Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Friendship Night Story!

‘Sudhee…What happened?’ I shout at him. There is absolute silence and no one speaks. ‘Sudhee…What happened?’ I shout again and passed the beam of my LED torch on his face in the dark. His closed eyes appeared as if he was unconscious. I saw his eye-lids making slow actions and opened to see the bright light on his face. “What happened?” I asked. ‘Nothing it is just the usual tiredness because of the continuous walk’ he said. His eyes were small and glowing like red hot balls and his bigger breaths sounded like as if he is suffering for Asthma or a severe respiratory disorder. ‘Give me some time’ he says. I asked all of us to be at one place. Sunil watching us with a What-the-hell kind of expression and was dumb looking at what is happening. I stopped Srivathsa from going up and asked him to come back for a while. It was absolutely silent and i could only hear the sound of cool breeze passing over my face and I could only think of ‘how to carry this poor guy down?’ I looked at TS and he just looked the same with the what-to-do-now look and we just waited.

‘Sudhee, you are vomiting?’ I asked. He could not stop the stuff coming out of his mouth for a while and got back to his normal position again. His face was almost sinking with the sweat and looked as if he will never ever make the mistake of coming with us. He did not speak a word after he said ‘give me some time’. I asked him to drink some water which he did and he started splashing water to his face. We were carefully watching him and his eyes were going to get some sleep. We all anxiously looked at ourselves and started worrying about taking him back down the hill and driving back to Bengaluru. I thought we made a wrong decision to come in the night. Sudhee still has his eyes closed and we all are waiting as to what exactly has happened to him. Is it his as usual tiredness or fear of night trek or because of the sad food at the dhaba? He opened his eyes and grinned at us giving us a hope that he is still alive and we can take him back. I looked at the sky, those twinkling stars thinking this is not my day and we decided to sit down for a while. As we sat down, I looked at my watch and shouted, hey folks! Its 00.00! HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY! As I shouted, all of us stood up and hugged wishing each other. May be it was this Friendship Night’s spirit or the energy I passed on with my shout, Sudhee woke up to wish us. He wished all of us and he said he needs to do the nature’s call. He took the water bottle in one hand and torch in the other searching for a proper place. I then got to know, it was neither my shout nor the spirit of the friendship day that woke him up; but it was the pressure! I looked at TS and he grinned back at me.

What a way to celebrate the Friendship day? We do this religiously and every year we plan for the night trek. This time thanks to my friend Sujay's suggestion, it was a lush green hill near Kanakapura called as Bilkal Rangaswamy Betta. Sudhee came back saying his stomach is alright and he was lost in finding the actual reason for his sickness and he ended up saying it was just the initial tiredness of the lengthy stretch of the climb. Well! He gives this shock wherever we go. We are now used to it and he acknowledges it whenever it happens. After all this fearful drama, he says, he is fine and we can go. All of us looked at each other’s faces and started moving. This was the second shock for the night.

Our first shock was when we entered the village Konaludoddi at the foothill, it was almost 22.30 and we had to park our car. We reached the last house in the lane of the village towards the hill and decided to park. While on the way, we were warned by villagers that there are wild elephants in the hill and it is not safe to climb up in the night. Shocked by the news, disappointingly we looked at ourselves and then convinced them that we will see if we can go else we will hire a village guide who can accompany us. We reached the last house in the lane and parked our car in front of the house. It was very late in the night and all the house members had slept off. Luckily, Shivaraj the house owner came out and greeted us. We told him our plans and he was absolutely supportive of our plan. He even offered to send village guides if we require one. We said we will find our way and took directions from him. He did not speak much about elephants; but all he wanted us was to be very careful. Initial route to the foothill was very confusing and it was a scary walk through the fields and the stream.

As we took off from our second shock, we thoroughly enjoyed the moon light trek; slowly steadily with lot of PJs cracked by each one of us; scary and a meter-off state when we heard the sound that resembled an elephant's sound near the stream; teasing Sudhee on his every 5 minute rest; taking long breaks and sleeping on the rocks; experimenting with our cameras; hilarious TS’s talks; calls and SMSs on Friendship day to our folks at Bengaluru; watching the moon through natural frames of forest and enjoying its beauty; embracing coolest breeze which took off our routine office stress to show us peace; we reached the top at around 3.30 Am. By the time we reached, we saw our torch light beams did not even travel more than a few meters and suddenly realized that we were in clouds. We could barely see anything and it was very difficult for us to even find out where the temple is? Slowly we walked up to the big rock where the temple is built and got on to the veranda of the house built next to the temple. With the sense of accomplishment and having met our objective to celebrate every friendship day with the same spirit, we landed ourselves to the ground. We were so hungry that we ate most of the stuff we had bought and keeping a little for the morning. Within a few minutes, we hit our hard-beds of cement.

