Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Rajapalayam and Then Mala - The(a) Vera Level Trip

Another trip with my KONE gang after more than a year. All my previous trips were "Krishna's Wedding Trip", "Dharun's Wedding Trip", "Muthu's Wedding Trip", but no wedding this time and this trip is called "The(a) Vera Level Trip" organized by Mano, co-organized by Ram. First of all, I didn't even believe this trip would happen even on Thursday when we are supposed to start on Friday night. We fixed the date months ago, but didn't even talk about it. And, I have even decided to go on another trip with my Visteon friends on the same date and that's when Ram pinged and reminded about this trip. Then, we even got lucky with Tatkal tickets to Rajapalayam and five members grew to eight and we were set to go.

After Gramathil Oru Naal


First surprise Ram reached the station before all of us, which was certainly once in a lifetime for him. And, when the train started these guys started their dinner and it went on even after we crossed Chenagalpattu. And, I didn't know this would be the theme of the whole trip. Eating.

Right after reaching Rajapalayam everyone wanted some Vadai with Tea. But, we settled for "muttakos" bonda, Bhajjis, Banana and Coffee. Little did I know this would end up as my breakfast. From station, we went to R. Mano cottage, our organizer's house. On the way, we stopped quite a few times to purchase, charcoal, fish, chicken, masala items, etc and finally reached his house. I thought these guys were joking when they said they are gonna be barbecuing, but they were really serious with the purchases, even bought a barbecue grill and started seasoning the chicken and fish right after reaching his home.

So, we decided to go to our first destination "Thalaianai". On the way, we plucked some leaf to eat, then stopped to get some lunch, where we had some "Pearl Millet porridge" (ya googled) and kinda finished everything he had and got some parcels of Parotta, omelets, and gravy and finally reached the destination. And, then the twist in the tale was it was closed and no one was allowed inside. Then, we tried someplace near only to find a pump set and a thatha. And, we had a DSLR and the memory card we had didn't suit, so the DSLR was useless. Then, when we decided to eat the parotta, we found that the gravy and omelet cover was missing.

After these series of unfortunate events, thanks to that thatha in that farm we started bathing in that pump set and guys started barbecuing in that hot sun, thinking it's going to be easy. Meanwhile, our organizers found the river nearby that farm. It was wonderful, the flow was too good and nobody was there. We spent enough time then finished the remaining things to cook and took some photos in that lush green and started to Then Mala. Thanks to that thatha to help cook it fast and also for giving us the gravy he had. So, that's the end of our Gramathil Oru Naal and I won't forget having Parotta with curd.

Then Mala: On the way stopped for a tea and had that Vadai which we were looking for in the morning, then some murukku, omelet which we lost, some parotta as well and ended with the tea which we were supposed to have. And, reached Then Mala and went to have the dinner and back to the room. The dormitory was so hot and we thought of switching to AC room, but they said, the "mist" will reach by 12:30 and it would be cooler later. And, it did reach it seems cause it got cold later in the night.

Next day, the morning we decided to go to Mekkadu falls, Isfield Estate which we missed during my last trip. So, Once again it was closed, but thankfully there was an old man who opened the gate after we bought tickets. It was a small, but wonderful falls amidst rubber trees and since it's a private falls, nobody was there and no one came until we left as well.
Isfield Estate, Mekkadu Falls

Then after the breakfast and some tea and fruits and some mixtures, we went to the adventure zone in Then Mala. It was fun all the way, and one man Joseph really became a child and enjoyed every adventure ride there. He was planning to take his family there, but I am sure he's gonna enjoy more than his kid. And, if he attends police selection, I think he will pass them with flying colors. The Flying fox where we crossed the river in the air and Ball Roller were too good and too much fun.

Flying Fox, Ball Roller, etc

After finishing the remaining oranges and apples, we went to have the "kulukki" sharbhat which I had the last time. This time there was a different shop, but the taste was not great. And, some buttermilk, pineapples, mango, amla and one awful fruit called "bubbly mass".

The next destination was "13 kannara bridge" where Tamil M A climax was shot. Last time we crossed this spot without knowing its significance. And, Ram, came out from his 96 "Life of Ram" and became "Prabha" of Tamil MA here.

Ram as Prabha


After spending too much time we started to "Border Parotta". On the way, we stopped to have some "Pathaneer" for 1000 RS, (konjam overa than poromo). Since we need some time before we eat in Border Parotta, we went to that place called Courtrallam which was near that Border Parotta. But, that doesn't stop us from trying some "ilai" halwa, nentharam chips and chilly bajjis. After, clicking some pictures in front of that gigantic falls we went to border parotta to finish the early dinner and ended it with a sweet beeda and decided this is the last item we would be eating before leaving from this trip.


From there we reached Rajapalayam playing antakshari in some two hours and much earlier to our standards. We had more than an hour left before boarding the bus. But, I have never played Antakshari like this before thanks to the judge Mano. He does not just give the starting letter of the song, he even sings a song and both the teams have to just repeat it. He was playing antakshari with himself. And, also shared some funny story about his friend who might be the inspiration behind Vijay Sethupathi's character in iDhaba.

The return journey was awful, I took the last sleeper seat on the bus and I was literally flying up and down. And, the driver was asking 5K from us to fill the diesel. Finally, he managed to reach Chennai on time to end our trip. I must say it was like a movie I went in without any expectations and without even knowing the genre. I really liked the twists and turns it had and it was really "The(a) Vera Level Trip".

I might have missed some food items so do check this post as well: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=726331854395163&set=a.127282824300072&type=3&theater