Thursday, August 22, 2013

Have you been to Alleppey (Alappuzha) ??

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better - Albert Einstein

I had just completed my B.E. graduation and was waiting for my joining letter from TCS. The waiting period was so long that i started to learn cooking from my mother. Usually i never touch my laptop when i am at my home because, there's already so much of entertainment. That too, when you have a sister, time flies too fast. It was yet another evening with all the channels playing the most boring soaps and I didn't have a good book to turn the pages. I watched the movie 'Godavari'(Telugu), directed by Sekhar Kammula. Its a love story set against the scenic backdrop of the Godavari river aboard a houseboat also called the “Godavari”. The whole movie happens inside a houseboat. No wonder, the movie was spectacular but the houseboat caught my attention. I started fascinating the houseboat more and more. Titanic, Sleepless in Seattle,Around the world in 80 days and many more movies,ads and books have made me fascinate a cruise. But, this movie increased my desire to spend time inside a houseboat drastically.

I got my joining letter from TCS and was posted in Trivandrum. Well, it was all set for a ride on a houseboat and stay as well. After few procrastinations, the day had come for me to enter an houseboat and spend a day inside this. Me, and my friends had been to a houseboat in Allepy. Here is story of me and the houseboat,me and the river,me and my friends,me,my friends and the houseboat, me and the nature,me and myself.
 We entered inside the houseboat,finally. It was a double storey boat  with a kitchen,2 rooms and a drivers seat below. The top storey had free space with a TV and a dining table. We didn't waste a single minute to occupy the seats on the top storey. Few songs were being played and many talks were on while having food. The endless backwaters, greenery all-around, typical smell, few good friends and the feel of the houseboat gave the best feeling in the world.Nature always has a story to tell and is the best listener. I just kept quiet and was in awe. Allepey (pronounced as Alappuzha) backwaters are the main attraction in Kerala. One side, the tourists come here to explore nature and have the best time of their life , and on the other side, localites burn their asses in making tourists stay comfortable to earn their bread.
 Too many photos were clicked. The dil-chahtah-hai poses, SRK poses, kuch-bhi poses, i-love-you poses, you-are-my-best-friend poses and what not. We knew how to pose and to look good in photographs.A thing of beauty is joy forever. Allepey backwaters is one such beauty that will embrace you. There starts an unknown conversation between you and the houseboat, you and the backwaters, you and the coconut trees, you and the nature, you and yourself. Nature can heal the worst pains. It has its own way of telling how beautiful life is. 

It was coffee-time (Few others may call it Tea-time but, i prefer caffeine). Sipping a hot cup of coffee, forgetting that you are humane and living in a divine unearthly condition for a few seconds is the pleasure that a houseboat gives you. Sunset, drizzles and scenic beauty were a visual treat. Few of us had coconut water to get rid of the thirst and the rest of us to pose at cameras. After having dinner, the houseboat was halted at a place. Still the day had not ended for us.  The rooms were well furnished and it felt cozy and warm inside the houseboat.We had a lot of nonsense things to discuss late night and few of them made sense,surprisingly.

After a nice sleep, next day started too early. As the boat was halted near a village (Yup, its Kerala and there are people living on the coasts of backwaters) we took a morning walk. Sun, green grasses , slippery land, localites-looks and a few photos, that's all. It was time to return. The houseboat took a  180 degree turn and started towards the starting point. We had delicious food and the hospitality was heart-touching. The chef was a Bengali and was a genius in cooking south-indian food. As the exit time was nearing we all were starting to feel gloomy. Time was up and the houseboat was safely landed. It was time to say good-bye to nature, coconut trees, silence,beauty, backwaters and most importantly, to the houseboat.

The trip just proved that all we need is nature. At the end of the day, the ultimate happiness is given by nature. Facebook, gadgets, movies, music , malls, cricket are all thrifty when compared to what nature has for us. It is a heavenly bliss.  

If you people are planning for an outing this weekend, I would suggest this houseboat stay. 

