Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trip to Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach and Bekal Fort - Part 2

Part 1 here

After doubts and delay, we left from Bangalore at 4.30 on Saturday. 15 mins and we got stuck in traffic. By the time we reached NICE road, and then to Mysore Road, I really don’t know what happened. It was too sunny and I had dozed off. But I am sure, there was nothing interesting. Around 6.45 PM we had crossed Srirangapatna, we were at a fork which went to towards Ranganthithu, KRS etc. We took a tea break here. While we were contemplating which route to take to Hunsur. One of the villagers there suggested we go thru the Ranganathittu Road to Hunsur, it would save us 15km, compared to the one via Mysore. Greedy people we were and took his suggestions. 10 mins drive and we were in for a roller coaster ride. The roads were so pathetic, oh wait!! Where were the roads? It was just muddy path. All along we thought if only we had gone thru Mysore, we would have reached faster. If not faster, atleast smoother. Well once we reached the main road, we hoped to get on to better roads. Let’s say we were destined not to travel on good roads.

Wait a minute, did I even mention where we were heading to. We were going near Kannur (in Kerala). The actual name is Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach.

So, let’s get back to the treacherous travel. We went in the road towards Madikeri. There is one deviation, where you take right for Madikeri and go straight to Kannur. At this point, we assumed going straight would lead us to Kannur via a place called GoniKoppa. This as per our plan, made on the fly, was the dinner destination.We reached there around, 9.30 PM. What were we thinking, was this Bangalore to expect people to be roaming around this time. All restaurants, were closed, except a few very shady ones. We see a couple of bakerys open. We enquired in one of them, he told us to check out one hotel, and we found out, that was closed. We rushed back, to this bakery. He was just getting the shutters down. The moment he saw our car make a screeching halt, opened the doors for us. We ate cream buns, dilkhush, bought MTR badam milk, bought a few packets of chips, chakkali, water bottles, fried peanuts, daal, 3 packs of plain buns. Looking at the amount of food we bought, he gave us 2 big bananas for free saying, you will need it on the way. He must have thought we were hungry for a lifetime.

Our destination was 80kms from this place. The road was still in bad condition, when the ghat section began. The roads were smooth, like butter. We were so relieved and thought this was the end of the bad roads. We stopped at a particular place for a break, had badam milk, the night was so bright, since it was full moon day. If only we had taken our tent along, we could have just had a gala time in the middle of the road. After the refreshing break, we were back on the roads. Then we came across a fork, one towards Kannur and the other Thalassery. Our place was 7-8km from Thalassery, so we took that turn and went towards the place.

All of us were pretty excited; we would be on the beach in 15-20 mins. But, the hotel, in which we were supposed to stay was on the beach, so definelty not easy to spot. We called up the owner to find out directions. All he knew was Malayalam. We knew, English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, no Malayalam.

It was a funny conversation between G and the hotel owner.

G: Chetta, we near ******* shop.
Owner: ** Iron bridge
Rest of us in the car : Hey, this is the bridge

G: Chetta, Iron Bridge crossed.
Owner: ** Toll booth ** canara bank------ left
G: Ok chetta, 10 mins
Rest of us: Laughing at the conversation

Person 1: Is that the toll booth
Me: That looks like a toll booth
“There”, all of us screamed.

Finally we saw the toll booth.

G: Chetta, Canara Bank ethra km?
Person 1: 1km
Person 2: ½ km
Person 3- signaling its right around the corner

All of us in the car had a confused expression, but we knew it’s on the right side. Finally after a km, we saw the “Canara Bank ATM”, and saw a small lane going to the left. We took the turn. It was as if we entered a village. It felt awesome with the cool breeze. As we neared, we could hear the ocean roar. We spotted our hotel, parked the car and ran towards the ocean. What a great sight. We are on one side and the other side is the vast ocean, nothing else, no trees, no rocks, and no obstacles, all you can see is water. Since it was full moon, and it was around 1.30 AM, there was high tide. All of us stood there speechless for a couple of minutes, then decided to call it a night. We checked in, and in our rooms opened the balcony door, to find the ocean facing us. Only this time, there were a few coconut trees, in between, which just added to the view. At 2.00 AM, we gave a thought of giving our bodies some rest.

Day 2: There was no alarm required the next day. I woke up around 6.00 AM, realized where we were, and rushed to the balcony to see the beautiful view. They had a nice seating arrangement in the balcony. I spent half an hour gazing at the ocean.

I saw people driving cars on the beach, that early.
An old couple walking hand in hand.
Boats which were in the ocean for fishing. In the half an hour it had moved places.
All this while, I saw a man sitting on a bench near the beach, probably he was also enjoying the view as much as I did.

