August 16, 2011

When the Blue Mountains beckoned…

The only thing worse than getting back to work after a weekend is getting back to work after a long, fabulous weekend.

So you know the state of mind I am in right now, don’t you?

Alright, moving on.

Although the beginning and ending of my weekend wasn’t great, the days in between more than made up for it. I set of for B’lore on Friday evening (12th). My flight was supposed to take off at 8:10, but finally took off at 9:15. It looked like the whole of Hyderabad was flying that day, the airport looked like your KSRTC bus stand- it was so crowded! So anyways, having reached the airport two-and-a-half hours earlier, I did the mandatory checking in and stuff, and to kill time, went and sat in one of the hideously overpriced cafes and had a hideously overpriced brownie( which I think was the cheapest thing on the menu). My flight finally came, and landed in B’lore at around 10:15. After picking up my luggage, I waited around for my sis who had gone to Mumbai on work and was flying in the same day. Her flight came at around 11:10, and by the time we finally got home, it was almost 1 (her house is f-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r from the airport. Like, light years).

The original plan was that my sis, bro-in-law (who henceforth will be referred to as Chechi and Ettan) and I would drive to Nadapuram, a small little town in Vadagara, Kerala. That’s where my mom’s ancestral home is, and it had been ages since we’d visited the place. So we thought we’ll make a trip of it this weekend, since my mom was also there for a few days. It’s this really HUGE old house, some 120 years old, the typical ancestral home types. I love going there, but sadly, haven’t been able to for quite some time (Remember I've talked about being there?).

But Saturday, Ettan had to work, and since the drive would take at least 8 hours, it’s advisable to leave really early in the morning. So by afternoon, we decided to chuck the Nadapuram plan. Also, we were getting reports from everyone that it was pouring out there in Kerala and that the roads were horrible. We stayed back in B’lore on Saturday, generally whiling away time.

Early Sunday morning, by four, we set off for Masinagudi (I don’t remember the last time I woke up and saw 4 AM. It was quite a feat, since Chechi and I had polished off a bottle of wine also the previous night. Totally meant to be sisters, we are :P). Our assigned chauffer, Ettan, make sure he kicked us out of bed and bundled us into the car by 4. Snoozed for a while in the car, and by around 7, we could see the Nilgiris in the distance.

And my jaw didn’t close for the next two days.

We had to drive through the Bandipur sanctuary to get to Masinagudi. And what a route that is! Lush forests, narrow roads, minimal traffic, elephants and monkeys casually sauntering around- it was awesome. We soon reached our destination- a resort owned by Ettan’s family friends. It’s called Forest Hills, and it’s situated right at the foot of the Nilgiris. A lovely place- small little bamboo cottages, tree houses, spread over a large area, it’s an ideal getaway. From the porch of our cottage, we could see the mountains looming large. Breath-taking sight. It was such a relief to breathe in fresh, clean air, without smoke and dust. The huts are built around the main house, so it doesn’t have a ‘commercial’ feel to it. It’s like you’ve gone to visit the home of someone you know very well, and that’s exactly how you’re treated, irrespective of whether you’re a guest or family. There are stone benches strewn all over the place, a few swings out in the open (I’m a sucker for jhoolas. I was stuck on them for the major part of the stay)- and the place is SO GREEN!!! There’s a personal touch to everything. The food was mind blowing, and I think I’ve gained like 3-4 kilos in a just a day. The company was just as fab.

In the evening on Sunday, we went on a safari inside the Bandipur Sanctuary. Which was just ok, because honestly, I’m not much of an animal-lover. And there’s only so much you can ooh and aah at deer and bison and elephants. We weren’t lucky enough to spot even one tiger. So the two-hour safari was a slight disappointment. The silence inside the jungle was awe-inspiring though.

Dinner was another jolly affair, with spirits and stories flowing generously. :) After stuffing our faces with god only remembers what all, we crashed- literally.
The next morning, after yet another round of eating- this time, yummy masala dosas- we set off for Bangalore. Reached the city by around 5. I was dropped off at my Uncle’s place, where I spent the rest of the evening with the little brat Manavi (my one-and-a-half year old cousin. She’s one atom bomb. Getting even one still photo of hers is a task, because she doesn’t stay still long enough for me to take a picture!).

