It was a typical day, coated in chalk dust and a whole lot of irritability, I walked out of class, looking for a victim whom I could lash out on. That’s when Glob comes around and says, “Let’s go, I’ll drop you home ”, which literally translates into “Let’s go grab some REALLY sloppy greasy food and ooey gooey ice cream and figure stuff out and we can talk about it when you’re ready to talk about it”. We have this silent communication thing owing to our advanced telekinetic powers so I shrugged and agreed. [Tis’ true! Our telekinetic powers are uncanny]
So there we were, on a hot and sweltering night, in desperate need of a break, the only thing going through our minds was running away and never coming back. Summerland. The land of eternal Sundays, where there was no drama, no more would there be a torturous education system and worrisome parents and siblings to compete with for attention, there would be no more ‘each for his own’ attitude ,and we’d stop feeling like a deer caught in the headlights. Sitting across each other, the only sound that could be heard was tiny satisfied burps after a really late dinner of the world’s best “mystery chicken curry” [We still don’t know its name]. We took a vote as to what each one wanted to do that night, he wanted to go to the beach and I wanted to watch the sunrise and somehow it all nonsensically added up to Vagamon. [Coz our beaches only have sunset and we had to climb higher to see a good sunrise]
Two hours and several minutes later, we were on our way, me trying to stay awake and navigate (somehow I fail to keep up with Google maps, it’s either too much to stay focused on or I get confused with my lefts and rights) and Glob driving. It was soon clear that we were more lost than the first time Columbus went on that trip in search of the land of snake charmers and magic carpets. Everything looked scarier and sort of as if it were straight out of a horror movie, the normal serene moonlit night turned into something nightmares were made out of. But there wasn’t much scope for being terrified what with me dozing off every few minutes. [Yea, you have to awake to be terrified -_-]
The only thing that actually kept us going was the fact that we had to make it in time to watch the sunrise, the cold creeping into the car, the mist covered the roads in semi darkness and the lack of any directions on the road didn’t help much. [Right about then too was when my fog lights decided to get busted] After almost 3 hours out of which maybe one was spent rerouting again and again we FINAALLLLLY reached.
Finally when it all started to clear up and there were little bursts of light, I sleepily opened my eyes (thanks to a lot of screaming and other rude things from the driver’s side), all I could see were endless meadows covered in mist, and a BEAAAUUTIFUL lake smack in the middle. The first thing I normally do when I go to a new place is take it all in and stand there with my eyes closed, and do this semi meditation thing where I sorta engrave that moment into my brain. The best part is when you suddenly open your eyes and you’re like, “Woah! I’m no longer in the gritty, dirty, noisy city but instead here I am at the ungodly hour of 5 o clock at Vagamon, breathing in the fresh chilly air (a bit of stinkiness mixed in coz both of us are still in our uniforms from the day before) with nature at its best, about to watch the sunrise…BUT that’s when we started to realise that we might not see it after all, because of our utter lack of any directional knowledge we took time to figure out where east was only to find out that it was too cloudy a day and we’d miss out on it anyways. So we decided to stroll down the slopy road, not talking to each other for once, the only sounds to be heard were bird calls and my chattering teeth(ADVICE:take something warm and dry to wear to avoid the chattering).It was turning out to be one of those rare mornings too amazing for words and I didn’t feel like crap anymore.
By then it was almost six, there wasn’t an inkling of a chance that we’d make it to class on time, [LOL, yea we were way past class time] we’re a realistic pair, so we thought, why not explore instead and make our way down to the lake. The problem was that there were only two ways to get there…either climb a hill or break and enter into private property, but meh, it’d be so worth it. As it turned out , the climbing the hill option was easier and eventually we made it and sat there on a rock by the lake, grinning like happy fools on having made it so far, [Fools… yea that’s what we were], because the next thing you know, the both of us jumped into the freezing cold (and possibly dangerously dirty) water! This was immediately followed by a lot of sputtering and trying not to drownness, [a quick reminder, we have no extra clothes whatsoever and we were still in our uniforms :P] Soon we felt we’d reached point of “if we stay in longer we might die of hypothermia and never have another chance to eat my mom’s cutlets” [Something about her mom’s cutlets make me a very motivated person with a can-do attitude] and we got out and made our way back to the car. Shivering, holding on to each other trying to steal some warmth.
