in that place.

After walking about 1 KM we reached a place from where we had to get into the forest. It was not open like it was on our way from the place where we had stopped our vehicle. Sumi akka told there are lots of leaches on the way and no water in the so called ganga mula. However, I decided to go with others though I am scared of leaches. I folded my pants to have a clear view just in case when leaches attack. On our way though we encountered some of them, we kept moving fast so as not to give them time to climb on our legs. The place was too good, it was quiet cold and silent. Finally we reached the ugamastana. It was like a cave. The woods around added to its beauty. For a moment we all forgot about the leaches and took as many snaps as possible. It was worth visiting. However, if there was little of water... It would have been even better.

I wished to stay for little longer but had to go back. While coming back i saw something moving on my shoes and Yuckkk!! It’s the blood sucker moving to get some skin so as to suck the red juice from my body to fill its little tummy. But thanks to my white shoes I could clearly make out the creature climbing slowly. Before it could reach the top of my feet, I decided to keep it starving... :) After reaching the place where our cab was parked, I checked my shoes and socks to make sure I am out of danger. Thankfully, I survived the potential danger of getting LOB (Low on Blood)!! ;) And it was the same with other mates. We all survived.

We got into our vehicle and soon we reached Hanuman gundi... The falls... Before getting into the water, we decided to have our lunch. Pulav and Curd rice was waiting for us. It was not that cloudy as I had thought initially. So, it was getting really hot. We climbed on the top of our Cab for some snaps. Then, I decided to jump from the top! I don’t know why this crap idea came into my mind. But was pretty sure I could do it. I asked Priya to take the snap when I am doing this stunt! Thank god. I landed on the road with my legs firmly positioned. It did hurt a bit but I didn't show any pain... I did a little show off instead, by doing that small stunt ;) Well, it was time to get into the water. I changed my dress, but was feeling little awkward as the shorts I had worn was quiet short compared to the rest of mates. However, I was relieved when I saw few guys wearing only underwear climbing out of the place after playing in the water!! And the steps... My goodness... There were lots of stairs we had to take to reach the falls.., Thanks to pulav and curd rice, we all had enough energy. We reached the base of the falls. And I couldn't resist myself as some of our friends were already in the water. The water in there was freezing cold. Like the water we get from our refrigerator. It was so cold and quiet clean. The falls was 20 ft long and at the base there were lot of rocks which made it difficult to reach the base of the water fall... Thote, pushed me into the water first... I swim for a while, but it wasn't that deep. Me, Ganu, Giri, Chandru and KP slowly crawled over the slippery rocks and finally we reached the dead end. Cold drops of water from the height of around 20 ft were falling on us like rocks...

I couldn't stand there much but it was a great experience. We sat down and did meditation!! (Just as a pose to the eyes of camera) While returning back, I slipped and fell on a huge rock, but fortunately KP saved my head getting banged to the hard rock! We spent lot of time there, before we noticed two tourists taking drugs sitting near the water fall! We felt even more annoyed when one of them puked into a plastic bag and washed his face in the same water!!! Errr... I wished to stay there for long time in the water playing with rest of our crew members but that scene changed our minds. We came out of the water and went down where the same water flows through narrow roads made of stones and rocks... Since the water flow was quiet less and sun was smiling over us we sat on those rocks for some time to dry our cloths.

It was nice spending time there as we felt little warm due to the temperature. It was fun overall and playing in the water fall was great as i had never experienced it before. We could easily come down the stairs, but climbing them to reach the top was painful. After taking some time outs in between we all were little exhausted and tired. I quickly changed my clothes. There was a guy who was selling pine apple. As we all were feeling hungry, we ordered some of those juicy pine apples. The combination of pine-apple slices with chilli powder was quiet good and i gulped around 5 pieces in no time. Fifteen people finished about 6 Pine apples worth 150 Rs!

After visiting all the places that we had planned, we still had some time as it was just 4PM. So, we decided to visit Shringeri and have tea on our way back towards udupi. It was really good to spend so much time with Mother Nature and visiting the temple shringeri – goddess of knowledge purified our souls. We reached little early there as temple opens at 5PM. We sat on the banks of river tunga watching huge fishes.

We also visited the meditational park where the residence of bharathi teerta swamiji is situated. We thanked goddess sharada for the knowledge she has given in our lives. It was 6PM and some of my mates were feeling very hungry. We didn't new the place so much hence, walked out in search of a good restaurant. We went to one of the good looking hotel but we were proved wrong as soon as we asked for the menu. “idli matte bajji” was the reply when we asked the waiter what is there to eat. When we again asked him what else is there hoping for few more items, he replied the same items again. Crap!! That was the only two things available! For the sake of entering that restaurant we just had tea and some of them had idli. Finally we found another hotel where we could get some verity. After filling our tummy, with a heavy heart we climbed the cab to return to our native...

All were tired so, we didn't play any games. It was quite a long, exciting, amazing, adventurous day. People who were interested danced for a while and then some of them started singing. Being a bathroom singer ;) I felt like singing few lines of one of my favourite songs. I dedicated the song to all the members who were part of our short trip... “dard main bhi ye lab muskura jaate hai... beete lamhe hume jab bhi yaad aate hai...”. The song gave me a flash back of all the good times I had in my life that are worth remembering.. After finishing the song, I was in a mood to sing another. :) This time I dedicated one of the most romantic songs to someone special... “dil ne tum ko... chun liya hai... tum bhi mujko chuno na...” throughout the song, only one face came in front of my eyes ;)

KP was the first one to get down near bajagoli as he had to go to Naravi... Now we took another route I.e. Belman – Padubidre as Priya had to go to mulky and Karthik, Ganu had to go Mangalore. I felt the trip was well organized, successful and definitely worth spending 300+ bucks. I was tired and waiting to reach my home. If everything goes well then we would've reached udupi by 9... But I was wrong!!!

