It was just the beginning.. of my loooong end-semester vacation on completing(yet to know if I can add the adjective 'successful' to it) one year of college. While I was away at hostel, my family had planned and prepared for this trip-my first visit to one of the popular hill stations of TamilNadu, Kodaikanal.
|The road trip|
I've always wanted to visit these must-see places of TamilNadu(you know, it'd be a shame if I say "I was born and brought up in TamilNadu, yet I've never been to x or y". It'd be in tone with that comedy scene from the Rajinikanth starrer 'Padayappa',"Ivar thaan mapilla,aana ivar potirukura satta ennodadhu" He's the bridegroom but the shirt he's wearing is mine. Ok, maybe not so much in tone, never mind) But in recent times, I was not so bothered by it. In fact, I thought, specially of the hill stations here, that they were just poor man’s bliss, middle class family couples’ idea of honeymoon, and probably topped the list of “Rajiv Menon’s idea of a shooting spot”.
But the trip, not so mediocre-in fact I was totally wrong!
Trust me, especially because I’m saying it-If you were brought up in some city in TamilNadu and never been elsewhere, Kodaikanal would be the spot you must be this summer-It probably is one of those few places where you can see some green cover (I mean, some actual, natural green cover), something comfort-cold when your city is burning at 42°C and probably a good spot to renew your familial bonds.
But let me tell you of some of the dos and don’ts that you might want to checkmark before you begin your trip, based on the experience I was talking about:
1. If it’s gonna be a family trip where people are coming from various parts of the country, select a spot that’s at a convenient distance for everyone. Else if you can come together at some other place that’s close by the actual destination, then meet up there, get a good night’s sleep and then proceed. Because you don’t wanna feel like just dozing off at the hotel instead of sightseeing.
2. Take special care in choosing your mode of transport. If your family’s large, then Tempo traveller (TT) might suit your need.
· Be nice to the driver of your TT because one, you’re a human being and so is he; two, even if you don’t he’s gonna ask for it explicitly (It’s better to call him ‘Sir’ actually); three, your life depends on him.
· When you book, do ask for the year of making of the TT-it’s better if it’s after 2005.
· If there are some places on your ascend/descend (mostly it’ll be the same route) with weird name and with nothing significant other than tea stalls and some population-it’s there for a reason. (For example you’ll find a place called DumDum falls in Kodaikanal.) Give your vehicle some rest there, else it’s gonna take its revenge-it could be in any form, failure of brakes maybe.
· It’ll be better if one of your family members can drive a four wheeler-in case the driver becomes sick, faints or couldn’t manage in the middle of the road that’s around 600 feet above ground level.
3. It’s a good thing to do some research on the net to book your place of stay but it might not be entirely reliable.
4. Every day you spend there, wake up early. It gives you extra time to explore and to enjoy the beauty of the sun rise and set. (I never did though :p)
|My brother's click:it was too early for me :p|
5. Wherever there’s park, take a Frisbee with you. It really is so simple a game, so much fun, light to carry, and at the end tempts even the oldest of people to join you.
6. Don’t take any electronic gadgets with you, even cell phones if possible (maybe, take just one for the entire family, in case of emergency).You see them every day but not your family. And specifically, keep the kids away from the cell phone-promise them that they’ll find the game even after reaching home.
7. Find out which food is good at which hotel and go there. It’s worth it. (You should try the appam at the Hilltop Restaurant, Kodaikanal)
8. Use the toilets wherever you see them. You might not find one always.
9.Do something that you've always wanted to do:it could be anything from some daredevilry to buying a crazy hat.
9. Try not to pollute in any way possible. Next generation should believe it when you say the place’s beautiful.
10. Take a lot of pictures: of the place, the atmosphere, of your family.
So, yes, it was a pretty good thing that kick started my summer. But I’m so bored now that I decide to write this blog as I’m drenched in my own sweat and the sweet memories.