Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Coffee, WhatsApp, Nature, Friends and Happiness !!

This is a travelogue of a Trip to Dandeli and DudhSagar with my friends.

It's quite personal and might be boring !

May 18th, 2014 Sunday night (@Electronic city Phase 2)
Four of us joined at a cafe (It was a bakery, but cafe sounds cool) for no reason. Everyone was worried about a long week that was ahead of us and confessed about the regrets of wasting the weekends, doing nothing.
We ordered a few cups of coffee (and someone ordered tea, i guess).Caffeine and smartphone did the trick. We searched internet for a place to visit and have fun. 
One of us said: Dandeli?......I guess, Dandeli would be fine!

Everyone of us opened our smartphones and Miss Google helped us in getting too much of information.We came up with a plan in 20 minutes(or may be 30 minutes).

One of us posted a message in WhatsApp and the rest of us accepted this trip invitation in no time. Within next few hours the total was 8 in number. 

May 19th, 2014 to May 29th, 2014
From booking a HomeStay to planning the places to visit, internet was more than enough ! WhatsApp was the saviour. All the decisions, information, discussions and notices happened here. Finally, 16 members were all set to Dandeli and Doodhsagar Trip (DudhSagar? Yup, Plans do change!)

May 30th,2014
We started our journey from Silk board at 7:30PM. After 2 hours or so, we picked all the 16 members and the real journey started. Everybody was so hungry that few packs of biscuits, Lays and other home-made snacks were finished within few minutes. We danced for sometime inside the bus. Music is such a rejuvenator -  everybody was back to their senses after a long day of work. We had our dinner at a restaurant on the way. Few of us had coffee, as well, after the dinner!!

16 of us know each other from July 31st, 2001. We all studied in a residential school for a span of 7 years (Uff!! That's a pretty long time). It was so refreshing to talk about what's going on in each other's life? Sharing joys and sorrows with your loved ones is so comforting. I had a (fictional) story to tell, my friend had few poems to recite and there were few PJs(Poorest Jokes), RJs(Rotten Jokes) and whatever. Few dozed off, but others continued their never ending series of tales. The moving vehicle showered a thick breeze and a view which set everything right for me. Obviously, I was sitting besides a window and was at ease. Darkness and breeze is kind of special.

During my childhood, I used to predict that we are nearer to a city, when we were travelling, by the view of electric lamps and brightness. But today, darkness is an illusion. Every village has so many electric lamps and street lights, the roads are filled with Cafes, Dhabas and tolls (there are too many). Darkness is rare in today's world but we still have a shade of it, inside us.

May 31st,2014
Google maps and navigation served the purpose of guiding us the roadways to Dandeli. On the way, me and my friend had a long conversation with the Driver. The Driver took a quick interview of what technology we work on, our native places and other things. 
He and his family was from Kengeri. He told a few things which impressed me  "Life in Bangalore is tough, sir. So much of price raise, pollution and insecurity. Most of the time is spent working, we rarely get to spend time with family. Kids aren't allowed to play outdoor games.Our childhood was too different and more enjoyable.
We touched recent election results, his trip experiences and much more. He added, " If Government reduces Diesel fare, then everything will be a lot better. It would help us a lot".
We all got to know so many new things.

My friend always iterates this poem,

ಸರ್ವಜ್ಞನೆ೦ಬುವನು ಗರ್ವದಿ೦ದಾದವನೇ?
ಸರ್ವರೊಳು ಒಂದೊಂದು ನುಡಿಗಲಿತು
ವಿದ್ಯೆಯ ಪರ್ವತವೆ ಆದ ಸರ್ವಜ್ಞ.

As we were nearing to Dandeli, the atmosphere got better - fresh air, greenery, fields, patchy-roads, small villages and a sense of happiness. Dandeli has a rich forest cover and a tropical climate (Go to wikipedia for more info and stats) 

The Homestay (http://www.sangwayhomestay.com) welcomed us with the rusted gate, morning dew, mango trees, green grass and a secluded building. We freshened up, had few idlis with sambhar & chutney and rushed towards the White water rafting camp.

We need to travel a distance of 12Kms to the rafting location. This part was very funny. Everyone was talking about water disasters, ending life and all the worst consequences. It was great fun (and gyan) to realize how thrifty our lives are. Water rafting was great fun. I took a plunge into the river Kali while rafting.Water entered though mouth, ears & nose and I couldn't breathe till I started floating with the help of a Life-Jacket. It was more of a magic than reality. Touching a friend's hands floating, shouting with all the strength, challenging the risk and experiencing the surreal was awesome (The Hrithik Roshan's moment in Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobara). The 9 kms of rafting with the scenic backdrop and River Kali's aggression was memorable. 8 of us rafting and facing the challenge was amazing in itself. 
When you know, you have your dear ones, you will rejoice everything. 