We had crossed NMAMIT engg. College nitte and our cab was moving towards belman. We saw a big crane in the middle of the road trying to pull something... God, not now! We were already late. A truck carrying JCB had fell down and the crane was trying to lift the same. It was difficult because, 100tuns of JCB was still attached to the back side of the truck... I realized this is not going to end soon. Luckily, the chain used to lift the truck was broken while trying to pull the same. So, they allowed all the vehicles to move. I prayed, “no more surprises” but was proved wrong again!!!

As we were closing Belman, our driver saw a fully loaded truck coming from the other side. Both of them slowed down as it was a single road. The sides of roads in these places are not levelled and so one had to get off the road to make way for the other. It is a nightmare for two wheelers. But these big vehicle drivers always have this mentality not to get off the road though their ground clearance is good enough to sustain any potential damage. Our cab driver kept the vehicle towards the edge of the road and waited for the other to clear off. But the other fellow had the same mentality. So he slowly moved watching carefully – neither to get off the road nor to damage the vehicle. But his prediction was proven wrong. He easily cleared most of the part of his vehicle, but he could not clear it completely without touching our vehicle. The back part of both the vehicle brushed each other making lot of noise that damaged the bumper and back lights. I am not sure whose mistake was that, but luckily nobody was hurt. Now the other driver stopped his vehicle after going little far and our driver Mr. Krishnanna got really wild! He stopped the engine jumped out the vehicle and ran towards the truck. This didn't look good. Our boys also got excited and pushed themselves out of the vehicle to support krishnanna... The other fellow, the truck driver, was little drunk.

“Tirta balambe b*** m***” (get down you bas**d) shouted krishnanna.

But the driver refused to get down. This made him really angry and he felt the support from our excited boys made him really wild. He climbed the truck, stopped the engine, and dragged him out of the vehicle. Holding the truck drivers neck, krishnanna dragged him near our vehicle...

I got down for watching the drama.

“dannimbe, tula eeta jaaga undu.. ninna vehicle pass aapuja multududa?” (Look where is my vehicle and the space. Can’t you pass your vehicle without damaging mine?) krishnanna shouted angrily. Eventually the other driver was nervous to see us all as he was alone. And then!!! Short tempered krishnanna slapped the truck driver! OMG. This is where he did the mistake. We should have stopped him by doing so. Few localities who looked giants came around. They tried compromising. One of the big guy asked krishnanna what is the amount that he thinks could settle this down. Krishnanna replied 20K! For that, the big guy said, it is not possible, either you come to a common understanding speaking to your respective owners or complain to police. Now both tried calling their respective owners. And suddenly, the localites changed the party. The other driver must have told them krishnanna had slapped him earlier. Now the localites got really angry and one of them slapped Krishnanna. Meanwhile the truck driver’s owner complained to Karkalla police station!

My goodness. This was going from bad to worst! Now, we were in the middle of nowhere! I called my dad and explained him the situation. Then I called Mahesh who has arranged the vehicle for assistance. But, it looked that now police had to come to settle everything. We were already late. And now running out of time. People from far places, Priya, Pandu and Ganesh were really getting late as they had to catch another bus after reaching padubidre. Somehow, the localites came to know that krishnanna had taken the keys of truck. And they got wild again...

“Dadambe... eta dhairya nikka gaadida key konavare.. e malla jana na.. be****i... ninna ammarnana gaadi aavu... RTO dayanambe ee” (what do you think of yourself you ras***. Is this your dad's vehicle. How dare you to take the keys of his vehicle. RTO have given you the permission is it?) by saying this they all pushed krishnanna and almost beat him! We all stood there motionless watching the poor guy doing nothing! It was not the right time to intercept as we could get beatings from them.

One of the localities turned to us and said... “What kind of students you are.. For such a small accident how you all could beat the poor driver...” Wait a second... We didn't beat anyone. So we shouted back saying, no we haven't done anything. The talks rose to some level and finally it stabilized. Mean while I tried calling Mahesh for making arrangements of alternate vehicle as this will not move unless the police come and settle everything. He inquired the owner and said he'll be sending another vehicle soon and it is on its way. By then a local bus came and we asked Priya, Karthik and Ganu to leave. Now we were 11 in the cab, tired of waiting, scared of all that happened and hoping to get out of it soon. We spent approximately 2 hours and it was 10PM! I just hoped that the alternate vehicle reaches the place before the police come. But I was proved wrong again... Thankfully, the Police were pretty cool and did not enquire anything about the passenger. Meanwhile I asked everyone to get down of the vehicle with their belongings and stand little far from the place. And then innova, the alternate vehicle that we were waiting for came. But the owner said, “We have arranged another vehicle for you people which is on its way!”... Police, localities, driver and the owners had some chat for a while and finally everything was settled down! Phew!! And we were allowed to go in the same vehicle. We reached Udupi at around 10.45 and my dad came near taluk office to pick me up. The trip had a great start and ended in some strange, surprising way. However, we had loads of fun and I am happy that nobody was hurt and we reached our places in one piece!

Comments

Bratty said…
Sunil.... Great article... guess u have re-lived ur trip while writing this article.. :)
Girish KN said…
Well written Pady.. you have covered almost everything from the trip!

Initially when I put forward the idea of a trip, I was expecting just a trip to Kapu/Malpe/EndPoint as it had happened in most of the previous occasions. Fortunately it was not to be this time and the trip went on to be the best one in terms of enjoyment and experience that I have ever had in my life!!
wow... Excellent write up!! :) i almost took my whole of last weekend to read it :)

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