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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 4~

MY  WORLD..........

ManifestedPlannedDestined

Part 4

Next day, the breakfast was huge. Idlis, sambar, rasam, khichdi, toast, bread, butter, jam, coffee, were on the menu. Then, we were off to Ooty. We limited our journey to the boat house, toy train and Botannical garden. We had had a very bad site seeing experience in Simla, so this time we decided to not do the usual site seeing. And anyways, Ooty was too crowded.
      Our new driver, Anthony, left us at Coonoor station. We took the toy train to Ooty. Although we had a ticket for the second class, we were seated in the first class. The train was decorated with flowers and full of tourists and locals. The front engine had banana leaves on it. We had another small family with us, who, were also from Mumbai. They too, were going to Ooty.
        De Rock is quite away from Coonoor city. So, the rain that we experienced the previous night had not occurred in Coonoor city, which was absolutely unbelievable.
      We were scheduled to reach Ooty at quarter to twelve but were destined to reach there at twelve. The train journey was thrilling. We passed valleys, tea gardens, villages, green houses, forests, stations and tunnels. We reached Udhagamandalam (ooty) and were off to the Boat house. The boat house complex was crowded. Hundreds of people from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and other southern states had come in buses and private vehicles to visit the famous Lake of Ooty. We managed to get a four seater pedal boat. We had a nice, calm boat ride around the lake, with me and my dad doing the pedalling. We bought some home made chocolates and left the crowded boat house after feeding on some fresh (or maybe not) pine apples. Next, we headed to The Botanical Garden, which was not far. We ate some truly fresh carrots from a stand opposite the garden. We fed the leaves to a baby goat. The botanical garden had a variety of flowers. It was well preserved. No one dared to litter. The glass house had a variety of flowers and plants. At the center was a colonial bungalow. It was a sight where you could not miss to take a picture. We lay under a shady cedar which spread its branches wide open. Next, we headed back to De Rock. On the way we stopped at Bangalore Iyengar's Bakery. We had a puff. The chicken and veg rolls were piping hot and delicious. We managed to order them twice.the Sauce was complimentary! The fillings were delicious and melted in the mouth. Stations that we saw in our journey to Ooty passed us. The one I can never forget is the Wellington Cantonment Board. The roads were spic and span. Pavements were built on both sides. That area belonged to the Cantonment board of Wellington. If the whole country is given into the hands of the Cantonment board then the country would definitely benefit a lot. The area was well developed and maintained nicely. There was a golf course too. We saw a number of men playing there too. Although the area was developed, neither the scenic beauty, nor the natural surroundings were affected. Actually, the natural beauty was enhanced. We also visited a tea estate named Singara
          From there, we bought chocolate tea(130), orange pekoe tea(200), green tea(600), heena oil(600) and gauther oil(380). Later, we came to know that we were charged extra. Chocolate tea(120), orange pekoe tea(150), green tea(550), heena oil(500) and gauther oil(280) were available at lower rates at other places. The driver took us there (as Prabhakaran said) because they get 15% commission for taking tourists to them. I feel sometimes its better to go and enquire at two to three places before purchasing anything. We all were agitated. However, the cool environment cooled us down and we managed to get out of the agony of being cheated. we cursed Singara and headed back to De Rock.
       We were back to De Rock by mid-afternoon. It had grown quite dark by that time. We ordered for some coffee and went into the tea gardens. We did not find any bisons or monkeys on our mini tour and we were grateful for that. We walked past the thick, green bushes. Some rays of the sun fell upon us and made us warm. We smelt the strong scented tea leaves. They almost made me sneeze. We walked down the tea gardens and reached the lamb rock view point. We skipped the 500 meter trek and decided to return to De Rock. We walked up towards the salad garden and returned to our rooms. We ordered for some coffee. There were tea gardens all around, it was a shame we ordered only coffee. My dad did justice by ordering tea twice.  However, the coffee was the best. Later that evening, we also ordered for cocoa milk. It turned out to be even better than the coffee. We spend the rest of the evening reading our books and playing cards. At eight, once again we were served hot soup. This time it wasn’t carrot soup. It was corn soup. The corn was first boiled, and then grounded well. We enjoyed the soup. It wasn’t the usual sweet corn soup. It was totally different, but extremely delicious.
                    At eight thirty, dinner was ready. That day (oops! night) the menu was pulav, rasam, dal, salads, roti, lady’s finger, plain rice, curd, chicken curry (but of a different type). I licked the rasam off my fingers again! I also relished the curry, with both rice and rotis. The dessert was again, the best. This time it was “Gaajar ka Halwa”. It was topped with grated cashews and almonds and a tulsi leaf. It tasted a bit different from the usual gaajar ka halwa because it was made in jaggery or some sugar free sweetener instead of sugar; and there was no milk used. I took two helpings. We then took a stroll by the tea gardens to digest our food. We couldn’t resist seeing the beauty of the tea gardens hiding behind the mist. However, resistance collapsed when Shahaan felt very cold and we had to get back to our room.
             The next day would be relaxed, peaceful, calm, no hurries, no running, no site seeing. We would just snuggle into our seats and read a book. We did not have any plans to go to any places to do anything. “

“Nothing was planned, lots was manifested but even more was destined”

On second November 2013, we woke up at eight thirty, feeling happy, relaxed, but excited! We had “bed-coffee and were off for breakfast. We had missed lunch the previous day and were ready to have a binge on the breakfast, atleast I was. We had ordered omelettes separately. I had three. I, then had three idlis, two bowls of sambar as a supplement to the idlis, a toast with butter and jam and coffee, “no coffee please!”
We lay stress-free, hassle-free, tranquil and undisturbed for the rest of the day. I read through the pages of Ruskin Bond’s stories while my brother watched a movie. My dad read his Secrets of Meditation and mom read her Aroma Therapy bible. We all lay, in the peaceful atmosphere, with clouds passing through us and the mist embracing us. The air was cool and composed. The aroma of the highly enriched tea tickled our nostrils while the gentle winter breeze swayed the grass in the most enchanting way, which was a sight to sore eyes. Away from the noise, away from the crowd, though peaceful but not isolated, we sat amidst the most beautiful part of the Nilgiris; admiring the creations of the Almighty, and the manifestation, planning and organizing abilities of our very own dad.


          That day was amazing; but 3 days were over. The best part was; that 3 days were left! We had a light lunch, the same with the dinner. Today we had been served potato soup; well-boiled, well-mashed, well-blended, well-cooked and well-served. We had curd-rice and salads for dinner. The dessert was coconut coated fudge-like sweet. It was not the show-stopper then, the salad was. All the vegetables were from the salad garden. Some herbs were sprinkled on them (maybe basil). And finally, the white-mayo, which had mixed impeccably with the veggies, and it was the only day I had eaten only the salad (not mentioning the curd-rice and dessert). Don't imagine me surviving on salads for 12 hours!!!
The next day, we would be off to Destiny, and yes, the name stands for what it is!
Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 5~(<click)
to read part 1 of Manifested, Planned, Destined ~part 1~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala


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