Category Archives: Interesting Stuffs in Routine Life

Trek to Nagalapuram

Am I the only person uttering ‘Nagalapuram’ in extreme low pitched deep bass voice. Com’on ! At least you might gave a shot once. Yeah! This brand has a witty slithering essence to it right. Whatever, Lets rewind !! Shall we?

Thursday morning (13th Aug), as I was sharing my dream with Alia Bhatt; I got kicked out of it when my smart phone screamed out loud. My friend it was.

“Where are you..??”

“Bed”

“Any plans on weekend..??”

“No..Not yet.”

“Lets hike Nagalapuram.”

“Assemble the team” I replied with my husky voice and hung the call.

Nagalapuram Trekking starting point
Nagalapuram Trekking starting point – © LifeofSamuell

We are kinda crazy fellas who plans a trip for an entire year and never executes it but a sudden plan will always turn into a wonderful experience. Phone calls everywhere and the trip is officially announced in Whatsapp. Nine people, two light motors, one destination was the plan. rs700 x 9 = rs6300 was the budget.

Things should get fucked up somewhere and this time it was the ride. One of the light motor was busy on the scheduled date and we had to come up with another solution and that was to replace it with two bikes.

Now we are good to go.

Saturday- 69th Independence day, noon we buckled up, filled the tanks and set the Google Map pin on Arai, Andra Pradesh.

I prefered bike ride. The reason is that I had been the rider and the pillion; trust me there is no satisfaction when you are the rider according to me. Every dot on the Google Map has an unique artistry, essence, music and aroma which you don’t get a chance to feel or live the moment if you are busy with traffic signal or balancing the clutch plate against the gear wheel or-else you get squeezed into the light motor with air conditioner aimed towards your skull and speakers with shitty song to your ear drum. Once an wise man said, “The Journey is the destination”.

After one-eighty minutes of bike ride with lot of pit-stops to stretch the quad and refuel the tummy; we reached Arai, a village with vintage touch everywhere. It was three quarter past, We are in the plan to nap under the stars that night so we left the rides back in the village and walked towards the lake near the foot of the hills.

Hike through heavy rain
Hike through heavy rain – © LifeofSamuell

We are pleasantly surprised thanks to the sudden rain from nowhere. Even an apocalypse can’t stop us that day. We still kept hiking towards the hills across the lake. The rain gave us the energy by not letting the sun to suck it up. We are super wet and really excited.

We encountered lot of IT clans on their way down the hill. Maari the trek guide, at his mid thirties,short beard, dark and athletic fit took the lead with the tent above his head. We followed. Not a hard trek I must say. We had to stop in the mid way since we are camping. The rain took a break.

Home sweet home !!
Home sweet home !! – © LifeofSamuell

Maari hooked-up the rope between the trees and set the tent which could fit 10 people. Wet clothes were dried and we decided for a fun bath at the nearest brook. Maari went up the hill gathered the woods for the fire. He and his assistant lighted up the campfire. We had a dependency issue since nothing was planned ahead for the hiking. After the fun bath we sat infront of the fire to gain back the lost temperature.

Sun left us back as it is time to greet the States. Within few hours we are surrounded by nothing but darkness. Very first rule of camping is always bring the torch light. We are nine in numbers and ended up with 2 torch lights. Few inside the tent discussing about the future and the present, few struggling with the fire and not let it die and few decided to take a small hike just to experience the unexpected. I was in the third category.

I was scared to death but I decided not to show up on the face. We hiked with a single torch light. Along the way we met a pedestrian trying to cross the path. He is nothing but a predator that stings with its tail.

We bumped into this creature when we hiked through Nagalapuram
We bumped into this creature when we hiked through Nagalapuram – © LifeofSamuell

“FUCKING HELL !! I’M OFF THIS PLANET” I pulled the other two and started walking back. Since the night hike fucked up we decided to find our food in the woods and eat like Bear Grylls does. You can ask us why such a decision?

Why not?

We saw a lot of fish when we had the bath so we ended up fishing. Since we are not prepared we used the lightweight bath towel and a torch. Since the goal is to experience the wilderness we decided to set our own fire from scratch.

