Stormtroopers

A long time ago.

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Light sabers

In a galaxy far, far away.

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Yoda

DO or DO NOT. There is no TRY.

Darth Vader

No, I'm your father.

Villains

You don't know the power of the dark side.

The Force Awakens

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X-Wing Fighter

Long live the Rebel Alliance.

March 24, 2012

Hell Yeah!!!!!

Dragging a 500 kilo full grown bull away from the highway doesn't exactly top my wish-list of things to do on a weekend getaway.Panting and heaving,with our heart muscles pounding their hammers in our heads,our hands a sticky mess of blood and sweat-the three of us heaved the mighty beast with all the adrenalin-boosted spurt of strength we could muster.It seemed a twisted culmination of an otherwise thoroughly mesmerizing trip to Ooty.

It was hard to imagine that just thirty hours ago,a gang of 3 guys and 2 gals were happily pulling each others' legs in a Tata Sumo, and yours truly was dreamily eyeing the prospects of making his inroads to one of the dames' heart with his quips and wise-cracks.She had been in my cross-hairs ever since I had first met her,about a month ago.The Ooty trip had been playing on our gang's mind for quite some time.And once an opportunity materialized,I jumped at it.Nothing like nature's soothing romantic appeal to boost one's chances in matters of the heart.

Plus,Ooty or the 'queen of the hills' as it is lovingly called,has a very palpable connection to love and romance.A host of Bollywood romances have been shot in the Nilgiris.So while I was staring into those deep dark doe-like eyes of hers,second-guessing what she might be thinking about me, the guide-cum-driver stopped the cab under a shade. Pointing out to a vast yellow-ochre shaded ground where the pine and Cyprus dominated the landscape, he proudly informed us, “The film Raja Hindustani.Seen it?Aamir Khan  riding a bicycle with Manisha  Koirala? That song has been shot here. ‘Raja ko raani se pyar ho gaya.Pehli nazar me pehla pyaar yaahin ho gayaaaa'”. Somewhere in my mind,I was already riding a bicycle like Aamir Khan with her beside me.I even started humming the song.I looked at her eagerly,expecting her to do the same. Somehow in the euphoria of the moment,it quite escaped me that the song in question actually belonged to Akele Hum Akele Tum.Raja Hindustani had Karishma Kapoor in stead of Manisha. The fact that the cute chic with the doe eyes was called Manisha too might have had something to do with it.


Lush green forests of eucalyptus followed. Somewhere that deliriously romantic driver stopped our chariot again. Apparently,this was where a scene from Roja was shot.“Seen Roja,right?" he smiled a goofy smile."The hero has been released from the terrorist baddies and he joins with his wife lumbering over a long metal bridge in between the India-Pak border. That very place is this..” At this point, I didn't care if the driver was hoaxing us or telling the truth.In my mind,I was staggering,with tattered clothes,disheveled hair and the entire prisoner of war look,staggering to get close to Manisha by running across the bridge.Unfortunately,she wasn't wearing a red saree,like the heroine in Roja,nor did she have anything remotely red on her person at that time.But my imagination never cared for such trivial and mundane details.

As we blissfully traveled through the world of lofty mountains, aromatic eucalyptus forests, and pine and Cyprus trees,it was difficult to imagine that hardly a day later,we would be sweating our undies in dragging the dead-weight of a bull. Life certainly has a twisted sense of humor.

Pykara waterfalls happened next.And then,the second highest peak of South India, the Dodda Betta. While standing atop the huge cliff protruding towards the infinitude, her soft hands grazed against mine. At first,I fearfully dismissed it as a chance accident.But then it happened again. And again. I smiled to myself. Did I just see a coy smile on her lips too? Looked like I was going to get lucky. So there we were,in the midst of the vastness and majesty of the mountains.My heart skipping beats every now and then as I kept looking at her and at the lush green forests, the divine marriage of Western and Eastern Ghats, with fissures and ravines sliced by streams. Manisha sidled close to me."All the trees around," she said cutely."They seem to be saluting each other, looking upward,like soldiers preparing for war.Don't they?" I could have replied something intensely poetic,but,stupid old me,I had to bungle up the moment by pointing out that the "soldiers" were standing absolutely "naked" and also by commenting that in all of human history no war had been fought where Cyprus,pine or eucalyptus trees had been drafted into military service.

"Do you know that our brains have two hemispheres-the left and the right?" Manisha asked with what I thought was a wicked smile.It turned me on.

"Yep,the left is concerned with logic and math. The right with imagination and color.Fantasies and daydreams," I asked,proudly showing off my knowledge of neuroscience,hoping desperately to impress."So what?"

"Some people use their left more and some the right," her naughty smile spread more.

"Uh..huh".

"I think you use the crack that runs down the middle of them." She demolished my ego with a malicious relish.
All the others in my gang started roaring with laughter.I just started looking for a place to go and shoot myself.

It slowly became darker,mistier.Suddenly it was evening and cold. When we returned at the hotel a couple of hours later, we were shivering.At that dark and dull moment,if someone had said we would be dragging a dead bull the next day,I would have readily believed him.

Next day,we ventured to the tea estates of Kodanadu. I noticed that Manisha wasn't laughing so hard at my jokes as the earlier day.In my lousy state of mind,I couldn't care less for the tea and eucalyptus oil which the sales guys out there were trying to shove down our throats.And pretty much,as expected,the gals in our group ended up buying them.

In the lousy mood that I was,all the delights and pleasures offered by the exotic flora and fauna of Ooty hills, seemed to dwindle in the region of my brain which I still don't have access to.We drifted along the tea estates and for a brief moment,I remembered the Geography lessons related to the intermittently planted tall Silver Hawk trees and their role in "holding together" the earth from erosion through the fragile slopes.

