Friday, April 04, 2008

Coorg - Just like that - The conclusion


the invisible wall as tall as the sky...
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The verandah, as mentioned earlier, was a dark dungeon with immense possibilities. To overcome the fear, we engaged ourselves in a variety of discussions. It varied from rain drops and umbrellas to live-in relationships and poetry. It is again interesting how alcohol can dissect a lot of otherwise meaningless phrases and incidents to insights your sober mind would never even consider. I had my share of revelations with Gulzar and Ijaazat. Here is a decent attempt to translate a couple of lines. “Both of us got wet under a single umbrella. I took home the dry moments. The wet ones however, lie with you. Give them back to me.“ My interpretation surprised me. Will yours surprise you? Give it a go.

An old man was our caretaker for the night. He spoke in Kannada while neither of us did. As a result, most of our requirements were conveyed to him in form of hand signals. The man would take our order, decipher it and then disappear around a corner into the dark. As we indulged in our conversations, he would emerge from the dark and peep from around the corner. The intentions were innocent. He would be just waiting for us to summon him. But darkness has its way of adding a pinch of horror even to angels. By the time we got to bed, every one of us was more or less convinced that the old man was a psychopath; and that he would sneak in on us at night and slit our throats.

As the night got older, my friends’ concerns were primarily towards the chicken, pork and rice. Our dinner was getting cold. Mine however, as you might have already guessed, were focused on the unfinished bottles of vodka and rum. These issues were promptly addressed by the time the food was halved. I gorged on the delicious meat and decided that the night was old enough. And even worse, my friends did not share the same passion as me when it came to sleeping late into the morning. As a result, I slept.

I woke up to a little conflict - to leave or not to leave. Doda was jobless and had no strings attached. He wanted to stay back. Shiva’s company could do without him for a day. He wanted to stay back. Pooja had a meeting. She wanted to leave. I had, strangely and quite surprisingly, something important to do. I wanted to leave. Shiva had the car and hence the bargaining power lay firmly in his favour. But then again, Pooja was a woman and more importantly, one who was likely to stick with Shiva for the rest of their lives. Shiva, who did not want to be deprived of ‘you know what’ for the rest of his life, was left with no choice. At around 10am, our car left Pompei.

The last time I had gone to the monastery in Kushalnagar, I sat like a dumb fool overwhelmed by the energy the golden statue radiated. This time around, it was no different. Though branded a non-believer, I worship the energy at all the religious shrines. There could be a million reasons behind this unique experience of peace. For one, it could be the absence of footwear; or it could the architecture; or whatever. These places always leave me feeling small. I sat and stared at Buddha for a long time, letting the icebergs of peace sink in. And I wasn’t even drunk.

The drive back was not an eventful one except for two things. One of them was the stop at the 24-hour coffee day on Mysore. The place has become some sort of a shrine for weekend wanderers. Thanks to the 'crime starts at 11pm' syndrome. We found a cozy corner; and if my memory isn’t lying, had a few sandwiches. I could not sit there for too long though. It was getting claustrophobic. It was suffocating. I struggled for some time and walked out to break free from the stranglehold of some painful memories.

The second, the more romantic of the two, was the race with the rain. Rain caught us by surprise as we stopped to click a few pictures of an unassuming lake. It lay there, serene and stagnant, unaware of the pleasant feeling it was giving us. The meteorologist, my alter ego, sensed the alarm. I urged Doda and Shiva to return. They paid no heed. I was comfortably seated in the car with the windows raised as both the wet unbelievers scampered in. We drove fast. And then it happened. The highway lay there, in front of us, stretching to the horizon. It looked as if rain had surrendered. It had stopped as if by a barricade – a giant wall touching the sky. It gives you a cheap thrill when you see nature humbled. I enjoyed the moment completely.
We drove on; and never stopped till we reached Kasturi Nagar. It was dark. And just like all the other good things…

2 comments:

SP said...

Read all the parts of the Coorg trip. I liked the language of the first....but by the time I finished the series, I realized how outwardly you were writing....to impress. Your endings are dramatic and thus removes any vestiges of sincerity from the post! The observers eye is missing. It is more of a live commentary here. Time to stop and do a recheck lest you have walked too far ahead to turn back!

Nikhil said...

I agree. The last bit was a compromise, if you know what I mean. And it would be extrememly helpful if you could leave your email id to take the criticism forward.