Chasing the clouds

Location: Bangalore

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


A bouncy last bed in a sleeping coach making sure i am wide awake till past wayanad..then this interesting jeep safari through the remote towns of kerala..only to remind me that i am missing my bike..Mutthappan pulza comes..its the last town in the road before the forest boundary..getting down from the jeep and shaking hands with our guide Josettan. We 3 people..Vijay,myself and Josettan..and we were into this 3 days trek deep into the ever green forests of western ghats..the place called Vellarimala..not known to many, but we got pointers from Sandeep.

I should have stopped Josettan from packing that live chicken..but it had happened like that.Vijay was fully charged and almost running ahead towards the forest..myself taking it in my usual phase. In the last house, we unloaded extra luggage and got inside the forest..there onwards, the time was flying fast..didnt know how we spent 3 full days inside that just melted.

The forest was dense..signs of elephants everywhere..some really cool water streams..some hardcore climbing with all the luggage..lost count on the number of breaks we took. By 3pm, we were in good altitude when the fog covered 3:30, Josettan declared the end of the day when he found a small dripping water soure..hmm,its not fun sitting inside this bushes
till next morning..pulled him out literally..the next 2 hrs was tough enough to test our endurance skills. It was scenic with fog & cold weather..but we had to cover a distance before it gets 5:15 we were on Vellarimala top..another 15mins of downhill walk and we were in our camp site.

Every bit of mineral content in my body was squeezed out that day through sweat..reclaimed some energy with a hot MTR soup and a 30 mins break. Josettan who was in a tensed mood for the past 2 hrs came back to normality when we settled down..i know, he wasn’t worried about forest but for the chicken preparation.. :-) he started preparing for dinner briskly. Tent was setup, firewoods gathered and camp fire was on.. peaceful and interesting hours spent in preparing the dinner. Chicken curry cooked with cocunut oil tells Josettan's name loudly!

Josettan is a pretty interesting less for fun..Myself & Vijay fired so many questions towards him on facing animals and situations..fella was totally in enthu mood and replying funny answers all the way..may be he dont know/bother what next?? The place where we had set-up the camp was inside the deep jungle..and right next to the only water source available in a big radius..and animal signs are there all around the camping spot..its obvious that animals have to
visit this place frequently for water..but Josettan didnt seem to be worried at all. After a heavy dinner he & vijay went to sleep.

I was sitting outside the tent for an hour till 10pm..just listening the calmness of the forest and the stream..pushing the fire woods to make big flames..i went to bed by 10pm and immdly got into a very deep sleep..suddenly i was woken by Josettan..i pulled my watch, ohh shit its just 10:30..not even 30 mins, he pulled me out the tent..fella got into various thoughts once the fire was off.. :-) to make out a plan..i took the first session upto 12:30.. Initially i felt bit sleepy..but soon turned out to be an interesting job..push the fire woods..come back & sit listening the ambiance..time just ran away like that. Later called out Vijay for his turn for another 2 hrs. He too liked the job..My next turn was by 4:30am..when i wokeup, i saw vijay cleared some good amount of woods..i took over from there till the proper sunlight gets in by 6:30..hmmm, it was a pretty interesting night.

The next morning Josettan prepared some nice dry fish fry, fried with coconut oil. We cooked few MTR packs and carried to our next attempt..the peak called Vavval mala is today's per Josettan, people have reached there 3 years back but
i doubt. We went for it anyways. Now the forest was very dense..elephants dungs all over the path..infact the path was not made of human foot steps..its just made of elpehant & bison herds. Soon it turned out to be full of bamboo bushes and impossible to penetrate through. From 10am to 1:30pm we were walking one way towards the peak..covered almost half the distance. But the worry from Josettan was that that 3.5 hrs walk till then itself was in a totally 'no-path' situation..just walking on a guess..if we proceed the same for another 2 hrs, it will be impossible to come back. It is assured that either we would endup staying in the top foodless or come back and get lost in the dark.

Myself & Vijay were playing all sorts of dramas with Josettan to pull him to the top and see what next..we were desperate to face anything just to reach the top.. But Josettan didnt fall in line at all..finally we decided to takeup his decision..afterall its a wise move to stay away from a scary/cold/foodless/shelterless jungle night. May be we should have started early..but then its all fine..nothing to loose there..i mean it when josettan says "there is no medal given in the top..come here & stay for a week and go..dont just run around" his words are true. We city live people try to bring the whole world inside our so called plans..we could have made a better plan to reach the top..but what you get out of it? :-) for me, I am completely interested for another trek out there…may be a leisurely 4days kind to attempt Vavval mala and trek further.

On the way back we took more time in a couple of scenic places..there was this para where the view was stunning..the entire Vellarimala batch of forests under on
feet and the mist playing hide & seek over them..just stunning! By then we spotted another group of local guys going in some wrong direction inside woods at a distant..iinline with the distance between we 2 groups, josettan formed out a nice communication channel to guide those guys...soon we met the guys by around 5:30 pm..they camped next to us which just allowed us for a continuous sleep without watchman job. :-) Before that another round of heavy chicken curry the taste was much better and i dont know how much i gulped. A proper sleep throughout the night.

The next day josettan took both the groups to another view point called Masthaka para..thats one stunning view i ever had..dense forests/peaks/clouds everything under our feet. Spent lotsa time around there clicking. Later cleared the camp spot and got down. The downhill was much faster as expected..though we took it slow..the other group went ahead..we spent lotsa time in the streams and reached the human settlement only by dark.

This 3 days trek went past just like is worth & it is hardcore..high chances of runnning into animals. I am sure going back this monsoon when it is considered impossible to venture.

Mungaru Male

This happened to be my first Kannada film that i am seeing on the big screen..i started liking this movie even before going to the theatre..the reason is the monsoon and the shots taken in the rain!

In the very first scene itself, the hero gets to meet the heroine.. while gazing at her, he falls down into the drainage..she helps him and thats where it all begins!!
Hero sending message to the heroine through FM scene is nice! Hero is not that of an attravtive male..but a cute character..talkative & always with a smile. Heroine is a healthy female..and generous in terms of glamour but seems like director(Yogaraj Bhat) got other ideas.Unfortunately heroine couldn’t bring out that chemistry with the hero..may be the character is like that.. but hero manages with his cute attitude! ..poor fella, half of the film he is standing in the rains.

Almost all of the characters in the film got good contribution, including the Devdas, the cute little rabbit. Thank god, there is only couple of fight scenes..and they are natural! ..and there is this scene where the hero takes the heroine right on top of the Jog a view!(I went to the same view point later in a trip with friends) Songs have to be hit..they are shot in nice locations and under very nice weather conditions.

There is this shot in a song where Ganesh & Pooja dancing while the background is a stream of muddy rain water flowing across the road..hmmm, this happens only when it poured like god and just stopped(unlike the artifical showers made in usual shootings)..and another scene with the bright green paddy field flooded after the rains..should say the director got some nice tastes! ..hero sitting close to the lake water, in the pouring rain, drinking and expressing his love to the heroine..hmmm touching! ..and other family sentiments are mixed in proper measures!
The only thing i didnt like with this film was the climax..! :-(