Thursday, March 20, 2014
Get together at Pakuthipalam - 1
Well, what better way to re-activate my blog than with this post on the get together with the MTech (BME) batch of 2013, at Pakuthipalam, over the last weekend !!
The trip had been a long time in the making, with one attempt in February, which failed to take off, as it was next to impossible to co-ordinate the various requirements / constraints of 14 different people. It was finally decided that March 15/16 would be the D-day, with anyone not finding it convenient on those days, having to take a walk ! I was tasked with organising it - deciding on the place, transport as well as accommodation and if necessary, the entertainment too ! Did some digging around, dredging up some old memories as well as did some reading / research on places close to Coimbatore, maybe within a couple of hours' drive - we did not want to tire ourselves out travelling - and I came up with Pakuthipalam, a forgotten little place near its more famous neighbour, Nelliymapathy. Luckily, the latest edition of the Yathra magazine carried a piece on it. I got hold of some contact numbers - the only decent place of accommodation is an ecotourism resort, run by the Kerala Forest Development Corporation. The numbers of the Manager - Sri. Radhakrishnan TK - and the Asst. Manager - Suneer - were provided, which made things very easy. I called up the former, who confirmed that accommodation would be available for the period and that was it - the trip was on ! The manager was more than courteous - he did not want an advance or any other form of assurance that we would indeed be making it to the place. The price is Rs. 1500/- per person per night, inclusive of all three meals (vegetarian). For non-vegeterian food, you need to pay extra - sounded reasonable enough to me. My only query was whether it would be safe to bring girls on the trip because going by my past experience in Kerala, it was not. Radhakrishnan assured me that there would be absolutely no problems and that was that ! Now came the hard part - getting the chaps to actually fork out the money for the trip - accommodation and transport. Deepa and Arya took care of that while Anoop helped out with the transport, calling up his friend to book the bus / tempo that would take us to Nelliyampathy.
On Friday (March 14), we had eleven confirmed participants, including Anusha and myself. Anu was not on this trip as she had planned much earlier to go home to Malappuram. We decided to meet up at Anuvind's place in Manapullykave at around 0600hrs in the morning, as I wanted to get away from Palakkad town before it got really hot - reach the place as early as possible, so that we would have more time to see and enjoy it. By the time I reached Palakkad, with a KSRTC bus providing me an escort right up to the place, it was around 0615, only to find that the others were yet to get ready. Anusha was already there and so were Sana, Arya, Deepa, Kavitha, Arathy, Jeethu, Arun and Vysakh, completing the team. We left after tea, having armed ourselves with our breakfast of idlies and vadas.