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Friday, February 20, 2009

Travails of a Traveller – Part III

6.00 pm – Bhaskar claims that he can hear water flowing somewhere, and proceeds (yet again) to narrate how he will refresh himself when we get to the waterfall.*

(*content restricted because Bhaskar's fantasies include stripping and lots else…)

We ignore his idea as yet another prank that he's playing. He makes a glum face, and starts walking, sulkily.


The shadows are getting longer and we are beginning to feel hopelessly lost. Bhaskar is suggesting survival techniques that will help us stay alive during the night in the jungle. I ignore him, and wonder if we should have gone left from the fork in the road that we had seen nearly an hour ago. Left with no choice except the gloomy prospect of spending a night in the jungle, we decide to walk on. The gloom in the company is palpable. Puneet's jokes have taken on a morose tone, KC is no longer playing with sticks, Debayan is silently walking ahead, Bhaskar seems to be thinking of survival strategies, Ankur, as usual, is quiet, and I am inwardly fuming.


6.10 pm – And lo and behold! Finally, we see them – our missing comrades. There are relieved faces all around. After the customary hugs and greetings have been exchanged, we look around for the waterfall. (To be more accurate, Bhaskar does.) He curses fluently, as he realizes that the damned waterfall is on the opposite mountain – completely inaccessible. Meanwhile, we flop down onto the nearest available logs or stones, to ease our every weary feet. With no other place left, I collapse onto the cold, leaf-covered forest floor, hoping to laze for as long as I can. Within 5 seconds, I'm back on my aching feet. (That prophet of doom – Bhaskar has just told me that snakes like cold, leaf-covered forest floors. Of course, a prudent person, who values one's posterior, would get up quickly.)


6.30 pm – With some degree of consternation, we realize that our celebrations need to be cut short. Our vehicles are still not here, and night is almost upon us. There is no way for us to contact the drivers. (Yes, all those cellular services who promise you networks that follow you everywhere, are about as real as the Tooth Fairy.) We walk to the nearby forest huts, where we see lights and hear some (drunk) voices.

We meet the Ranger, and ask if we can stay the night. He flatly refuses.

Suddenly, I hear the sound of a wireless set, and that gives me an idea. I request the Ranger to call the check posts on the way, and confirm if our vehicles have passed. He complies, and we get the good news. The vehicles should be reaching us soon.


7.15 pm – Still no sign of the vehicles. It's getting chilly and windy. Some of us have been total duds (like me) and not brought any woolens. We try to take shelter in an unoccupied forest hut, and find a lit lantern there. The results are hilarious, as each one of us tries out the 'watchman-of-a-horror-mansion' routine.



7.45 pm – Whew! Finally, the cars are here, and we bundle up into them, and drive off. Madhu and Mahima are either being kind to me, by taking the rear seat, and making me take the middle, or perhaps they're fed up of my constant grumbling, mumbling, and cursing. (And NO!! I do not take up space equivalent to two seats, it's just that they wanted to sit together and chat.) 


To all those who think it is very exciting to have an off-road drive in the dark, through a jungle, GET REAL!! Since it's already late, we decide to head back to Balasore, grab a quick dinner, and then go on to Chandipur. All of us are so exhausted that within seconds, we are fast asleep.

 


11.15 pm – We're finally back in Balasore – to a place called Hotel Ambika, where we have an acquaintance, who has been kind enough to keep food prepared for us. The hunger that we had been suffering from can be judged from the fact that even though the food is bland and VEGETARIAN, we leap at it like a pack of hungry wolves.

12.00 am – We are on our way again. As I doze off, the beaches of Chandipur are the last of the images that flash through my mind…

13 comments:

Aarbee said...

You do look like you've jumped straight out of a horror movie there. :P

Why didn't you guys spend the night at the same hotel instead of taking off at midnight?

Sumit Singla said...

Aarbee.... because we wanted to make the most of the beach... and not waste any time travelling...

deesearch said...

lolz...U certain didn't waste anytime traveling..did ya? ;P

Sumit Singla said...

Dee.... :| I wish and pray that you suffer the travails of such a ride!! :x

deesearch said...

he he he he..phir bhi...what an idea Sirjee... :D :P :D

Sumit Singla said...

Arre...idea badi powerful cheez hoti hai.... "an idea can change your life".... :P

deesearch said...

Life can pata nahi...rasta zaroor badal gaya tha..:D

Sumit Singla said...

Hehe.... :D

no signal said...

Interesting and adventurous. :)

Sumit Singla said...

Thanks NS :D

Tangerine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tangerine said...

Your travel log sure sounds exciting!
:)

btw, thanks for visiting my blog.
And i m trilled to have my first 'follower' ever!!!

Sumit Singla said...

Thanks Tangerine! Such a kick to get 'followers', no? :)