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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Manifested, Planned, Destined ~Part 5~

MY  WORLD..........


Part 5

 On Sunday morning, we left to meet our Destiny- Destiny Farm stay. We took 2 hours to reach Destiny. It was the same road we had taken to reach ooty. It was an hour to ooty and the other hour to destiny. We passed singara again. A huge crowd of tourists had stopped there. People stood to take pictures. Though the view was scenic, it was covered and hidden by the passing clouds and mist. 
              We passed the wellington cantonment again. We spotted some men playing golf in the golf course. The road throughout the journey was clean, green and well-developed. On one side were tea gardens and the other was a valley. The view opened to vast areas of cultivation and agriculture. We had carried two bottles of water for the journey but were so enthralled; we did not even sip a little. I was puzzled, though I hadn’t had a drop of water throughout the journey, I wanted to use the washroom very urgently after we reached the car parking! 
          After an hour’s journey after ooty, we reached Emarald village, surrounded on two sides by the wide spreading Emerald Lake. The lakes of Maharashtra are small and do not spread over a large area; lakes here were vast, but clean and no effluents, of course, seemed to be contaminating these lakes; unlike polluted, stinky and filthy lakes of ours. I wondered why swimming in these lakes wasn’t allowed. But then I realized, swimming was allowed in our lakes!!! 
          I saw quite a number of vehicles on the streets, yet the streets were not engulfed and contaminated with any sort of smog or carbon-monoxide. Seeing clean roads are a rare sight for us, so we were amazed seeing sparkling tidy roads. As I earlier said, we never felt isolated on these roads as numerous tiny settlements past us at each third or fourth kilometre.
           People in Tamil Nadu seemed to be very friendly and kind; but obsessed in their own lives and work. Their clothing was different. People wore lighter and cotton clothes. Lungis and vests were common. I imagined myself wearing a lungi and moving about in the streets of Mumbai! The clothing was apt as on the part of the mountain we were, it was considerably warm.
              Now we entered the part of the Avalanchi Lake. The avalanchi lake was as huge and spread over an area as much as the emarald did. We passed a bridge, which had Emarald on the left and the avalanchi on the right. And what a 360 degree view it was!!! The serene green waters rippled to the tune of dried leaves falling into the waters. It was like if you jump here its the emarald and if you jump there its the Avalanchi. It was as if the two lakes were twins(because they looked alike) and were separated by the bridge. They crave to meet each other, and one day they shall pierce a hole through the bridge. I hope it never happens, but this is what I make of it!
           The road became denser, but this time we were not scared as it was bright enough. The leaves of the trees were wet and it seemed to have rained the day before. The road was not as well developed as before. The journey throughout that stretch was bumpy and jerky. The car had slowed down. On one side, at a distance we could see the Avalanchi Lake. On the other were creepers and wild shrubs grown automatically at an elevation. We could see purple and orange flowers. The drive throughout was like a jungle safari. Although we did not see any wild animals except small insects, it was almost like an African Safari. Each turn, each curve, each bend, each step of acceleration by Prabhakaran saw a shudder or jerk. The road was muddy and wet. The parking lot was yet some distance away. There were no settlements for  the last twenty to twenty five minutes. Finally, 11:42, sharp we sat in the shuttle.


It was a large, open air army truck. It had huge wheels, almost three and a half feet high. It was painted yellow and green and looked cute (though its size was monstrous) to us.  It could easily accommodate twenty well-built people. And it would easily carry us, as we were hardly 4. We had two companions, who were least interested in talking. Nor did they look out and enjoy the splendour of the view nor did they care to talk with us. But we were far too excited and thrilled and enthralled and delighted and overjoyed and charmed and enchanted and fascinated to get bored. We screamed when the truck bounced when it hit a rock, and we would wallop when the truck suddenly jerked. We took numerable pictures. The adventurous folks we were, we would put out our hands out and collect the flowers that fell on our palms when the gigantic truck banged on the barks of the wild trees. The road made us yelp and the gorgeous sight made us sigh.
              The road was so jerky that I nearly fell out when it bounced for the first time. Thereafter, I learnt my lesson and held tightly to the window sill.
         And each person who says Mumbai’s roads are jerky, have potholes more than any other city’s roads; here is my counter view!
                In precisely twenty five minutes we reached destiny. We entered destiny the same way we had entered De rock. We went down, past a hairpin curve and landed straight in front of the reception. An old man opened the door and we went at the reception after checking our luggage was safe. We were served a nice and cold but heart-warming orange juice. We were given our keys and went further down the reception, towards our room. Each room, apart from the room number; had the name of a historical character. Ours was Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to go round the globe. We had the best view, is what I feel. Through the portico we could see the entire property. It provided us with a sight of panoramic biodiversity…
 The pleasant Avalanchi Lake, huge fields of extensive farming of carrots and cabbages stole the centre.  A number of other veggies like Chinese cabbage, celery, lettuce, zucchini were also grown. Two bridges led to the gold pond. The gill pond lay below the first bridge. The higher altitudes of the nilgiris were visible faintly behind the clouds. There were no signs of pollution or impurities. I’ve already had made up my mind-nothing can stop me from coming here again; whether it be in a year or two, in my college days, with my wife and children or my honeymoon. I will definitely want to go there. If I am able to praise destiny in the humblest words, it would be-
“Agar Duniya Main Kahin Swarg Hain, Toh Yahin Hain, Yahin Hain, Yahin Hain….”

 Manifested, Planned, Destined continues in ~Part 6~(<click)
to read part 1 of Manifested, Planned, Destined ~part 1~
                                                                             by Shahen Pardiwala

©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.


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