New Year 2011 was around the corner and what better place to hang out in than in the wilderness. I hate noisy parties and would be a misfit in one. My idea of a good time is spending a quiet evening in the wilderness. Drunken revellry on the streets is totally abhorrent to me. The best noises are not loud music & blaring horns but the soothing tones of the jungle sounds. A cricket here, a night jar there and a barking deer deep in the quite jungle.
My bags are always packed for a trip. All my jungles greens & browns go straight into my duffel once they come back from the laundry. I hate wasting time packing. With age catching up, last minute packing is hazardous because I realize I've forgotten that very important something when I'm half way into the journey!
Of course my photography gear is always ready. I just have to whip it out and start shooting. Back up batteries and storage cards always on standby, not to mention the back up camera too!
As D-day comes closer the mood is exhilarating. It's like being back in school. As the vacation draws closer we count the days & hours to be "out of the gates of....".
My friend the Colonel was also going to be there but we never expected that New Year would be hijacked!
Out of the blue an old school friend popped up. He's been hearing me rave about my trips to Bandipur and suddenly decided that he wanted to see what was so special about this place I haunted. Christmas & New Year is peak season and swinging accomodation at the eleventh hour was impossible. Besides my old friend wanted accomodation for a 'marriage' party!
I had to put my foot down. I offered to sacrifice my cottage so three could be accmommodated but he wanted to take a car load, if not two. I was stumped but I had an ace up my sleeve, my friend the Colonel. A good friend for a crisis like this. Hearing my sad tale he promptly offered me his cottage without batting an eye lid.
I wasn't feeling any more 'accommodative' so I told my hijacker that we'd solved the problem for one car load but everyone else could find their own accomodation. I wasn't just annoyed that my New Year was washed out but also that I had to deprive my good friend, the Colonel, off a holiday he too was looking forward to.
I was resigned to spending New Year at home but little did I realize that the sacrifice was not in vain. Gods are very prompt these day in rewarding or punishing. That is a story by itself and the second part of this tale; about Gowri, the enchantress.