My eyes opened in to a foggy morning and saw Srivathsa roaming around. I guessed he would not have slept properly and it was right. We had also thought that we will get to see the sunrise at the peak but we were so unfortunate that we got to see the Sun only by 8.30 Am in the morning. We were questioned on how and when we reached the peak by few people who were at the house next to the temple, we answered to all their questions. We were asked to go around the place and visit all the main attractions (although for me, it’s just the peak I wanted to see and not the temples). So from almost 9 Am to 11 Am we just loafed around the place taking some good shots making use of each and every opportunity that was visible to us as greatest moments in life. We could hug the sky and wish happy friendship day to it. As we wished, it made a clear movement in front of our eyes as if we were seeing the screen going up in the cinema theatre, we could see the clouds moving and leaving our eyes watch the beautiful view. We could see many towns and lakes surrounding the hill and the vibrant green forest which welcomed us in the night. It was like – ‘hey I am not in the office today but in the heaven kind of feeling!’

We started climbing down slowly enjoying the lush green paradise thinking of going back to the same place every week or every month or every year just to make ourselves clear that there is life beyond office and traumatic, chaotic city life. We reached the foothill village by 12.30 and drove back to the usual chaotic world.


Srivathsa said...

Great writeup Sri! Enjoyed reading it :) I could see the changes in your writing style.. Keep up!!
This is my First night trek!! Had good fun with u folks. Hey.. u didn't mentioned about that sound we heard (it was like elephant :) ) elraddu 1 sala meter off aagitthu ansutthe!!
If any1 of you remember Kodachadriga.. blog, I had commented that these guys are very bad in preparation.. But this time these folks proved me wrong.. Thanks to Sarpass! They well well prepared with sippers, torches, food, blanket.. Very matured :) !!

Looking forward for next trek.. :)

Srik said...

Srivathsa! Thank you very much for your kind comments. Glad you liked it. Thanks for reminding on our meter-off state. I added that point in the 5th paragraph!

SuZ said...

Nice story Man, esp the 2nd shock...good to know he made it without serious problems...The fog in the morning is the highlight of the peak :)

BABA said...

Really nice one!!!
you people had moonlight to show the path, when we went it was Amavasya..
Only torch was there for us to show the path. And even we couldn't see the sunrise due to light showers and Fog in the morning..anyways it was good though..

Narasim said...

After reading the exciting story it is not clear whether it was a moonlight trek or a moonshine trek.

Whatever it was, sounds like a great adventure. Good for you all.

I did not know that Sudhindra was trying hard to follow in the footsteps of a person I know when it comes to motion sickness.

The photographs you sent are technically excellent and confirm the written story. The lush greenery is very soothing and it is easy to imagine how you gentlemen must have felt when you witnessed the green lit up by the early morning Sun.

What's up with Buddha with a feminine face? Is the artist attempting to replicate a contemporary Ardhanarishwara:a male body with a West European female head?

Thank you for sharing your wonderful trek. All of you are honouring Friendship Day in the most appropriate manner.

Manjunath Byadigere said...

Hey Srik...

Oops...I missed it!!
Yes Srivathsa...good that you guys remember me during such trips!!

Anyways... good to see you guys experimenting and innovating.

And yes Srik...your writing is improving day by day...good luck with you future writings.

Doc Manjunath

Sudhi said...

Enappa, idaralli ardha story nanna baggene bardidiya?

Anyway, it was great experience eventhough I got tired initially.

Your writing style has changed this time significantly.

Keep it up!


Raghu said...

Oooooooops! I missed the wonderful experience.

Your words have truly picturised the trek experience. Good to see you laying your hands on different kind of stories/posts.

I promise to be a part of your next night trek.


Vaishnavi said...

"I then got to know, it was neither my shout nor the spirit of the friendship day that woke him up; but it was the pressure! I looked at TS and he grinned back at me" - really good one!!
Glad you guys had such an experience on Friendship Day, must be very special. Here's to many more such experiences :) Hope your friend is alright now!
I still can't believe you thought it was because you shouted that he got up!

Srik said...

Thanks you all! for your kind comments!