My Travel Diaries - Nilgiris: Part 1

This was bound to be the most nostalgic one, obviously! But not as intense as it actually turned out to be. God, we're going to miss each and every aspect of the trip and the bums involved..

After the awesome experience and preliminary bonding in the trip to Ooty, in the October of 2008, our first year, that place was set in deeply in all our hearts. We always wanted to visit it all over again, but the opportunity never showed itself up. So after a few other minor attempts like the trips to Pondicherry and Yercaud, we ultimately managed it in our final academic year.

Our actual destination was the tea-garden-on-one-side and forest-on-the-other hilly, green town of Kotagiri, some 30km from Ooty and another so from Coonoor. Weather was perfect, it was cold yet no need for sweaters. Only a simple fashionable jacket would suffice. The trip was made in two buses - one large and one small. The latter, having just about 14 seats, was conquered by just us, a gang of about, say.. 25? No wonder the bus driver was so grumpy! The place we'd stay at was BelAir Villa at the Club House Road - old British housings, with wooden furnishings and huge washrooms and it would be doing them wrong not to mention the veranda connecting the washroom that opened our towel-clad selves out to the world, for reasons unknown!

I'm getting ahead of myself. I do that a lot, don't I? Anyway, before I start describing this trip, I'd have to tell you that I'm exposing perhaps just 40% of the whole, for the other stuffs that we did are just for ourselves to muse about later. And no, we didn't mass make-out. Let me start with the overnight bus ride.


'Ab Toh Forever', 'Munni Badnam Hui', 'Jhoom Barabar Jhoom', 'Tu Mera Hero', 'Boro Boro, Bure Bure', 'Bhool Bhulaiya', 'Rum, Whiskey' - were a few hit Bollywood songs among many, to which we shook our legs (legs, hands, waist, head, hair, the entire self rather). And to think of it, we normally discard these willingly from our playlists! Anshu and Arjun deserve a special mention here. One being the daddy of prop-dancing and the other being innumerable latkas and jhatkas ki maa! (Sorry about the language, no other way exists to describe it!) It definitely got the most stubborn non-dancers like a few of us, to do the thumkas - here's what Aarushi had to say about it on Facebook..

'Must be a fantabulous trip if it made Rahul Shivakumar, Karthikeyan Naidu, Deeptiman Chatterjee and Arpita Bisht dance to ekdum dhinchak wale Bollywood songs! Ah here's to the besure tunes we hummed, to the bruises and bumps, to the crazy poses, to the booze doses!!'

Even the ride after our stop at some omelette-making shack near Krishnagiri was fabulous. The topics we discussed, the plans we made of the next 3 days, the conspiracy theories and sitting next to our loved ones, in a speeding bus, on a lonely, dark, winding road on a rainy night. And how did I forget to add to that statement, the empty, midnight roadsides we peed at! Oh, but you didn't want know that, did you?


We reached Mettupalayam at 6 and Nikunj came from the other bus, with his bus-conductor voice, shouting and banging, 'Ooty, Ooty, Ooty, Ooty..!' As the bus stopped to get filled up with anti-freeze fuel, me, Rahul and Aarushi went out to look for tea and ended up drinking coconut water. Such was the uncharacteristic start to our morning. The next 3 hours, however, was quiet as we ascended through numerous hair-pin bends and steep hilly turns and that was when the few night owls among us, including me, decided to take a nap.

After we reached the cottages, the guys took the first floor rooms as the girls took the ground floor rooms - soon to be mixed and jumbled, as no one would ever know where they slept last night. The bathrooms had geysers, thankfully. But they being gas-lit geysers, Nikunj freaked out thinking he blew one up as he turned one on and flames lit up.

Arjun, Nikunj and Jaggu - on the bus

The BelAir Villa - as we just reached

We had almost converted the 'Industrial Visit' into a picnic, as we played badminton. Anshu learnt quick and from teaching the girls to hit properly, it became a nice and fun game when Naidu and me teamed up. We had breakfast of Idly (which I gleefully ignored) and had 22 pooris instead. Something that no one, including the professor, forget to tease me about!

We visited a tea estate. A tea-processing unit, to be accurate, where an uber-impressed Nikunj Daga tried to get himself adopted, if you know what I mean. It wasn't a total waste. I've never seen such an industry before, and it was a good source of information. Could have been better if the guy explaining it to us, stopped using the word 'fermentation' for it was not! From there we went to the Kodanadu view point, where I repeatedly pointed out the geography to disturb everyone's levelheadedness.


We had a south Indian lunch in Kotagiri, nothing to brag about at all. After we returned to the cottage, we rested awhile and later took on a game of Frisbee. The game that started casually, took on the look of an international friendly. A small space to play, low-light conditions of the impending nightfall, inception of new rules and the fact that we were leading from the front made it more interesting! However, after a team swap on the other side, it became difficult to maintain the lead and we were level headed at deuce (thanks to the new rules, we were treating it akin to a hard-court tennis match)!

By the time it came down to deuce for the tenth time, we took on an advantage. If we make them drop it, we win! Just before I threw, Nikunj called me from behind (I was like the center-forward and him, the goalkeeper! Ady the right-winger - yes we had girls playing with us - and Akay the left-out, Jaggu, Rahul the defenders! Here's to laughing out loud..) Nikunj kind of huddled and said, 'Bhai, jeetne ka hai isi round pe, light nahi hai zyada! Isi round pe g#@nd maarna hai!' His emphasis on winning this round was perhaps more, due to the taunts we were facing from Kuntal and his teammates on the other side.

We won that round. No sorry, we absolutely killed it!


My, this is turning out to be a huge one to write about. So consider this, the first half of the trip and I'll soon complete it out with a second part. There's so much more, the night! Aah.. Hang on for 'My Travel Diaries - Nilgiris: Part 2!'

1 comment:

  1. Good one..Hope you describe whatever I had not mentioned in my blog. Am looking forward to part-2! :)