It wasn’t too sunny; the pleasant view was so soothing.

I went back and slept, since everybody else was sleeping. After an hour, I couldn’t sleep anymore, I woke up G and both of us sat in the balcony looking at the ocean. The hotel guy came to take orders for breakfast. We ordered appams and kadla curry, and tea.

We had the yummy breakfast and tea, and were waiting to rush into the ocean. We changed to water clothes, and then off we went into the ocean. The waves hitting us hard, pushing us away from water, throwing us on the beach, pulling us in, all these were just amazing. It’s not that we haven’t visited beaches, but each time you go, its fun, infact everytime you enjoy the most. We played, volley ball, throw ball in the water. We came to the beach and played, sometime just sat on the beach, so that the waves would touch you and go. At times the huge waves would just lift you and turn you around.

We were hungry, had some water and chakklis sitting on the bench, and clicked some funny pics. After 2 hours of ocean fun, we finally decided to wash up and take some rest. The sun was getting on our head by now.

After a refreshing bath, I was again in the balcony, with G. He was trying to take some pics, while I was writing something in my diary. Around 2, all of us were extremely hungry, we headed for lunch.

It was not totally Kerala style, but yes, coconut oil was used. We had rice, daal, sambar, papad, since we were veggies, we had beans sabzi, non-veggies had fish curry in their menu. The water play in the morning had made us extremely hungry. We probably overate. Once the lunch was done, we decided to go for a walk. It was a pleasant afternoon.

Since we dint want to wet ourselves, we walked on the road adjacent to the beach. After a while, all of 4 of us, sat on the reef built on the beach. Again took some pics, then sat there for a while, doing nothing. The ocean was weird though. At times the waves would go so high, we would think it will hit the reef, but they would go back 100m from where we sat, and at times when we least expected the waves would come very close to where we sat.

The beach was getting crowded slowly. Since this is one of the only drive-in beaches, you can see so many cars, bikes, scooty, Honda active, even cycles on the beach. This is probably the only place where the vehicles are more in number on the beach, than the road. It was time we got our car, to kiss the ocean.

And there we were on the beach, zooming parallel to the ocean, all eyes were on our car – reason (here). Everybody took turns to drive on the beach. There was a point where a small stream was joining the ocean. Initially, we dint know if we could cross that, I volunteered to cross that to check the depth, it was not even ankle deep, we drove the car past this, till the end of the beach. As usual took some customary pics, been there seen that kinds. After an hour of this time pass, it was just 4.30, lot of time for sunset. We just roamed around in the car, for sometime. There wasn’t anything interesting. We went back to our room and in the balcony played UNO for some time. Time for sunset was nearing, and there was just one thing missing. The Sun.

It was so cloudy, so difficult to spot the sun. Around, 5.45PM, we could spot the sun, we took some of our eatables to the beach, to enjoy the sunset. As our luck had it, there was no sun to be seen, so sunset was out of question. In the meanwhile, all of started discussing, about axis of earth, summer, winter, and from nowhere, we started discussing tinkle stories, even shared a few suppandi stories. We sat there until, our eatables got over and mosquitoes started feasting on us. We had another long walk on the beach. You can say it was romantic. By this time, all of us were tired, even though we dint do much that day. We went to take some rest. G had slight fever. He had tablets and slept. I was in the balcony, trying to draw something, in half an hour or so, I got bored and my eyes were dropping, so I did the best thing, went and slept.

Around 9.30 we were ready for dinner, had Kerala parothas, tomato curry, gobi Manchurian, rice, daal, curd. WE dint eat much, since our snack time made sure tummies were full. We sat in the porch, discussing the route to go back, since the route we came in was horrible, and we dint want to take that. We checked with another group who were getting back from somewhere, if they went to Bekal Fort. They dint, but went to some nearby fort it seemed. We wanted to go to Bekal Fort next day, so decided on the route based on that. Went for a short walk again in the beach, sat on the bench for a few minutes and decided to get back to the room.

We told the receptionist to make our bill, in the night, as we dint want to spend too much time on that next morning. For 2 nights, including food and the numerous times we had Tea, it was 5.5k for all of us.
Rs.1000 per room/per night

We went to sleep at 11, hoping, we would start early the next day.
One last night, one last glance at the ocean from the balcony, and off to dreamland

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trip to Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach and Bekal Fort - Part 1

Drive in Beach…
Seems fun...
But its rainy season
So what, that’s the fun
Alright, what else
Bekal Fort is close by
What’s that?
You remember the movie Bombay. The song “Uyire” (Tamil) “Tu hi re” (Hindi), was shot here...
Oh that one...quite scenic… Are we going there too?
Super. I am in
And so were another couple.
Thus started our journey in the afternoon/rather early evening on Saturday (Aug 12).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spa for...