Blood Sucker !!
Blood Sucker !! – © LifeofSamuell

We collected sticks, logs and woods from nearby and started setting our fire. It took us so long and we are about to quit but since it was wilderness we had no other option. We tried again and again. We burnt our eyes and fingers, sored our hips and knees, deflated our lungs over a million times and finally ended up with ashes.

“I think we must start over.”

“I’m done. I am ready to get stung by the scorpion but not this again” I replied with the jabbering voice.

“I think we should play low. Since this is out first camping we should start from rookie level. Let us use the fire made by Maari.”

“It is cheating”

“I’m dying”

“Why don’t we borrow some fire from our friends and we can return it back once we are done with it”

“Sounds like a plan”

We asked for some fire. They laughed back. We used some Bear Grylls quotes. They laughed more.

Campfire in Nagalapuram Trek
Campfire in Nagalapuram Trek – © LifeofSamuell

We set our borrowed fire and we struggled to keep it alive. By the time, the fishermen arrived with some fishes. We took a long stick to pierce the fishes.  We started barbecuing it.

The fish seemed dark and cooked. It looked awkward at first. I took the first bite and it tasted pretty good without spice or salt.

The land of Nagalapuram
The land of Nagalapuram – © LifeofSamuell

That night was not a normal routine night. We laughed on our own mistakes. We teased each other. There were zero technology. We spend the night talking to each other by gazing the stars. Sometimes all we need is a break from the stuffs around us and to look back the place once we came from.

Nagalapuram - The Fantasy land
Nagalapuram – The Fantasyland  © LifeofSamuell

You can think that we crazy people took a long drive, hiked in heavy rain, bumped into the venomous scorpion, slept under the stars but we had a different experience. We don’t claim that we really did something adventurous but we are pretty much sure that we didn’t do the routine stuffs.

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal” – Paulo Coelho.

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It took damn SIX years for switching a seat !!

“Excuse me madam !! this boy is pinching me always, I wanted to switch my seat.”
“Okay. You stay here, Viswa Take your bag, go to the last bench and stay there for the whole term.”
“But actually mam !! I wanted to switch my seat.” I replied back.
“Shut up and stay in your seat Sam!! I saw the test papers and you failed. Don’t ever imagine switching the seat to the last bench.”
“Okay mam”, me replied with a sad expression which would help me at least to stay on the bench rather not on the floor.

This incident happened many years back when I was a kid and I was studying in school.

It was the time where untouchability and switching seats were considered offensive and criminal act, people some times were punished for this atrocity. I wished the future ‘me’ will have the right to switch anything and anywhere to his wish. Sigh !!

Many years later, I decided to switch seat from the left to right and I thought what is the big deal of switching..?? Duh !!
“Six months in prison, and if any road kill, it may end up in hang to death” he said.

“Oh Com’on !! This is unfair. Just a few inches to the right. huh !! whats the big deal about it..??” I asked.
”Please stretch out the hand little bit higher so that I can measure for a prison pajamas and gift it to you on the day of judgement” he said as if ” please press one to activate the hello tunes on your mobile.”

His quote made me think that I’ll switch the seat one day, not today but some day.

After waiting for six long years I finally decided to switch seat.
“But wait!! You need to master the art of balancing the clutch and the accelerator, the control of the steering, the unspoken driver’s language, the…….”
“Oh!! Com’on…not again you jerk.”
“Rules are rules buddy. After completing the course, you must attend a test in front of the Road inspector, and if passed you shall take the right side seat or if u rush it now I still have the gift wrapped for the day of judgement.”

I realized that I have a severe test-o-phobia and police-o-phobia. Okay I need a hammer to shoot on my face. Shit !! I meant that I need to pistol to break my skull. Oh Com’on !! U brain arsehole.
Either the police test or the rest of the life on the left side seat. Make a choice said the brain like the Matrix Morpheus with the red and blue pills.

“Okay !! I’ll take the test”. I murmured and sat back on the left seat.

Next day morning!! I decided to enroll myself onto a switching seat academy. The instructor, 40+, dark skin, salt and pepper hair, and the ‘always smiling face’. That face showed that he is the man of Ahimsa.
“Get back here tomorrow morning 6AM sharp”, he said.
“Waaat..?? !! did he just said S-I-X…….A-N-T-E…….M-E-R-I-D-I-E-M..??”.
“Yeah”, said the jerk.

