Monday, January 30, 2012
Two guys, two girls, an ugly car, lots of alcohol, good music, a beautiful view and a very bad sense of humour: that’s the recipe for a near-perfect roadtrip.
To begin with, I love trips where all I have to do is sit in the car, look pretty, pose for random pictures and make the occasional coffee, without having to use to my brains. It’s such a relief and a welcome break from my life in Mumbai where I am perpetually stressed out. For a change, I did not have to plan anything, I did not have to obsess about traveling/accomodation/sight seeing. Everything was taken care of by the Mallu boys who pampered anon and me and since they had a DSLR camera, we let them.
Going back to Mysore was a sort of a deja vu as I remembered flashes of my previous trip with my folks, two decades ago: the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, the beautifully lit-up Mysore Palace (thankfully it was Republic Day and the Palace is lit up only on National Holidays), St. Philomena’s Church and the panoramic view from the Chamundi Hills.
But Coorg really took my breath away. Not that we did any sight-seeing except the quaint Golden Temple and monastery on the way, but the experience of spending a day in a far-flung cottage, overlooking the valley, was something quite out of the world. The hills, the sunset, the bonfire, the star-gazing (cosmic scrabble to be precise), the dogs, the fireflies, and most of all, the serene virginal beauty just make you wish that you could stay there forever.
While I spent just an evening in Bangalore, I managed to sneak in some quality brother-and-sister time with my cousin as well as a late night dinner with some of the old college batchmates. I so love the city: the sprawling houses, the short distances and the luxury of a social life that I can never imagine in Mumbai.
However, the trip did bring out some disturbing latent traits in me. My appetite suddenly shot through the roof, as food just disappeared down my throat at the speed of lightning as I easily outate/outdrank everybody by a long way. I would blame the mountain air for my sudden fascination with food, but as it was logically pointed out to me, it’s unlikely that the mountain air would single ME out. Ergo, I am a greedy pig. Also, I didn’t know I had such a competitive streak in me. I mean all through my academic/professional life, I have been overtly laid-back as I went with the flow, be it during exams, placements or appraisals, not torturing myself by comparing my achievements (or the lack of them) with with that of other people. But suddenly, at 3 a.m., in the old cottage in the middle of nowhere, I became super competitive about, hold your breath, a game of carrom (or carrom board, as some people would call it). As my friends pointed out, there was a sudden cold wave sweeping across Coorg and it came from ME, as I sulked my way through both games. For the record, I am not a BAD player, though over the years, I have lost my magic touch, but I was doomed with a bad partner. So I did not lose, WE did.
So there it was: the perfect weekend, the perfect roadtrip, the perfect life…