7th Semester Nostalgia!

The 7th semester exams have started from today. What better way to pass time between the dozing study-schedules and flipping pages, than to recall and live in the moments enjoyed in college! Here I am, relaxed after giving my first paper for this sem, and tension-free because I’ve 4 more days between today and next paper šŸ˜› . To give a you a one line summary, I’d say that this sem has been the most exciting part of my Life.

To start with, I, along with a handful others, organised a Robotics Workshop in my college, where propaganda, fee collection, enlightening minds, speaking a lot, working a lot too, and conducting the workshop while actually participating in it, will pass down my memory with all glitter, and especially the night when we packed all gadgets and materials into individual packages without sleeping for a second, and working for the whole of next day at the college.

Just after this, it was Internal assessment time. I was summoned by the HOD for having shortage of attendance (49%). I signed some green paper stating I was aware of it and resumed my bunking spree šŸ˜€ .

So, wassup next? It was the trip to Chennai! 3 ppl including me, went to IIT, Chennai. Not just to take part in Shaastra ’08 – their tech fest, but to feel what it’d be like, to be an IITian. It was an exhilarating experience. 6 days passed out in a jiffy and Chennai was a fun place to be, except for the scorching heat. ‘Memorable’ would be too small to describe the times we spent roaming around the campus at midnight, dining at a restaurant inside the campus at 2am, and lying on the lawn till the dew on the grass tickled me and drove us away, at 3am.

Sunset at Mahabalipuram beach, midnight ice-cream party, night walk at the Marina beach, dining at ‘Velu Military Hotel’ and ‘Anjappar’ were a glossy set of add-ons to the blessed getaway! All thanks to Pavan’s bro, for accomodating us and more importantly, being there for us. šŸ™‚

Again, Internals time and again the same attendance procedure. But this time, the HOD had done some magic and provided me with a relief. The shortage margin was reduced even if my ass wasn’t there in the class! šŸ˜› .

As if this wasn’t enough, our juniors went on a one day trip and triggerred a rage in me for not being able to do so. This sparked off the aggressive souls in my classmates as well, and what started as a mere jealousy culminated as the longest class trip in the 8yrs of our college history! šŸ˜€ . As many of you know already about the trip, I’ll refrain myself from talking further about this, even though I’d love to go through the memories again! (Those who haven’t seen the posts already, you can have a virtual trip yourself. Presenting to you : The Trip Series! šŸ™‚ )

After coming back from the trip, the class was never the same as before. Almost everyone greeted eachother with a lot more glee in their eyes, thereafter. Whatta way to end the semester. The attendance dwindled after that and the last days of partying in the semester continued (for me) till yesterday, before I sat with the books. Signing off for now, feeling sick about the next two weeks – Exam Time! šŸ˜¦ šŸ˜‰

Trip – Allepey and Trivandrum

Prequels to this post : Part1 Part2 Part3

I am glad that almost all of you rejoiced in Munnar in this virtual trip. šŸ™‚ Continuing to the next part, I would be glad to present you this part covering Allepey and Trivandrum.

After having the morning tea at Munnar, a downhill snaking road awaited us. The roads were very good, but narrow. I had to undergo the torment of a head spinning and stomach churning sensations in this part of the journey. When the snaking eventually reduced, I could take in some air and be normal again! We reached the Allepey by about 1pm and had lunch. Even this day, we’d been prey to a breakfast-less morning as we could not find any place serving food made with refined oil. However, upon reaching the place, we were done with lunch at a pretty good hotel.

Actually called Alapuzha, Allepey is a place with backwaters of the Arabian sea. The lagoons formed are huge; so much so, that one might easily miss the fine line of land seperating the water and sky, near the horizon. The boat in which we were supposed to take a tour of the backwaters was pre-booked which avoided any bargaining and fixing of the deal. Describing the place is beyond my vocabulary. I’m letting my camera speak with your eyes about it. šŸ™‚

Trip summary!

Trip summary!

Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, didn’t have as much natural beauty as other places. But it offered a very good chance for enjoyment. We reached the place at around 1145 pm.
(One of my friend Ravikiran was more than happy to reach there coz, he’d spent the 1st of every month recently at each of the capital cities of South India. Aug 1st – Hyderabad, Sep 1st – Bangalore, Oct 1st – Chennai, Nov 1st – Trivandrum šŸ˜€ )
First thing in the following morning, we went to one of the most famous temple of south India, the Anantha Padmanabha Swami Temple. Finishing the darshan, the breakfast job was taken care of. Next up, we went to the Trivandrum Zoo, one of the biggest I’ve seen.

After a triring time at the zoo (where i could capture the pics of around 75 odd animal species), we headed to the most exciting part of the trip – The Kovalam Beach! The speciality of this beach is that, even after going away from the coastline into the sea for about 100 ft, the water was at my waist level. The best part was swimming in the sea, for which I’d to go into the sea till the water was at my chest level (the dist from the shore could easily be 150 ft.) Playing with the ball has been, and is still a very popular game while playing in shallow waters. This was our source of entertainment and excitement too. The tiredness of playing in water for a greater part of the evening did little to bring down the energy level.