“Let’s take a gold package. It has wash for every month.” Sagar said.
“Yeah but don’t you think silver is enough. Why do we need the spa for a wash every month? Silver package has wash every 2 months” Nita was trying to negotiate.

“Yes dear, but they do body polish too, once in 2 month in the gold package, and the platinum one. Just imagine, how good it would be” Sagar was trying to show the brochure to his wife.
“Okay, you go and get it done”.
Nita left the brochures on the table and went to the kitchen. Sagar went in the car to Auto-Spa.
He gave the keys to the attendant. “Please take care of my baby”, he said and left from the place.

As he was returning home, Raghu uncle met him, “Sagar, where is your car?” “It’s in the spa uncle, getting pampered”, Sagar winked.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Geometry box

Vandana was getting late to school. It was her first day at high school. She was waiting for her mom to give her the lunch bag and the geometry box she had asked for. Kamalamma was working as a house maid, she couldn’t afford much to send Vandana to a private school. She was a smart girl, she wrote several exams and got her scholarship in one of the best schools in the town.

“Did you get me the new geometry box?” Vandana asked her mom with hope.
“You have strived so much my dear, wont I get you one” Kamalamma went to the trunk, which was kept in the corner.

She opened it and took out a small bag and in that was a small package. Kamalamma opened it, and out came a shiny geometry box. She gave it to Vandana and wished her luck.

“Amma, this is so beautiful. Where did you get it from” Vandana’s eyes twinkled looking at the box.

“This was given by one of my owners when you were born. I used to work in one of the richest houses in town, at that time. When you were born, the lady of the house came to visit us. She gave this to me and said, that I should provide you good education.” Kamalamma was wiping her tears.

“That’s so kind of her. Can I go and meet her sometime to thank her for this thoughtful gift?” Vandana wanted to express her gratitude.

“I don’t think so dear. They don’t stay here anymore.” Kamalamma wiped off her tears.
“Now, aren’t you getting late for school. Off you go” she shooed Vandana out of the house with a smiling face.

Kamalamma took out something else, from the package. It was a photo of a pretty lady. After a few minutes of silence she spoke “Madam, your daughter has turned out to be a fine girl, also, she is as pretty as you are”

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


“Lets go that posh restaurant for her party” Amit was trying to convince the other 2 guys.
Amrita, was back after her higher studies, she had agreed to meet her buddies at a place of their choice. Sagar, Karthik, Amit and Amrita were inseparables in college. As life would have it, after graduation, they went ahead with their respective jobs and studies. They were constant touch with each other, and after 2 years, were going to meet that day.
At 8.00 PM sharp, Amrita, dressed in a sleek figure hugging knee length dress, was waiting outside the restaurant. The 3 guys came in a few minutes. She was pleasantly surprised seeing them dressed appropriately for the restaurant, instead of Jeans and some t-shirt with graphics.
“Not bad, you guys” she smiled and hugged them.
“You too” responded Sagar
Amrita smiled and gestured that they should now get in, lest their table be given to someone else. Amit and Karthik hit Sagar on the head “Is that how you compliment a girl?” He just shrugged.
As they took their seats, Amrita realized the guys were trying to be formal in behavior. She was missing out the fun she had with these guys, and decided, if they weren’t going to act normal, then she knew how to get them on track.
The waitress came to their table to take the order.
“Drinks anybody” Amrita offered, “It’s ok guys, I have no problems. I have the money”, she winked.
“One red wine, please” Amit ordered.
“I’ll go for a bloody Mary” Karthik decided
“Champagne, for me” Sagar was the last to decide.
“And for you ma’m”, the waitress turned towards Amrita.
“Get me a diet Cola for now” Amrita closed the drinks menu
As they were discussing the current affairs in their lives, their order started to appear on the table.
Amrita gave one look at all of them, called the waitress and said, “Please get a Shampagne glass”.
The 3 gave her a shocked look. “You started drinking?” “From when?”
By then the waitress came with a Shampagne glass.
“Guys, it’s and empty glass” Amrita showed them. But what she did next was totally shocking for all the three. She poured her diet cola into the glass.
“What are you doing Ammu” Amit tried to stop her. “This is a 5-star, they have a decorum”
“Come on guys!!! I love to drink in fancy glasses. The one she give me a diet cola was like a water glass, I loved the shampagne glass and this is how I will drink it”
“You know, you are insulting our drink” Sagar said, all 3 started at him and then they started laughing loudly. It was a similar laugh, which Ammu shared with her friends, on a roadside restaurant.
She knew, the ice was broken and she had her buddies back.