Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Interesting times

To a discerning eye the way I spent the first day of the year might seem boring. However, people who would fall in this category would be wrong. We began the day with a Bigg Boss experience. There was an early-morning eviction and we were asked to vacate our room by 6:30 am. We packed our bags, got ready, and then slept till 7:40 am. That’s when the caretaker came to ask us to leave the room immediately. Then we shifted our luggage and ourselves to the dining hall of the Holiday Home. The driver was called and asked to come by 9 am so that we could leave for Gokarna.

The drive through the Western Ghats was most scenic. Verdant forests on one side and a deep blue sea on the other kept us company while our driver for the ride, Dheeraj, ensured that we stayed alert throughout the journey because of his abysmal driving skills. The upside to his fast driving was that we made good time and were in Paradise Holiday Cottages, Kudle Beach by 1 pm.

SKT, Frooti and I were jumping with joy after seeing the wooden cottage that is to be our home for the next couple of nights. The Flintstone’s bathroom made me really happy. It has stone walls, a showering hole in the center of the floor, and a big window with a curtain which allows natural light to fill in the bathroom but keeps ones modesty intact (or so I hope). The room is on the first floor. It is a big wooden hall with a queen size bed, a fan which is off-center ensuring that you feel cool if your are closer to it and warmer as you go further away, and two CFL bulbs which are connected to the same switch so that either you survive in pitch black darkness or feel like you are sitting on the Railway platform. The view from the balcony is to die for. Huge black boulders are spread across the landscape. Different shades of green cover the vicinity and the trees house a variety of birds which give a continuous background music that compliments the sound of waves of the Arabian sea that lies at the foothill of the hilltop where our cottage rests.

So taken were we with the view that we sat outside to have lunch. Unfortunately, my heart and skin don’t compliment each other. While the heart loves the sun, the skin does not appreciate the heat at all. So while sitting in the sun warms my heart, my skin becomes red, itches and forms scales that are akin to the scales on the body of a baby crocodile. However, little things like acute skin burn do not deter me. I sat with SKT and Frooti in the sun, had lunch, and then we spoke for several minutes. I decided that the self-preservation mode needs to kick in and therefore decided to head back to the room and take a nap instead of going down to the beach. While I was sleeping like a log in the wooden cottage, SKT and Frooti were soaking in the sun. I have no idea when they came to the room and decided to take a nap as well. I woke up a few minutes before sunset, clicked photos of the dipping sun and sent the photos to Mom, Jaspinder, and Sweater in an attempt to make them jealous.

Then the three of us decided to start the New Year on an ambitious note. We decided to go to the beach almost 15 minutes after sunset. Now the route to the beach from the cottage is treacherous to say the least. SKT and Frooti did fraandship with a kitten on the way. The scary-poo that I am, I stayed 10 steps ahead of them to avoid tripping on the kitten. We were almost at the last leg of the ‘dangerous way’, as the manager of the cottage put it, when one of us just about managed to avoid a fall. Better sense prevailed and we climbed the hill back to the cottage. We sat outside, under a canopy build with hay, drank tea/coffee, and sat sharing stories with each other. It was an hour well spent.

We ordered dinner and had a traditional thaali meal sitting down on the floor, sharing more stories and laughter. When prodded repeatedly, the caretaker said that monkeys might visit the cottage early morning. When questioned further, he said that bears also come in the vicinity, ‘only sometimes’.

Let’s hope this does not turn into a wildlife holiday!

See you tomorrow!

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