I dedicate this post to Hari, a guy who is always up for something crazy.
One random day, my friend and I decided to make a day trip to some random place. So, we look up the closest location we can get to without having to travel far away from Bangalore city. After some random Googling and reading, we landed on going to Mekedaatu, a scenic spot where the River Kaveri flows. I had no idea that this day was going to be as arbid as it turned out to be…
We get into the car, and my friend gets possessed by Schumacher’s spirit. He drove like a lunatic, and I was yelping on and off both silently and literally. The drive captured the spirit of Rural India with mud houses, an abundance of trees and cyclist on the roads.
Midway, we felt hungry. And I suggested that we eat closer to the destination. My friend disagreed and pulled into some hotel that looked like it was built last week.
I was entertained by the ducks and rabbits that were wandering about in the garden. Until I saw the menu specials!
The set-up of this place was off-beat. There were rows of individual booths that were closed off by curtains. Every time the waiter entered, he would close the curtain and I would open them up. We realised we walked into shadyville entertainment. LOL. We were hungry and couldn’t care two hoots about things around us. We ordered like we have been on the show Survivor and not seen food for a while. Now, our hunger was satiated, and we pressed on towards Mekedaatu.
The GPS indicated we had arrived but all we saw was a whole lot of emptiness. It felt like this place was landscaped like a last minute plan. A whole patch of brown, some water spots strewn here and there with trees that decided to show to up to no one’s party. Honestly, we did not know what to make of this place.
There was no sight of mankind, and we felt like we discovered some accidental Mars exploration. As we walked, we found broken idols, water pots and other curious objects under trees. But there was no sign of people.
Finally, we spotted a man cooking something that was extremely questionable in a hot deep pan of oil (at this moment, I was glad we stopped at “shadyville restaurant.”) He was the source for any form of direction, so we approached him.
Now let me clarify, my friend and I are city slicks and this is painfully evident. My friend, attempts to ask for directions and we learn that we cannot walk to the rapid water but have to take a local bus. And here is the sweet surprise, we had to cross the river to catch the bus. I was all up and ready for this. My delicate friend, however, shrieked at the idea of his couture butt in water! Crossing the river was hilarious. The water was like knee deep is certain areas, it was barely a challenge. It was pure entertainment watching my friend make hooting noises the minute the water level rose above his ankle. I was laughing so hard and told him to buck up.
Finally, we reached across and waited in the middle of nowhere for a bus to turn up.
Oh, it turned up indeed. A rickety rackety heap of rust that was held together by nuts and bolts stopped in front of us. Now it was my turn to shriek and squeal.
A quick prayer and we hopped onto the bus. I looked down, and there it is, the sign that I am not going to go back home today. A huge gaping hole in the base and lot of rust in all directions.
The whole time it went up the hill, I could feel the bus powdering just a bit more. I was convinced that I would need a tetanus shot after this trip. It did not help to see a sign on the way, “you are warned.”
This time, he laughed all the way as I looked like I was sitting on spikes. Fifteen minutes later, the bus stopped. I would have alighted and kiss the ground. But I decided to skip the drama.
Now we discover, we need to trek a small hill which would take about fifteen minutes to see this delighted view. I was not prepared for this at all. Wearing a thong sandal and some pants that refuse to stretch, I groaned and grunted all the way up.
Obviously, my hopes were inflated. For all the trauma we went through, I was expecting the experience of Grand Canyon. And the moment of truth arrived. I saw “THE VIEW”, right about now, I felt like a balloon with no stop. I started laughing like a mad hatter because the view was “just okay”, but the whole getting there part was like “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle.”
So, yeah, it was a poor man’s version of Colorado amidst the Canyon. None, the less, nature has her way of getting under your skin. I felt calm listening to the water.
It soon became sunset and we decided to head back. Leaving behind a comical misadventure that turned out to be one of the best days of my life.
From my archives: Mekedaatu | Dec 24, 2009