Playing in the sand like 10 yr old kids is a time worth remembering for the years to come in my life! After this, the beach-side snacks were the next stop, of course after freshning up. 5 rounds of sundal and 2 rounds of ice cream later, we headed back to our rooms. If you think that the exhaustion would us hold us as prisoners of sleep, then you are mistaken again! šŸ˜€ Humidity in the place was high and to come over it, we’d to resort to a midnight walk again, this time on the urban deserted roads of Trivandrum! Sleeping at 1am was not new to us now, and so the custom was followed again šŸ˜› .

Darshan at the temple the previous day was not very satisfactory for a bunch of guys, headed by me. So, waking up at 430 am, we set off to the temple again. Keeping in mind, the 945 am train by which we’re supposed to leave to Kanyakumari, we were back to the rooms as fast as we could, finishing off the breakfast ritual. By 945am, it was time we said Bye Bye Trivandrum! šŸ™‚

Next stop : Kanyakumari! šŸ˜€

Trip – Munnar, Nature Revisited!

Prequels to this post :

After the aching early-morning adventure at the train garage, we were happy to be in the bus, starting off towards Munnar. The sensation of traveling in the train was still fresh in my nerves and it sort of made me drowsy as soon as i got into the bus. I thought that the lack of sleep experienced can be covered up to some extent in the bus-ride. Its a pity that i was proved wrong and how! Due to a weak claustrophobic trait, I was feeling uncomfortable inside the apparently cramped bus. I was dying for fresh air to hit my face, but the cold ghat winds were playing spoilsport outside.

Ah! At last, there was a respite! On the way to Munnar, the healing effect of nature showed on all the faces, when everyone were admiring the beauty of the landscapes šŸ™‚ ! The photo session started again. let me provide you a few visual excerpts. šŸ™‚

Driving into what?

Driving into what?

That was taken from inside the bus and so appears a little bit hazy. But i don’t think it diminishes the purpose of signifying the weather.

First rays of the sun from atop the canopy!

First rays of the sun from atop the canopy!

I'm left speechless... Are you?

I was left speechless! Are you?

This is one pic which makes me regret living in a concrete jungle!

After being introduced to bliss, or heaven, or whatever!, there was a pit stop. All were wondering about the unexpected halt, and before long, we got the answer! There was a waterfall beside the road, and a wonderful one at that! Traveling without anyone to command us, the child out of every person came to the fore and the blank stares of appreciating God’s taste of sculpting landscapes was evident in everyone’s eyes!

This was my wallpaper for almost a fortnight! ;)

This was my wallpaper for almost a fortnight! šŸ˜‰

A worthy attempt to quench my thirst ;)

A worthy attempt to quench my thirst šŸ˜‰

The fatigue of the train journey and the sickness of traveling in a bus had their effects. We reached the hotel at Munnar by late morning and had less than 20 hrs to hop around the place. Everyone had forgotten that breakfast time had passed long before. Within an hour, we were ready to be going out for lunch and then for sight-seeing. A guide was arranged and we set off after havin lunch.

(Searching for food made with refined oil and NOT COCONUT OIL was the first job at hand. šŸ˜› This prolly is the only thing we have to be annoyed of while traveling through Kerala)

The places we visited were a Tea Estate view-point (my header image), Munnar Dam, Lake beside the dam and Echo Point. Not much to write about them because, its best seen than being explained about.

Tata Tea company owns almost all the hills of Munnar. Here is a part.

Tata Tea company owns almost all the hills of Munnar. Here is a part.

The tea estate Crusader! ;)

The tea estate Crusader! šŸ˜‰

Next up is the visit to the Dam and lake.

Dam Info

This lake is on one side of the dam.

This lake is on one side of the dam.

Shout from this side and u'll echo ringing through the hills

Shout from this side and u'll be able to hear voice ringing through the hills!

Like all good things, the wonderful day came to an end. On the way back, we shopped for spices, tea and home-made chocolates, the specialties of Munnar. All had dinner according to their need and taste. I settled with parottas at a roadside stall and some biryani. All were ready to call it a night.

If you’re thinking that not sleeping properly for the previous night had taken its toll, then think again! The spirits were high and a small group decided to go on a midnight walk. Leaving the room by 11 in the night, we braved through the cold and returned to bed by 1.30 am.

My close friend had a function at his place and couldn’t make it to Munnar on the first day. But he joined us by reaching the room early next morning, at around 3.30 am. So, my <i>Long</i> sleep was over. 3.30 in the morning is not a time for roaming. But, we were back to the roads. After a walk for half an hour and covering about 2kms, we found a tea stall. To our amazement, it was busy with packed crowd at such early hours!!

)

In the Early Morning, after tea šŸ™‚

This pic was taken when we were enacting a virtual camp-fire scenario šŸ˜›

We could have made a camp-fire, but it was late in the evening when the idea actually hit the brain. So, tht was missed, dearly! šŸ˜¦

The time scheduled for the bus to leave to leave for Allepey was 6.30 am. The promptness of the group was such that, we left Munnar only at 8 am šŸ˜€ . So, See you people at Allepey šŸ™‚

Catch the rest of the story here :

Trip – Allepey and Trivandrum

Trip – The Train Journey!

