Sunday, 15 June 2014

Way up in Wayanad




When we finally got the vacation we had fought vehemently for the procastrination virus infected some of us. After much of it, unavailable train tickets and the releasing of an Emergency Quota I got on the Howrah Yaswanthpur Duronto. At Bangalore I met Ash, an on line friend and spent some lovely time with him and his wife Lady M. Caught a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation bus to Kozhikode, my home town, my home.
Kerala State Road Transport Corporation buses (KSRTC) have always been a crazy nostalgia. I love everything about them. Well, almost everything. It's bad for women, as usual. I remember quite a few fights I have had to put up with gropers and thieves.

What I like the best about travelling from Bangalore to Kozhikode (Calicut to those uninitiated into the crazy mallu tongue twisters) is the Wayanad ghat (mountain pass) aka Wayanad churam. Kuthiravattam Pappu, a renowned actor and comedian, also from Kozhikode had made it famous through a hilarious scene in a movie called Vellaanakalude Naadu (The Land of the White Elephants). He calls it Thamarassery Churam


The winding path is a nightmare for people with fear of heights. Even for others it's an uneasy ride if they are not used to it. You sometimes feel you are going to fall into the bottomless ravine and die. Well, I now know why I like it so much.

The movie Queen was playing on the tv in the bus. It started raining as soon as we crossed the Kerala border. I have noticed that while Kerala buses seldom stop in the downward ride through the wayanad churam Karnataka buses always do. The conductor gets down and sees if everything is okay. The driver often makes mistakes in steering the vehicle and goes on reverse gear to get it right. They show a little more respect to the lives of the people inside, may be. Or I can say that in mallu land we know our churam like the back of our hand. I love the churam and everything about it. Pain in the ears, the mountains, nausea for some, the occasional springs and all the people who are moving up and down the churam thinking of death at least once. Here is a little something from the journey.
 

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