My Last Trip Before Lockdown




When Covid19 had just put its foot in the country with only 3 cases in Kerala, we had our Ooty trip planned. All tickets and bookings were done since the new year. With just three days in hand, four of us travelled from Mumbai, Pune and Bhubaneswar, to Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, to join a few others staying in the city. And the excitement to finally meet one another after 6 months of that trip to Pune, the Lohagard Trek- we were kids excitedly clicking selfies in our face masks, hurriedly putting a quick dab of sanitizer before hugging one another.



Next day early morning we were to start for Ooty. Sleepy heads, gulping a bowl each of muesli, we started onward journey to Bandipur National Park. Devouring uttapams, dosas and piping hot cups of coffee for breakfast at a restaurant by the highway, chit chats were full on, as was the music and dance in the 12-seater vehicle. Funny anecdotes had us laughing our hearts out, gossips were such a thrill and cooking recipe exchanges went on and on. Few chose to complete their sleep on their seats, snoring and adding up to the entertainment quotient of the journey.  





The Tiger Safari at Bandipur National Park wasn’t that fruitful, since we couldn’t spot any tigers there. But for consolation there were deer and stags, and there was a beautiful scene of two elephants with their mahouts, a peacock and monkeys drinking water from the river. We waterfall at the far end was beautiful too. There was a fear of elephants crossing the road, as the stories we had heard, but thankfully we encountered none.


Our stay was at a picturesque resort, Hotel Lakeview. Though our minds had been filled with hoax or presumably true stories of ghostly happenings in the resort, courtesy of dear Sas, most of us were prepared with Hanuman Chalisa or other prayers for when need arises. We gossiped, watched the boys dance, entertaining us with their moves, Lol, accompanied with drinks and good food. Good food, good life. We rested well after the long journey and the mini party indoors.



Next day we visited in and around Ooty- the parks, the tea factory, tea garden, chocolate factory and the pine forest. After a thousand clicks, numerous videos of the scenic views, funny antics with the bubbles, and food, the day had a tiring yet fun filled end. We video called people who had planned but couldn’t quite join us for the trip. Gossiped some more. Ate some more. And slept.


Coonoor was a beautiful peaceful place as well. Needed a few more days to explore it’s every nook and corner. We couldn’t do that planned boat ride in Ooty lake, or visit that bakery. I forgot the name. As usual. And as we were heading down the hills, back through the Bandipur reserve roads, to Bengaluru, realizing that the trip is soon going to end, that ‘until next time’ is soon becoming reality, I pondered upon yet another meet with someone soon to be special. Or was he already special, just that my logical mind hadn’t accepted the fact yet?! With just 15-20 minutes to spare, we chatted a bit in the nearby Café Coffee Day, then posing and clicking pics near his bike. This was an unexpected end to the 3-day trip. And the rest is history. :P



Comments

  1. Yaadein reh jaati hain. Memories are alive. Glad you could enjoy a trip before lockdown.
    Hope things get better soon.

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    Replies
    1. True! I miss this so much! Being able to atleast make weekend plans with friends!

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  2. wowowo this is reallly amazing! glad you enjoyed!

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  3. Pics surely speak a lot and you guys had one heck of a trip. A lifetime memory. Good that you made such trip before lockdown.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, thankfully we did. 2020 has no travel memories except this! I miss the rides and plans.

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  4. I visited Ooty a long time back that is nearly some 12 to 13 years back and bought a packet of herbal tea for my parents which they could not tolerate and politely handed it back to me. Ha ha

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    Replies
    1. Haha! I brought back chocolates, which everyone devoured and some medicinal oils which are good effective... so all was worth it, thankfully :D :D

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  5. wow amazing clicks and it seems you had loads of fun on this trip. yes with covid we all are missing travel so much. hope everything gets normal soon and we all can enjoy travel and fun time like before.

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    Replies
    1. Hope it happens soon. It's almost 2021 already.!

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  6. Oh our last visit was Goa before lockdown and thankful we went as this whole year has gone to waste, Hope this start warming again soon on travel front. This is a lovely post

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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

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  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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