Read the summary of my class trip here!

The class trip started off on an almost peaceful note. Everyone were ready with their bags and enthusiasm to board the train. The peaceful atmosphere was spoiled when one of the guys didn’t turn up even at 5.10 pm for a train scheduled to leave at 5.15 pm! the last 5 minutes were hair-raising because almost all of them were worried that this guy would miss the train. At the moment when the train chugged off, he entered as if performing a feat for a bond movie! Thank God for that, we could continue with our small celebration. A cake was ordered from Sweet Chariot to mark the beginning of a glorius journey! Of course we shook the bogie with the celebration and 3 cheers. šŸ˜€ Here it goes once again – Hip-Hip Hurray!!

Cheers to the EC 'B' section trip!

Cheers to the EC 'B' Trip

The EC ‘B’ part was deliberately included because, the ‘A’ section guys acted crazy when we planned for this trip! Now people, we are not responsible for the fumes from your stinky areas. šŸ˜›

The train journey was too good because of the good size of the group. This being the first time for most of us to be out of any other adult/authoritative supervision, it added to the fun! We had a small concert where in we got to showcase our individual and collective singing skills!

Dinner time approached and food, which a few of us had packed up for the whole party, was served at around 8.30 pm. After this, most people preferred sleeping. Me being used to be a night owl, stayed up along with a few others till 1 am.

The second adventure starts! Everyone knew that the train was scheduled to reach Cochin by 4.30 am. To my amazement, when i woke up at 4am, more than half of the crowd had already brushed their teeth and waiting with luggages. There are two stations in Cochin – Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction, and we were supposed to get down at the latter, which was the last stop. A small confusion arised and we mistook the Junction for Town, and stayed back in the train. The train started moving and only after 5 minutes did we realise that it was moving in the opposite direction! Everyone said the same thing on realising it – WTF!!

Many people spoke. One said that the platform on which th train halts will be changed, and the other was afraid that we will go back to Bangalore even before the trip started! After around 5-6 Kms of return journey, the train stopped, to our annoyance, at the garage (or whatever it is called for trains!). Not a single soul was there to see. Everyone got down and walked with the luggage for nearly half a km when we found the garage supervisor šŸ™‚ .

He listened to our plight through the only person of our group who spoke Malayalam. We found out that there was no road for atleast a Km from there and even if we made it till there, no means of transport was available. Thankfully, he understood the situation and arranged something. An engine to drag a local train was called earlier by half an hour to take us back to the Junction where the next part of our travel started – in a bus!

Not much pictures were available to share about this part of the journey. But this picture where everyone were waiting in a local train is sure to explain our plight! The movement of our journey back to Ernakulam Junction and eventually laying step on solid definite ground eased our breaths!

The last respite! in a local waiting to go back to Ernakulam Junction!

The last respite! In a local train, waiting to go back to Ernakulam Junction!

People, This is just the beginning! šŸ˜€

Catch the rest of the story here :

Trip – Munnar, Nature Revisited!

Trip – Allepey and Trivandrum

Memorable 5 Days, 6 Nights

Over the last week, the 5 days and 6 nights I’ll be talking about, will probably be one of the most memorable times spent by me, as well as the 25 others who accompanied me on a class trip. It was an-out-of-the-blue idea coming up in my class considered to be consisting of dumb-heads (which we proved wrong). It all started when a set of juniors went on a one day trip to Nandi Hills. I got pissed at their readiness to enjoy, more because of the lack of such attitude in my class, and was swearing at classmates for being so passive and uninterested.

The silver lining appeared a few hip-and-happening people of the class came up with a plan and succeeded in garnering a good number of people. The trip plan was like this :

  • Bangalore to Cochin by train – Did nothing in Cochin. Just changed over from the train to a tourist bus.
  • Cochin to Munnar by Bus – stayed for a day and a night in Munnar.
  • Munnar to Allepey by the same bus – just a visit of around 6 hours.
  • Allepey to Trivandrum – Reached Trivandrum close to midnight and stayed there for two nights and a day. Said Bye to the tourist bus we were traveling at the end of Trivandrum chapter of the journey.
  • Trivandrum to Kanyakumari by train – Stayed at Kanyakumari for a day and night.
  • Kanyakumari to Bangalore by train through a 20 hour journey.

I’ll come up with the whole experience as a series of posts. That way, i can share more detail as well as more photographs. As a gist of places visited, I’d like to say this:

Munnar was a place with exhilarating landscapes. The header is a pic of one such locale.

Allepey is said to be Venice of the east. The backwaters play a natural healer’s role for an agitated mind.

Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram as it is called, the capital of Kerala, was the most exciting and entertaining part because of Kovalam Beach.

Kanyakumari – The southern most tip and cape of India. It was a treat to watch the famed sunrise and sunset.

Stay tuned folks!

Catch the rest of the story here :

Trip – The train Journey

Trip – Munnar, Nature Revisited!

Trip – Allepey and Trivandrum