In this blog post I will talk about how we planned and made the much awaited trip to Kerala. When I asked who are all coming for this trip, the boys didn’t think twice. But due to placements and other stuffs some of them had to cancel at the last moment. We missed you Palani :)
Movies like Premam and Vinnai Thaandi varuvaya showed how good it would be to live in Kerala in your teenage. I was excited mainly because of the Boat House in Allepey. I wanted to try some of the traditional Kerala dishes and made some homework for it. Also everyone was eager to find out if there is some Jessie waiting for them there :D We packed our stuffs and made a to-do-list of things to try out in Kerala. Notable mentions include Mannequin Challenge and Dubsmash!
We took the train which goes by the Central-Palakkad-Ernakulam North route. It was a special train which is functional only on Sundays. Peeps coming from Coimbatore boarded at the Podanoor junction. There was a lot of usage of WhatsApp live location functionality during this part of the journey. Guys who came from south(Tenkasi/Kovilpatti) arrived at the train station as early as midnight and were waiting to greet us with garlands(?). After hours of Mini Militia, sleep and WhatsApp live location we arrived at the Ernakulam North Jn. around 2:30 AM and were surprised to see the platform empty. I called the south guys to finally find out that they went to the Ernakulam South Jn. instead. Lol, who would have thought there would be two junctions at Ernakulam :D
After making everyone assemble at the Ernakulam North Jn. we got onboard the tempo traveler at around 3 AM which would be our vehicle for the next 4 days. We started our journey towards Munnar. After some gossips (as usual) and trash talks, most of us went to sleep. The driver stopped the tempo near a small hut for a tea break. We had some Kattan Chaaya (different from Sulaimani). We arrived at the hotel and started unloading the bags from the van.
When we entered the reception, we were told that all the rooms in the hotel were booked and there were no vacant rooms. The driver immediately went to another hotel which was about 2 KM from the town and uphill. The climate was very cool and it would be the lowest temperature we would experience during our entire journey.
We took a short nap and had a long warm bath. We finished the breakfast in a small veg restaurant. The thing which made me wonder in the restaurant was the elephant memory of the waiter. He took the orders of 10 customers and never asked them to repeat the order again. The major highlight of this day was the Speed Boating we did at Maatupatti Dam. At first it seemed too costly but nevertheless everybody came onboard and it was one good show.
We clicked some pictures in the boating spot, echo point and the tea estates. We came back to the hotel for a short nap. We decided to walk the entire distance to the town at night to have some Pazhampuri and Tea. We had noodles and parotta for dinner. After numerous games of Mafias and Mini Militia we decided to look at the pictures which were clicked that day. Fortunately, one of the guys had a laptop and after seeing all the pictures we went to sleep.
After having the mandatory Kattan Chaaya in the morning, we started our journey towards Vagamon. In the due course there were some photogenic places and we stopped near a falls-river to shoot some pics. There was a tea estate nearby and I found this hut interesting!
I learnt an interesting fact about elephants that day. Elephants will climb up the hill at a rate faster than it takes for it to go downhill. We spotted an elephant and its baby beating about the bushes(literally :P) and one of my friends pointed out this fact.
We had lunch at a typical Kerala shop with lots of Beef in their menu. The chicken fry tasted a bit different and we tried all varieties of beef with parotta. The hotel looked like the one from VadaChennai and we tried to enact the scene involving Raajan-Guna-Senthil-Velu in the hotel table.
The next stop was at the Pine forest after a lot of travel. Pine forest vanthutu Mannequin challenge panlena epdi? Actually, the preparation for the video happened for a long time than the actual acting part as many were changing the poses, concepts and ideas every now and then. We finally decided the poses and settled at the theme ‘Sanda Seivom-Betrayal’ and shot the video. Huge credits to Ranjith for the arrangement and cinematography!
While discussing about what audio would be suitable for this Mannequin video, Narayanan had other ideas :P
A Jeep driver offered to take us in his Jeep around the Vagamon forests, Pine forest and Offroad tracks. We said yes and he stopped at the Jesus Statue at Kurisumala for a short rest. Then he went offroad and performed a very dangerous maneuvre of reversing up the hill. We went to one of the highest places in that area and took a lot of pictures. The last stop was at a tea shop where we had some nice Bread-Omelettes and Kattan Chaaya. I asked the shopkeeper about the difference between Sulaimani and Kattan Chaaya. Kattan Chaaya was simply “Black Tea” and it tasted sweet. Sulaimani was “Lemon Tea” and lemon was added for flavour. We returned back to the hotel and started unpacking. There were some cowboy themed attractions at the hotel. There was one imperial timepiece, a jeep, a hut with a cute lamp and a hunting gun.
The breakfast at the Vagamon hotel was the best food I had during the tour. Bread (with jam), Puttu (with kadalacurry) and Dosai (with sambar and chutni) were the dishes. We reached the boat house and received instructions from the boat owner regarding the curfew and food. The boat started its journey towards the Vembanad lake and we cruised past some of the iconic scenaries in Allepey. We were brought Tender Coconuts via small boats. I noticed boat buses in the streets(?) of Allepey. We shot a video of us casually, ahem, talking about the Indian economy, Pongal release Movies and our future plans while Omana Penne was running in the background.
We played dumb charades for a long time. Notable mentions are Manidharul Maanikam, Lollu Dhadha Parak Parak and Kuruthipunal. The boat stopped at a village for power and we were told that this would be the place the boat will stay for the night. We had dinner and discussed about the plans for the final day. We played Mafias as usual and the boat was rocked constantly by one or the other.
We decided to go to the Athirapally falls after a lot of discussion. We snubbed Wonder la and it’s 50% student offer in the process. The journey from Allepey to Athirapally was filled with lots of chips and fresh-faced school students who were going for their school field trip. We arrived at the falls only to find out that nobody will be allowed in the main falls. The rain was all over us and we had no choice but to take bath at a very small pond downhill. We changed our clothes and were discussing about the first three days of the tour. When everyone was asking Shakthi to start with the farewell speech, the driver announced that we will have dinner at a nearby restaurant.
At this restaurant we ordered a set of parotta and he brought us 3 pieces of parotta. Later, we came to know that a set denoted the number three in Kerala rather than two, which was prevalent in most of the restaurants in Tamil Nadu. Shakthi delivered his farewell speech as promised. I was moved by the speech given by the next person. The thing he said about his brother being happy that he got friends in college was simply amazing. He is none other than the man, Narayanan. I felt super happy after hearing his speech. The Ernakulam North Jn. arrived and it was time to bid farewell to the guys getting down in the bus station and the Ernakulam South Jn. We got down and waited 2 hours for the train to arrive. We had a nice chat about the journey and the future plans to Himalayas(:P) at the station and at the train. That was the end of one amazing journey :)
Top 5 moments
- Mannequin Challenge at the Pine Forest
- Omana Penne at the Boat House
- Offroad Jeep Ride
- Dumb Charades, Mafias and Mini Militia at every place we went :P
- Farewell Speech
All pics were shot by Narayanan Murugappan on his One Plus Six!
I want to thank each and eveyone who kept on reading my articles and encouraging me to write more. Thanks Vidya Vox for always helping me to write!
PS : If you want me to explain how the ‘Mafias’ game works, comment below :D
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