Monday, March 2, 2009

Kodaikanal : A trip unplanned - part 1

Towards the end of Jan '07, there came a trip across our way. We planned for a trip to a hillstation called Manjolai near Amba samudram. Manjolai is a private hill station and a tiger reserve forest too. We booked the EB inspection quarters there, which is the only place for outstation people to stay in the hillstation. We also got the permission to get into the hills from the forest department(without which you will not be allowed to enter the hills). We had booked train tickets too. So, all set for the trip and we four reached the Egmore railway station as per the schedule with our enthu level perched high only to face a disaster.

Our tickets were in WaitingList and we arranged for the EmergencyQuota accomodation. We were quite confident of our tickets getting confirmed. However, the time we planned our trip was a long weekend with the republic day falling on a friday. So, the last moment did not get confirmed at all. Hence, we saw our train pull out of the station right in front of our eyes with dismay. It was around 8pm when this happened. So, the train journey is ruled out and the determined guys we are, we decided to look for alternate arrangement. We enquired some of the private carriers nearby and finally decided to board a bus and go to Madurai from where we could go to Tirunelveli and then to Ambasamudram. But all we had was just two days in hand.

To add fuel to the flame, the bus which we took proved to be a disastrous one. The font of the Travels was very much similar to Parveen Travels. Only after we purchased the tickets paying hefty amount did we notice that it was Pradeep Travels (what a gang of losers we were !!). The bus was something like a mini bus with cramped seats, very limited leg room and a rubbish movie running in it. Right in front of our eyes, the travels was still selling out the remaining seats in the bus saying it is pushback (aah.... whose back were they goin to push). Still, undettered by these kinda hurdles, we got into the bus waiting for the time to tick 9:30 PM, the time the travel guys promised that the bus would start. By the time the bus became full, it was around 1 oclk and the bus was still in Tambaram !! and the heights was that the conductor was telling everybody that the bus will reach Madurai by 6am (probably he thought it is a BMW that he was owning !)

Amidst groanings and grumblings and fighting with the front seat wallah for smashing my leg with his "pushback" seat, we reached Madurai around NOON next day ! We realised that going to Manjolai could only be next to impossible and hence planned to go to Kodaikanal which is only about 3hrs travel from Madurai.

We refreshed ourselves, had lunch and had Jikirthanda.. (how could one go to Madurai and not have Jikirthanda)and took a bus to Kodai. Again here, the bus was full and only two of us got seat. We somehow managed to get seat in the steps and near the bus engine. Another gruelling journey it was to sit beside the engine with the sun too coming down quite heavily. By the time we reaced Kodai it was around 5.30PM. We booked a room there, refreshed ourselves and went to have dinner. It was around 8 PM when we came out of the room. Till then the weather was not great as we expected in Kodai. But suddenly we saw balls of smoke gushing in from all sides. We initially thought something is being burnt and lamented to ourselves as to how the people are spoiling the atmosphere of this place. Again our calculation proved wrong, but in a good way. Wat we thought as smoke is infact mist.. and within a couple of minutes, the whole place was covered with mist and we started feeling the chillness. For the first time in the day, our faces wore a real smile and at that moment, all the disappointment and fatigue vanished.... we started enjoying our trip. We couldnt even spot things more than 2 feet away. Finished a good dinner and even had a icecream standing outside the shop in this chilling weather.

Picked some savouries on the way to our room and played cards for a long time where in one of my friends showed mastery in shuffling the cards !! :)

To be continued........ here



Martin said...

The real estate is one sector that features as one of the most badly hit sectors following the global economic meltdown. Especially in developing countries like India, where real estate was going great guns, so to say, faced a steep downfall following the recession and inflation. Especially in the metros and the developing cities like Bangalore, real estate suffered dearly as the demand for the residential units, though increasing became a pent up demand. The badly hit economy particularly the IT sector that has a strong foothold in Bangalore, and the high rates of interest in home loans made the demand for residential units go down or at best become a pent up demand. It is believed that once the situation stabilizes the demands would start surfacing. Another very problematic issue that the real estate dealers are facing is that patrons of the currently booked flats are not willing to pay the original price that they had agreed on but the current price that is less than the original amount owing to the current economic condition. Not only the residential units but the commercial properties like the hotels in Bangalore have also naturally seen a drop in their occupancy. The ITC hotels in Bangalore that registered the highest occupancy, as high as 83%, have been forced to cut down on their tariffs by almost 20% as the occupancy has also gone down by 20%. On the contrary, the business hotels in Bangalore are surviving the tough times as the number of business travelers has not been affected as hard as the umber of leisure hotels. The budget hotels in Bangalore have seen a hike owing to the obvious reasons.

vinesh said...

nice posting

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