Monday, July 09, 2012

A Prologue for Periyar

612 full moons have passed since  I came into this world. Some 200 of them passed by me when I was in school in various places in Tamilnadu and about 140 during my college days in Manipal, Karnataka. The rest, as you can guess was during my life in Kerala. 

Now what has the Moon got to do with Periyar, you may wonder. I'm not sure if I should be ashamed to admit, or proud that I'm setting right a wrong, at least now. You see; despite my obsession with the wilderness, I have never been to Periyar Tiger Reserve any time when those moons passed by me. Periyar (or Thekkady as it is more popularly called) is Kerala's premier wildlife park but I haven't found time to go there till now, though I keep planning. The vaguest memories of the area was a visit with my family to Idukki when the dam was being built. That is the first hurdle.
Pic courtesy: HD Wallpapers

There is no easy way to see Idukki except by road and considering the chaos on our highways it is a risk to be taken with a lot of planning. Besides, two days of driving, one up and other down is a little too much of wasted time. I love driving but not in some parts of Kerala. NH 47 is now a nightmare!

I got back from Nagarahole on 27th May and on the next day a mail popped up in my inbox from someone who works for a time share company. She had read my blogs and found it interesting, and her company wanted to give me a holiday in one of their resorts so that I could appreciate their products on offer, blog about it (and perhaps purchase a time share too). After all, there is no such thing as  a free lunch!

After weighing my options carefully I decided on Thekkady. School season is not the perfect time for a holiday and I had to coordinate the dates so it did not clash with some important classes or exams. All that was in vain because I was told that the 'free lunch' would be only for 'the blogger'. It was not a family package even if the family included only a 10 year old, budding assistant photographer, my son. That was disappointing.

Anyway the seed of a holiday had been planted in my mind and I had never thought of a Monsoon Holiday so far. I decided I'd go to Thekkady with my son, free lunch or not. You see, I had an ace up my sleeve. I was a member of the same time share company, which I guess the lady did not know, but had taken only 4 holidays since becoming a member in 1998! I thought it was a chance to utilize my accumulated holidays. 

I had stopped taking holidays because, like all time share companies they had a whole load of irritating executives in their resorts. It didn't matter to them that a family was on a holiday. They'd lure the children with some games and attractions, then pounce on the unwary parents trying to get them to either upgrade their season or divulge 10 names, addresses & telephone numbers of potential customers.

When I had set pre-conditions that if they wanted me to blog for them I should not be disturbed by pesky executives, all communication stopped! I guess they were trying to bait a 'bhakra' but they had not reckoned that this old goat was a seasoned one!

So I'm off to Thekkady this weekend and hope to celebrate my birthday with the elephants of Periyar. After a lot of research I've decided the best option would be to drive through Pollachi - Palani - Oddanchatram - Theni - Cumbum & Kumily. That is, assuming that Mullaperiyar won't raise its head like a cobra when I'm half way there! Whatever it is, I'm not going to let the monsoons, marketing executives or Mullaperiyar spoil an unexpected holiday.....

.....and my OM-D needs a real wet holiday too!! I'll be back with the stories of my experience shortly. 

Keep an eye on this page.....


cappuccino said...

have a great trip..enjoy your birthday with the jumbos in the rain!!!

ron said...

A 1020 full moons to hit a century wishing you all the best.

Rajesh Radhakrishnan said...

1020 full moons will be nothing short of a nightmare ;-)