***

Android alarmed its 6AM. I got ready at 7AM and reached my destination. On the way I noticed a yellowish orange ball slowly lifting up above the horizon. I had never seen that before in my lifetime. people use to call that as “The Sun Rise” but who cares, lets get back to the business.

“Sam, come over here !!” said the instructor. I ran to him. He handed me the most beautiful thing in the whole world, “A car key”.

happy-cuteness-overload-guy-memeAnd that’s it. I have reached my destiny, I am going to switch my seat finally.

“Get in the driver seat”, he sang. I, myself in Ultra-slow motion, opened the door and entered inside the car with the DubStep BGM.

I turned the key and the engine started.

Yellow blood corpuscles, Chennai.

Yellow blood corpuscles of Chennai.

Trrrr!!……Thhh..Thh..Thhh……Tttrrrrrrrr!! Yes!! The Auto rickshaws.

Active 24*7, Low class people wishes to use it , Middle class people cries after using it only because auto rickshaws has the power to explode your heart in pieces.Wanna bet..??

“How much from Gopalapuram to Gemini flyover..??”

“Just 100 Rs !!”

*BOOOMMM !!*

See I told you so. This was the situation for a very long time. People were fed up with this. Everyday they bargain and if you are missing a train in half an hour, only God must mercifully feed you for the rest of the month.

Do a mistake, people call it as mistake but do it for next 50 years people call it as ‘The Unwritten Law’ that must be followed.

All of a sudden there was a revolution. Auto Rickshaws with a symbol of ‘NAMMA AUTO’ which was considered as ‘HOPE’ in Chennai started saving the Chennaites. Namma Auto has a power of Digital meter with an inbuilt GPS and a printed bill service.

Whoah !!

Within few months there was a catastrophic change. Auto rickshaws were ordered to use the meter and with the minimum charge of rupees 30. Police charged Auto rickshaws without proper meter. Finally I thought Chennai is saved.

Few days later, I had to travel back to my native and I preferred bus to train. Koyembedu was my destination. I waved my hand, auto stopped in front of me.

“Koyembedu bus stand” I said

” It will be 250rs”

“Whaaat…??”

“Heavy traffic sir, 250rs”

“I will come only if you use the meter” I raised my voice.

He just drove the Auto without looking at my face and I was like a dumb standing and staring at the road. Again I waved my hand and no one is willing to use the meter. Finally I hired an Auto who was willing to use the meter and I reached Koyembedu at 120 rs. This history repeated for few times.

After few weeks, I wanted to leave Chennai again so I called for an auto to Koyembedu. I started losing lot of autos and patience with the meter thingy. I checked at the time and I was already running late. I had no other choice. Either take the auto or fight for the Law.

Taking the auto will be good I guessed.

” Koyembedu busstand, will u use the meter..??” I asked.

” Heavy traffic sir, and lots of one ways and blah blah blahs…”

Time is running. I thought to giving another try so I said

“Will you use the meter please…??”

“Okay, I’ll use the meter and only if you agree that you will pay me 50 rs/- extra”

I calculated in my mind. Without the meter I have to pay 250 rs but with the meter I will pay 120 rs + 50 rs which is 170 rs. Sounds good to me so I replied.

” Ok, I agree with that but on one condition. Take me to Koyembedu without crossing 100rs. I’ll pay you extra 50 as you asked.”

I heard my devil laughing inside me because I have gone koyembedu few times with meter indicating 120 rs. He agreed with the challenge and we geared to Koyembedu.

We had lot of conversations and he took lots and lots of left and right which was really confusing. I started hearing my gut murmuring “YOU ARE BEING KIDNAPPED !! YOU ARE BEING KIDNAPPED !!”

At last the meter stopped at 97rs. I lift my head and I am at the Koyembedu bus stand.

“Sir, We reached” he said.

“Whaaat..??”

“And it is 97rs which means I won the bet ” He said.

I was speechless. I paid 170rs and saved the balance.

“Thanks bro!!” he said with a smiling face.

I started walking with a question in my mind.

“Did I win or lose…??”