Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let me to the Valley go...

It's been a real long time, since I jotted down something, here. And it feels strange as I go through the process, acutely aware of the fact that, words flow less freely, and sense the same strangeness that creeps in, when you get back with a friend after a long lull.

But then, it feels wonderful to be back in India, and with family, slowly relishing and savouring the moments. Capturing them in words or pictures would seem to morph or distort or define the actuals, but then you get to capture them for eternity, which may otherwise dissipate (even if not all) into disjoint figments, which may again be a better alternative for some! Well, the intention of this post is to try and relive that wonderful time capsule, during which we made a short trip to Coonoor, and record few impressions which may otherwise become progressively obscure and faint.

Enroute our six hour journey, we took a short break, which was pleasantly refreshing, especially as we had a go at the swings, and the local 'bondas'. And then set off on our uphill ascent, from Mettupalayam, up the expansive Nilgiris, standing tall and impressive, 2,000 metres above sea level. Seated (clinging to our seats for dear life) in our vehicles, watching the drivers ease their way through the tantalisingly dangerous 'hairpin bends', with consummate ease was a nerve-rackingly exciting experience! And finally  found ourselves at Coonoor around lunch time, a tiny little bustling town interspersed with lush green mountain slopes and an abundance of  towering trees. The 'De Rock' took time reaching though, tucked away, almost along the edge of Lamb's Rock, from where the view down was breathtaking, and a sublime sense of tranquility pervaded our senses.

The stay at the quaint, red bricked cottages was an interesting one, with campfire and barbecue enlivening our chill evenings. The Coonoor Railway Station was a veritable scene lifted right out of a Movie, with its misty backdrop, the noisy steam engine chugging in, the ancient stone structure and the pretty wooden benches. It was a delightful experience, atleast to me. 

The Pykara Lake , the Botanical Gardens, the Kodanad View point,were the other places covered. The Kodanad had an impressive, what is termed as 'Panaromic View' and the Rangaswamy Peak and Pillar (picture) was a prominent part  of the vast landscape, with the Moya river meandering its way across the rocky terrain. Had small doses of shopping by way of Home made chocolates which much to our surprise were delicious, unlike the brittle sand like stuff dished out in Kodaikanal. Few herbal remedies, and books at the local Higginbothams,  were picked up too.

The short trek along a gurgling stream early in the morning, was the icing on the cake. Moments where you truly feel you are one with nature, when you realise how much we intrude upon her space, with scant regard or thought; how dark and mysteriously beautiful she is and how inept and insignificant we are.

The trip was a memorable one for several reasons, and truly glad and blessed we got to do it. I got to ' Stand and Stare' and ' I gazed and gazed but little thought, what wealth the show to me had brought'!