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
-Anne Frank, The Diary of a young girl.
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Friday, August 9, 2013

A Journey to Remember : Episode 2

I'm back with the next episode of the story. To read the 1st episode Click Here

OMG!! I need to introduce you to one more person now. His name is Siddharth. People call him "Sid". We both graduated from the same college. He was my senior in the college. By the way, we studied in St.Xaviers College of Engineering,Goa.Our first meeting was on a hot summer day. I had just completed my 1st internals in 2nd semester and was celebrating with friends. Suddenly our BR (Branch-Representative) came to us and announced,
"Guys, we'll have inter-branch competitions from next week. We need good footballers and cricketers to represent our ECE branch. My friend, Siddharth will do the selections."

One of my friends told me,"Anyways they won't select freshers. They just want to rag us and have fun.I'm not coming with you,Rahul"

Few of us were excited to take part in the events. We ignored all the negative comments and took part in the selections. It was great fun. We played for sometime and got to know few of our seniors.Later in the day, surprisingly, they selected me as well. That's the first time i met Sid, in person.  
 Sid was the President of most talked about club in our college. He was an excellent sportsman and had fair score in his academics as well. He had made his mark in the institution. Most importantly, 'Girls went gaga over Sid'.

We all prepared very hard in the coming days.Our branch won in Football and reached semi-finals in Cricket. Then onwards, Sid and I went on to become friends. 

Our seniors had organized a fresher's party when we joined our department in 3rd Semester. It's nothing but a whole day of ragging and dancing. 
I was talking to my friends when Sid called me and asked me,"Go and propose that girl,who is wearing green t-shirt. Be quick"

I hesitantly replied,"Should I do that?".
I was very shy and had hardly spoken to a girl. 

Sid said,i mean he almost shouted,"Rahul, do what i say. Don't act smart.Take this rose with you."
He threw a rose at me.

A bunch of seniors were looking at me. I slowly made my way towards the girl. My hands were numb,I had started sweating and was totally clueless.

I went to her and said,"Hey,those seniors asked me to give this rose to you and propose."

She smiled at me and said,"Hey, it's fine. You can do that. Go on your knees if you want,i don't mind."
Ufff...I was awestruck.What an attitude!!
She made my task effortless, in fact she made it enjoyable.

I went back to Sid and said,"Done with the task.Shall i go??".
I was tensed about the next daring task they would assign.

Sid's friend ordered me,"Go sit next to that girl for the rest of the day.

I was very happy,deep inside and said,"OK,as you say."
They passed few comments and started screaming as i started walking towards her seat.
I again came back and stood in front of her.

She questioned me,"What did they say?"

I replied,"Seniors ordered me to sit with you. I'll take a seat here,please don't mind."

She said,"Why would I? Just chill. Hey,my name is Shreya." She pulled a chair for me.

"Hi,I am Rahul",I said and we both shook hands.

Well, the next few hours went off in a hurry. I even got a chance to dance with her in the DJ party in the evening.
I had the best time with the most beautiful and adorable girl of my class.   

After the party,Sid dropped me to the hostel and said,"Good night man. It was all for fun. Don't take it seriously."

"I took it seriously",I smiled at him and said to myself.

That was my second meeting with Sid and my first one with Shreya.

Sid and I attended many inter-college sports events, went for long drives, had late-night parties and what not.We both had a great bonding. Sid liked to watch Hollywood movies, particularly action films,sci-fi and 3D. He hated watching typical romantic movies. He was a die-hard fan of Metallica and used to hum those metal band's songs. Automobiles,sports and gizmos were his hot favorites. 
As Sid was from Goa, he was a day-scholar. He helped me to win in College elections and several other stuffs. I had been to his home several times. Even he had visited my hometown,Chennai.Our families know each other very well.

One day, we all had gathered for the new-year party at a restaurant. After the party, Sid took me to a nearby beach(Reminder!! We are in Goa). It was already 2 o clock in the night. The waves and chirping birds created a perfect background score for us. All of a sudden, Sid starting shouting, "Rahul, my bro. You are a nice guy.The best footballer,I've known. Thanks for everything, especially helping me to hook up with Shreya. I love her a lot. I can't live without her. We both are very happy,together. You made it all possible.
I needn't mention that he was totally drunk.

After all these stories on our inseparable-bonding and eternal-dosti,I have something worse to tell you. Actually, I haven't talked to him in months. I mean,we have stopped talking to each other. We didn't fight. We didn't exchange foul words. But we are branded as 'enemies' now.  

Before I continue this story,let me take a break. See you in the next post.

To be continued..... 
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