Lamb’s Rock was waiting for us next. The hollow slopes wrapped with Shola trees, flowering montane grassland greenery and thick coarse shrubs gave away a sublime feeling. Manisha was wearing white that day.I am really bad at remembering what dresses people wore and when,but to this day the vision of her white grandeur against the verdant fauna is just too difficult to shake off.We started posing for pics, standing  at the tip of the protruding rock,throwing caution to the wind. Our driver told us “This is another suicide point.” Manisha wasn't talking to me yet.The thought of winning her love by pretending a desire to commit suicide fleeted across my mind for a millisecond.Just a millisecond,mind you.I love myself too much.

Finally,it was time to get back to Mysore.We had to use National Highway 67 to get back to our hostels.On NH67,the roads were not really that well lit.The driver stopped the car to relieve himself and all of us got out too.It was then that we saw it.There was a bull lying in the middle of the road,presumably dead.A big vehicle must have run over it.Even in the dim light,we could make out the pool of blood underneath its massive body.The trouble was-in the low lighting conditions,several vehicles couldn't make out the shape lying on the road and at the high velocity they were approaching,almost inevitably their tires were skidding out of control as they rushed over the bull's body.Fortunately,no accident had occurred yet.But the scene was just a potential calamity waiting to happen.Somebody had to drag the bull out of there.

The driver refused to help.Luckily,it wasn't too hard to convince my buddies,Rudra and Arijit to do the needful.Manisha and Kanika volunteered to stand in the middle of the road ,signalling and warning other vehicles to stay clear of us.

"You jack-ass," Arijit punched me in my ribs."Anything to impress the gal,right?"
In retrospect,I think there was a grain of truth to what he said.In fact,it might have been more than just a grain of truth.But I never pondered too much on it later.

Arijit was still recovering from a leg injury.So he couldn't really put his back into it.But that still didn't stop him from trying.It was mainly left to Rudra and me to do the heavy-lifting. I felt my muscles crack as I pulled on the bull's legs with all my strength.My body must have been gleaming with sweat,the veins on my biceps and forearms were on the verge of explosion,and my face was contorted in pain.Rudra screamed at me,"We can do it,Rahul!Just a few seconds more!".I knew I had to squeeze out the last drop of juice I had left in my biceps to do the trick.Going beyond the threshold of pain gives its own high. Endorphins and adrenalin ,surging through my blood, pushed my limits skywards.

But the bull, or well, its carcass had other ideas.I really don't know how much it weighed but it felt as if I was dragging a battleship.After five minutes of huffing and puffing,we just managed to slide the beast by a few feet.
Again luck came to our rescue.A bunch of truck drivers climbed out to help.Together,six of us managed to pull the bull to the side of the road.

Mission accomplished!After the ceremonial high-fives and gloating over the successful validation of our male machismo,I turned to Manisha.Her eyes were shining with the same light of admiration which must have shone in Hilary Clinton's eyes when she realized despite her husband's fooling around ,he was still popular enough with the US folks to remain as President.And that moment,I realized that it is true-a man's pride thrives in the presence of a woman's eyes.I felt like a freaking superhero that day.Hell Yeah!!!!!!!

"You look like shit," Manisha smiled teasingly,tugging lightly at my fully soaked tees."Bull shit!"
I assumed it was as good a time as any to take the bull by its horns,but that's another story.

Well yeah,sure I didn't do anything on my own.Someone else would probably have done it sooner or later anyway.But still,it felt good.:-) My love life was back on track.And I had a super-duper story to regale everyone with.Sure,all this happened four years ago.But,some memories never fade away.
P.S.This post is for the 'Incredible Experience' competition hosted by Indiblogger and Mahindra XUV 500. Please do go through the link http://www.mahindraxuv500.com/ to learn more.You can know more about the contest here.

Reactions:

16 comments:

  1. You my friend, seemed to have turned a pile of bull crap into something useful - Quite Literally :P.

    Cheers :)

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    1. :-D He he.This is my first travel blog.I was apprehensive regarding it.:-) Thanks for the comment....It means a lot..

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  2. Rahul you sure had an incredible experience- and I must say that your memory is very good - remembering each and every moment that happened four years back ! And yes, I agree with AS, writing an intriguing post based on a random life experience is quite a task - but you succeeded in it ! Keep it up!

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    1. He he.Actually,the experiences had so strong emotional highlights,that they just remained etched in my mind.:-) And you know,how these things are-we tend to narrate the story again and again,and it further gets imprinted on our memory bank...:-)

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  3. Well done,Rahul! The starting was very,very clever! Me likey!:P

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    1. And lemme guess..the ending was a let down,was it??:-P Ha ha!!!!

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  4. Very interesting post...so how is the love story progressing?

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    1. SHe is getting married in Jan 2013...:-P And the groom is not me..:-D He he.Yeah.Life hands you a bottle of the finest wine sometimes,but in the delirium of the moment,you quite forget to check for the holes underneath....:-D

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    2. LOL...wonderful narration, buddy.

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  5. its like I was watching all this standing along with Manisha :P
    Its really visualising and It would hav been grt if a pic or two were added just to get the visual delight of Ooty!
    Neverthless awesome writeup as always:)
    Good luck fr the contest

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    1. He he!!!!!:-) I will send Manisha your regards.

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  6. Nice narration. Liked the way you compared each situation to something totally unexpected, like that Hillary Clinton phrase, it cracked me up :P
    Best wishes for the competition :)

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    1. Thank you so much.:-) I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. Liked the narration!! :D

    All the very best for your competition! :)

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  8. That was a really incredible story and the flow of narration and the descriptions were excellent.

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