A bunch of wet, cold and hungry nut jobs, that’s what the townspeople sized us up as when we were asking directions to head to the pine forests. Google was pretty useless at this point because our phones were dead, stupid Google -_- [yea… totally Google’s fault!]. We did get there though, (in your face technology!!) and made our way down to the pine-forest, and that’s when it started to rain, making it even more freezingly cold than before.
We raced down the path trying not to slip on the jagged rock path, as we went deeper and deeper into the forest looking for some shelter from the rain, and that’s when realisation hit us, we were at Vagamon, in a silent pine forest with just the two of us, with gurgling streams flowing by, moments when you feel like, wow, I wish I could write poetry, or paint or had some measly talent…but since we couldn’t do any of that, we resorted to tree hugging and other weird stuff.
It eventually stopped raining and we decided to head back home since we were running short on time. We had decided to make it back to class by noon.[Due to extreme lack of attendance and no one having any idea whatsoever on where we were] Somehow the drive back was the best part, mist covered ravines, magical waterfalls, the feeling that you could touch the clouds, [Some of these moments, no camera could ever capture and had to be seen in person] and we even almost got a cameo role in a Telegu movie which was being shot there while we drove by.
Above the clouds at Wagamon
We made it back to class on time [coz of my awesome driving skills brah!*Storks reference* :P]and no one even guessed that we were stupid enough to go on a mini vacation in the middle of a school week to somewhere as “far” as Vagamon… but it was worth it, occasional getaways not just from college and homework, but from people and everyday places, and the mundane routineness of life. We figured that there’s just one more year of college and we were going to live it on our own terms. So we decided to Carpe the Diem out of this shit and go to all those far flung places and Vagamon would just be the first of many expeditions to come.
Loads of places are out there to be seen, people waiting to be met, street food to be devoured and later on regretted about while frantically looking for a sheltered bush. Tons of rummaging for that extra buck to make our tuk-tuk run, innumerable nights of sleeping under the stars [Accompanied by our dear friends, the mosquitoes] all the while wondering why we didn’t take a sleeping bag to get past the feeling of sharp rocks on our tired achy backs…, tons of times where we’d get lost and end up at an even more magnificent place and blah blah blah… and then eventually we’d descend into that freakish caffeine-addicted arthritic-knee adult life! But we’d be people who have all these truly magical experiences to sit and reminisce about while working on the next huge project under some slimy boss dude, or maybe we might be the lucky ones, not stuck in some desk job, lazing on the beach by our shack ,mimosas in hand watching surfers do their thang hoping that one day we too will surf with that level of proficiency [and not just stick to tree hugging]and our lean ,mean bodies glistening…(I’m deviating yet again, sorry!) *sigh* Here’s to more sunsets and sunrises [and bonfires and humiliatingly small lung capacities on treks]and mosquito bites, bloodsucking leeches and what not, whatever it is, bring it on!! World! We’re coming for you!!
***A shout-out to you guys*** [I’ll be doing this occasionally so you guys actually get some sort of relevant info apart from all the blathering on and on about inconsequential things…]
Before you go-go: Vagamon is a hill station located in the Idukki district, known for its cool climate, lush meadows, tea estates and is a much look forwarded to detour from city life.It’s a three hour ride from Cochin and a very pleasant one at that , with loads of scenic places to stop and stare at.Be sure to go to places like Thangal Para, Kurusumala, Pine forests and Mottakunnu .Also please please take something warm and maybe pack a picnic basket , the Yogi bear kind coz the food places ain’t so great over there and besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have a picnic on the meadows by a waterfall with little goats grazing by? Sounds almost like something from Heidi right?