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


  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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