Monday, January 23, 2006

Parade of memories..

It all started when I was checking my foto albums and my sight got fixed when it came across this album 'Sakleshpur trek-2005'. After that, it refused to come back and still wandering somewhere in those high-bridges, dark tunnels and that deserted house in Yedakumeri.

Now sit back and enjoy the parade of memories….

When we came up with this idea of going for a trek along the abandoned railway trek, we never thought the strength would reach 11. There was Ambarish, Hakim, Ayush, Anmol and Kishore with whom I already had traveled quite a lot. Gurpreeth and Nikhil were probably new to me(who got introduced as roommates of Ayush).To prevent it being an all-boys-trek, there were three beautiful ladies in the trek group – Pooja, Archana and Varsha. I still wonder how the later managed to get permission to come for the trek!

On the day we were about to leave for Sakleshpur (exactly one year back on Jan 22!), we got a surprise half day off in office due to Beny hin disturbance. When we were advised to go back to homes, we freaked into Bangalore Central for trek shopping! We brought MTR ready-to-eats, biscuits, chips and of course those shoes.

On that Friday night when the Bangalore-Sakleshpur bus left majestic, it appeared as if all the people in the bus were going for the trek. Our gang was in fantastic form. Ambarish was busy renaming every one of us. He called himself Dan Brown and called me Robert Langdon for reasons not known till now. Call it after-effects of reading Dan’s novels!

After the bus dropped us in the middle of a forest in front of a tea-shop (remember that aunty & Inchara), our field day started. Our first venture of traveling in a mini open truck, that clear skies, stars sparkling and we all the gang happily sitting in an open truck… we all silently sitting in the early morning hours looking for little sunlight waiting to start our trek..

The best part of journey with the rail tracks was the high altitude bridges and the pitch dark lengthy tunnels. I think there were about 19 tunnels and 25 bridges.Those bridges were so high and sometimes the plates in them were rusty making it ever more dangerous. But I liked the dark tunnels most. Almost mile long tunnels with no signs of any light and bats flying over making strange noises. At places water drop tickling from the roof. It is an awesome experience.

One more thing which made the journey along the track more memorable was the streams, waterfalls and woods which we came across. And of course the awesome anthakshaari all along the way.

Those tired & hungry looks, the way we ate the ready-to-eat food packets for lunch was a thing to remember. I think in between we ran out of our quota of water.

But most remarkable thing for me was the fact that even the first timer trekker though obviously tired had that will to complete the trek and indeed they completed.

Next episode there was about the place where we stayed. It was an abandoned railway station with a ruined house with no electricity. After walking nearly for 19kms, every one of us had crashed in the sleeping bags in no time.Our ‘house’ for the night was a treat to watch & experience. It had those big holes in the roof and no doors!! Those screams by Archana seeing those mighty rats should be still ringing in Yedakumeri !

That waterfalls where we had a natural shower.How cold the water was! And of course that episode where we went looking for a suitable place for our ‘morning activities’!

Getting lost while coming back, taking a truck to travel, asking a mini-truck for lift, visit to Tippu’s fort, standing on the walls of forts posing for photos..still feels it was few days back. Someone who wanted to go by Rajahamsa and at end became such that they wanted to travel to Bangalore by truck!!

Then that truck journey to Hassan and our pranks of waving hands & saying ‘Hi’ to whomever was passing by, those songs we sung (special mention of songs by Pooja & Ambi)…incredible.

I was just walking through Hollywood, thinking of all these wonderful moments. What a coincidence; at the same time I got a call from one of the trekkers.

I wish I had a time machine in which I could fly back to those days & those moments spent with all wonderful people.

Memories sooth the mind just like that massage after that long tiring trek…