Boarded the bus at 10:30. And it was by far one of the worst bus journeys ever. I don’t know how it always happens to me, but 80% of the times, my bus seat will have some problem. Either it will not recline, or it will only recline, so I’ll be lying down the entire way. This time, it was the former. My seat wouldn’t recline, and I spent the entire night sitting upright. Plus, since I was late in booking tickets, I had got only a non-AC bus, and because of the heavy rains, all the windows were shut. I was suffocated, hot, uncomfortable, irritable- you get the picture. And instead of reaching at 7 in the morning, which is how it usually works, the bus reached at 9:15, so I had to come straight to the office. Thankfully I had all my stuff with me. So I could freshen up. I can hardly feel my neck and back. Punctured.

All in all, I had a great weekend. Thanks to my sis and bro-in-law, and the wonderful hosts at Forest Hills.

P.S 1: I was specifically told by Mr. Chotu of Forest Hills that I had to write good things about the place. So here it is. :) But believe me, I haven’t embellished even a bit. All the things I’ve written are straight from the heart.

P.S 2: I don’t have a cam, and my phone cam sucks big-time. So couldn’t take many pics. :( Let me see what I can salvage from my phone-pics, and I’ll upload those. (Now would be a good time to offer to buy me a cam. Just saying…)

So how was your weekend? What did you do?


  1. I'm jealous. I haven't seen the nilgiris and never stayed in a cottage :X
    But I so so so enjoyed reading this :) Chechi and Ettan seem to be wonderful, Will you tell them I liked them ? :)

    Love :)

  2. People come and go, the mountains remain. Mountains are permanent things. They are stubborn, they refuse to move. You can blast holes out of them for their mineral wealth; or strip them of their foliage; or dam their streams and divert their torrents; or make tunnels and roads and bridges; but no matter how hard they try, humans cannot actually get rid of these mountains. That's what I like about them, they are here to stay. - Ruskin Bond

  3. Awhh sounds so beautiful and so vivid! Really glad you had fun! I have exams, so don't ask me how the weekend went! -_-#

  4. Posting a few pics of the place wouldve been nice. Seems like a really nice place :)

    Here's my latest post
    Them Slaves

    Do visit


  5. Ok... Im going to masinagudi... you need to feed me with more deatils and stories that can help me plan :D

  6. @Serendipity: Will tell them. :)

    @Arun John: Hail Ruskin Bond.

    @DawnZhang: I won't ask.:p

    @CRD: Wish I had pics to upload.:( Will try to put some up.

  7. Badly makes me want to go on a holiday! Lucky you Spiff! Ok, I am starting to sound jealous...Forest Hills sounds awesome! :)

    Oh, and forget the back pain, you had such an awesome time!

  8. Have you ever considered writing travelogues? You seem really good with that sorta stuff as well:)

    And my mum has been to Masinagudi a few times and hasn't stop talking about it. And now you.
    I HAVE to go one of these days!

  9. Drive through Bandipur is just awesome! :) I think am here for thr first time, may be yeah....loved the post...

  10. You were just adorable earlier, Now you're adorable + versatile :)

    Congratulations on the award :)

  11. @Medidating Lion: Done! :)

    @Destiny's Child: The place really was awesome.:) And yup, forget the back pain- the trip was worth it.:)

    @Priyanka: If and when I travel, I shall write about my experience. If I can inspire even one person to go visit a place because of the way I've described it- just the way reading Rusking Bond makes me yearn to visit Dehra and Shimla etc- then I shall consider the money I spent on the trip well worth it. :)

    @Chintan: Hey, thanks for dropping by.. :) And it truly was awesome.:)

    @Serendipity: Thank you, my dear. :)

  12. well...... same here! And I know exactly what you mean by the after effects of a fab hoilday. Mine was a college reunion in kovalam beach! (thats where my college is too)... and really fantastic writing there - didn't quite need any visuals- you painted it with words!

  13. Wow, now tht is a weekend!!!

    I can soo understand how it must feel to get back to work :)

  14. "And my jaw didn’t close for the next two days."

    Loved that one...Don't mind the bus trips,"builds character"..

  15. @Blue Lotus: Builds character, my ass. :/


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