June 8th- June 15th, 2008.
Finally, I’m back at ground zero. Though the trip to Kutralam was great and mind-relieving, there’s nothing better than home sweet home. So, if you ask me what’s the best thing about my trip to Kutralam, I’ll say it is the journey back home !
On my way to Kutralam by train, I asked my fellow passenger whether there would be any chance of us (family of 4) to bath alone. That man looked at me through his glasses for a second, tch-tching as if I was mad, and said ” My God, are you nuts ? The fact is first of all, there’s no rain at Kutralam and second, if at all there is, crowds of people will already be bathing there anyway.” He turned away and shook his head, maybe cursing God for making me his neighbour. I went back to reading Godfather by Mario Puzo, a little let-down by the news.
Our room in Kutralam was specially booked for us, courtesy one of my Dad’s infinite friends and boy, I must thank him for it was the best room I’ve ever seen throughout my travels. I mean, the room itself was ordinary but it was the view. Extraordinary. The Kutralam falls right in front of you and you could feel my excitement. I just wanted to reach out and touch the skies.
Of course, there was no water falling but the rock itself was magnificent. Nature’s wonders never cease to amaze you. I, of course, felt a little sad that I could not see it flow and I didn’t have much hope either. The sky was clear and the temperature, hot !
Anyway, I had no time to dwell over the matter and brood, because we went out to have lunch. The name of the hotel was Akshaya and it would turn into our favorite haunt in the days to come. The food was just about excellent and the service, great. We came back to our room (A.C.,thankfully…!!! )and unpacked our bags and then I took a short nap.
I woke up with a start as my mom shook me awake. ” Come on now.. let’s go sight-seeing… ” she said. So, I looked out of the balcony towards the waterfalls and I was disappointed. There was still no water fall. ” Come on now, we’ll go visit Old Kutralam, we’ll see if there is any water there. ” So, it was then that we set upon what I thought was a surely fruitless journey to Old Kutralam in search of water. We caught hold of an auto driver, Abbas, who must have surely not believed his luck.
Our driver, Abbas
Anyway, once we reached Old Kutralam, my family (save me) were stunned to find no water ( and no crowd… ) there too. What else do you expect ? So, we had an unenviable job of just looking at the rocks and the birds. I managed to catch a few of them on camera.
A crow, delicately poised
The rocks, not the falls…
On my back, cornered…
But, then suddenly came this gentleman along with his life companion (his dog) and threw us a cheap lifeline at Rs. 100. He said that he would go to the mountain top and push water from there so that we could take a bath. We were a bit skeptical but we decided to give it a try. At least, fly and fall instead of lie and sleep, right ?
God, and his friend…
Beyond our wildest dreams, water began to fall and we were shocked to even move for a few seconds. Then, we joyfully, took a bath… Just the four of us…
My mom and I…
My mom, my sis and I…
I guess life plays many games… I couldn’t help but think of the man on the train. Water was falling and we were surely, alone and bathing !!! Seeing us bathe, some people came over and waited for us to move out.But, we were in no mood to. After all, who gets to bath in hundred rupees fall everyday ?
When we finally finished bathing, we couldn’t help but notice eager people rushing towards the falls. But, then the flow of water had stopped, God descended from the mountains and proclaimed that there is absolutely no more water up there. Hurrah !