Last Saturday, I attended my friend's wedding mentioned in my last post. It turned out to be a sort of get together, meeting up with my old buddies. We 5 of us planned for a trip to Poonjar that evening. It had been 4 years back when we girls went to the same place and I remember it was one of our best trips. Poonjar with its enchanting rolling hills, dense dark rubber estates, gurgling streams and cascading waterfalls. Nature was simply at its best there.

Because of the sudden hartal in Alappuzha district, we had to take a train to Kottayam and from there 2 exhausting bus journeys before we could reach Poonjar. By the time it started raining heavily. Rain gods seemed to have no mercy on us and the sky was pouring out threateningly. We feared rain will play spoilsport on our trip. By the time the bus was climbing the long winding uphill roads of Poonjar, there was power failure. The whole village was enveloped in coal black except for the hurricane lanterns that flickered here and there. The heavy rains had caused some damage to the BSNL tower and we were literally cut out from the rest of the world. What a way to start our journey!!!!

At last we reached our destination. My friends uncle and his daughter were there waiting for us. And it was a long walk in the dark to reach their home, guided only by a torch light. We had to climb through the rocky path , cross a stream and a bridge to reach home. A worried aunty was there waiting for us (it was almost 8 pm. We were supposed to reach there by 6).There was nothing much we could do inside the house because of power failure. So we sat under the candle light sipping hot tea and munching chips, talking to our hosts . Aunty was an energetic sporty lady and soon we were plotting wild crazy plans. The power cut could not tone down our high spirits. We decided this was the best time to take bath in the stream. Soon, under aunty's leadership the girls army( including her daughter S) marched down the rocky tracks to hit upon the stream. The water was icy cold after the rain. S was a girl used to all the wild ways of nature and soon we found her dragging us and unsuspectingly pushing us into under-water pits. With a sinking feeling I found myself drowning & gasping. And for a brief moment, I had a glimpse of the happy life I may never live to see :-) With zero knowledge on swimming, I felt it was a wonderful creative game for people who are thinking of ending their life. But soon we turned crazy and was enjoying the drowning-game. We screamed and our voice echoing in the dark almost brought the whole village down there. In a way, it was good that there was no power.

After dinner, we were sitting out in the veranda. The first thing I noticed on reaching the house was the swing. It has been terribly long since I did swinging. And there I was swinging to my hearts content into the cloudy night sky. We played anthakshari. It was past midnight and the aunty surprised us by coming with glasses of black tea . She announced, "to keep you devils awake and croaking." Here was a lady who encouraged our craziness!!!! After we finished our activities and decided to hit the bed it was 3 am.

I had to literally pry open my eyes next day morning at 6. We went to explore the country side in broad day light. The streams looked beautiful set against the foggy misty hills . Our next destination was waterfalls in the nearby hill. There we trekked down the rocky tracks enclosed by dense dark rubber plantation.

The best part about the waterfalls was that, we had it all to our own. The waterfall was surrounded by rubber plantations belonging to uncle and hence was a secluded place inaccessible to public. It was our very own kingdom. Only the chirping birds & the dragon flies hovering over the water gave us company.We sat under the waterfalls, with the heavy splash of water drumming on our heads and almost intoxicating us. We splashed around the pool , tried the balancing-floating-act on water ,and even danced under the falls. Later we were sitting on the top of a boulder, drying ourselves in the sun & chatting lazily, when S came and started pushing us one by one. From the precarious edge of the rock, I fell, was momentarily air borne and then sank down into the stream below. It was an exciting adventurous feeling. We tried it several times later

We spent almost half a day there. And then it was time to return. We had a train to catch at 6 pm , to take us back from this heavenly abode to the corporate jungle

For last 1 week I felt like being orphaned. Here is the turn of events that turned me into an abandoned soul.

A week back, I accompanied my friend for his wedding shopping to buy blazers & suits. Two gals accompanying a guy for shopping can turn catastrophic, especially when the gals in question are ‘shopping crazy’ ones, who vanishes when ‘ladies dress section’ is in vicinity. But since this was wedding shopping, we refrained ourselves with much difficulty :-)

The mega shopping started in Marathahalli brand shops . His specification of blazer was a gray one which looks ‘informal’, ‘unique’ & ‘different’. Since we gals didn’t consider ‘gray’ as a colour even worth mentioning, we brainwashed him to go for a cream coloured suit. Now, none of the specifications ‘unique’ & ‘different’ were met in any of the brand giants viz Allen Solly, Van Heusen, Giovanni etc etc. Finally decided to select the engagement shirt first.In between his fiancee called up. Both of them are my friends since college days.

She: Remember, I am wearing orange sari with yellow border. So his shirt should match with
Me: Ok done. How about a bright fluorescent orange shirt then? Heheee....
She: @#$*#@
She: And don’t select any full sleeved shirts. It doesn't suit him.
Me: Ok..i will try to convince him…

As soon as the ‘order from higher authority’ was conveyed to him, he dismissed it as absurd. So we did buy a full sleeved shirt. God save us!!!!

After lunch we proceeded to Bangalore Central. As far as I was concerned, all suits looked alike. They were either black/gray/blue/cream or 2buttoned/3buttoned. After hours of searching, we zeroed in on an ethnic looking smart suit. By this time we gals were really worn out. To rejuvenate our poor tired souls, we decided to go on a shopping spree of our own to ‘ladies section’, while he was left gaping. After having revived ourselves, we decided to search in main Commercial Street too, inorder to widen his options. We went to some 5-6 shops in vain. By this time, we were dead tired & couldn't even take another step ahead. The climax of the story happened when he called up his parents to tell about the ethnic looking informal blazer he has finalized upon. From the other end he got a lecture on ‘proper mallu Christian weddings’ and how you should only wear simple formal suit on the occasion. So that was the end of it. We argued with him but he meekly replied , "I chose the bride on my own; I chose the wedding card on my own; at least I should leave this to my parents.” Thus the shopping saga came to an end.

It was much later while I was returning that I discovered I had misplaced my cell phone. I had left it somewhere while shopping!!!!!!!!!!! Called up to my cell immediately , but it was switched off. That was the anticlimax. I felt sick , more because I was so careless. Hmmm..i was proving myself to be all the adjectives that my Amma sometimes lovingly :-) calls me – ‘careless’ ‘irresponsible’ ‘clumsy’ :-) To get over the feelings of blue, I slept the whole of next day.Felt much better after that. For next one week,I was out of contact with the world and felt orphaned. Finally I got my mother to send me my old Nokia 1100 . So finally no longer am I abandoned :-)