The rafting experience was described and discussed upon, during the lunch at Homestay. After a voting, we planned to leave for Synthera rocks and Kali Backwaters. We played few childish games inside the vehicle and danced a bit on the way. Syntheri rocks explain the marvel of nature. A nature-created water falls - Kali river's tributary flowing beneath the 300ft rock,too many bee-hives on rock and serenity. Then we shifted the gears towards a dam to take a glimpse of Kali backwaters. It isn't a nice view to see a barren river. The water was less as the monsoons had not started yet. But the peace in sitting on the bridge, listening to melodies and talking bull-shit with friends was awesome.

The camp fire with pakoda in Homestay was good. We tried the swing, danced for sometime, had dinner and finished our day with a long discussion on our life at Bangalore, IT field, Life and some very serious topics.

June 1st, 2014
After a peaceful sleep, we woke up to the early sunrise. 
Few of them were still sleeping and others tried their hands at badminton, volleyball, football, swing and Photography. I took a morning walk which had a great impact on me. The calmness of the place, nature's existence, less falseness, people working their hearts out early morning and many more. Women draped their saree to make them comfortable to work (which was quite interesting), lush greenery, the sight of buffaloes & cows grazing, people were gratifying and had a fair knowledge about the place, villages were under-developed but maintained their nativity and life seemed to be more lively.

DudhSagar was on cards for the day. We bid adieu to the HomeStay and started our journey towards Castle Rock railway station. We took Yashwantpur-Vasco train and reached DudhSagar. The train journey was spectacular with tunnels (and people shouting when the train passed through a tunnel), mountains, water springs etc. I talked to a fellow passenger about IPL and the places around. He said, "Aaj toh Punjab hi jeetega. Zabardast match hoga. DudhSagar toh rainy season mein bahut acha hoga dekhne ke liye. Ab toh dry hai aur falls mein paani kam hai"
"Does that matter? 16 friends midst the nature!! Dude, we would even party in hell",I said to myself.

The 300 meter falls was awesome to look at. Water being guided by solid rocks and forests was a treat to eyes. We trekked for sometime, had lunch and fed few monkeys. Most of the friends tried swimming, but few of us just put our legs in water flowing. It was cold, refreshing and soothing (Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani moment). The cold water current has a magic and I wont be foolish to explain it. We spent some time peacefully over there.

As obvious, the return journey started. We traveled via Dharwad. I have read a few books and articles which celebrated the culture, living, educational institutions and the legacy of this city. So I just got out to a hotel and had a Ragi-Idli.
 It was delicious and heavy enough for a snack. The atmosphere at Dharwad was different. The heat waves, Kannada accent and the signboards made me feel Dharwad. Two of us, keeping aside all the inhibitions, danced for a very long time inside the vehicle. We were nearing to Bangalore and the gloominess was spreading. I talked to one of my friend on mid-life crisis, work tension, family and let my heart out. I felt so good. Few people erase all the sorrow and comfort you. After cutting through the Bangalore traffic, I reached my place at 10am in the morning.

PS: My dresses still smell the aura of Dandeli and DudhSagar. My dreams still deal with river rafting, waterfalls, nature and spending time with friends. A few cups of Coffee, WhatsApp and internet helped in organizing the trip. The Nature and friends created the happiness. Stupid conversations, nature, amateur dance, silly thoughts, philosophy, music and what not. It was a Lifetime-Experience.


  1. Hey Harish ! Ur posts are so touching and full of emotion. Reading about it makes me want to go on one such trip very soon. Hope il have the pleasure of your company once again. Keep writing :)

    1. Thanks a lot, Nandita. Feels great to hear that from you ! Hopefully, we'll go on a trip very soon !!

  2. Great to get together,,,,, and go for the trip,,, One of the best and enthusiastic trip , I have ever done :) :) :) ...
    Hey, I really felt histrionic with our group.. still in the same Hangover :( :(
    Hope,, it would have losted long.. :D :D :D :D :D

    1. Thanks a lot, Pavan. It was great fun !!

  3. Brilliant ... as always ur writin is beautiful :-)!!!

    1. Thanks, Anonymous !! I'm glad that you liked the post !

    2. Being one among 16 ,I had a feeling something like I am going for the same trip again while reading this ,each word gives a emotional touch..:-)Wen ever if we want to go through trip memories this blog would be more than enough..Blog is simply superb Harish:-)

    3. Thanks a lot, Vidya. The trip was so refreshing and enjoyable !!

  4. Hey Gp..great post...like alwaz..seems u had a lot of fun..I wish v too have a trip like dat agn :)

    1. Thanks, Anonymous !! I'm happy that you liked my post !!

  5. Hey Harish, I finally read the blog today. I had a feeling that I missed the trip, but thanks to you, I felt I was amidst you guys while reading this post. I think your 7 years theory will fail when it comes to Navodayans ;) touch wood. Writings are the reasons to relive few moments. great job..

    1. Thanks a lot, Supriya . I surely agree that Seven Years theory fails brutally when it comes to Navodayans. It was a memorable trip !

  6. Excellent Post! Rejoice life during holidays through Dandeli Resorts; located in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka state.