Wednesday, May 28, 2008

25th May, except for the 1st 3 hours and a slight afternoon drizzle, that did offer some respite from the scorching heat, nothing went right. Had a test the day next and I screwed up completely..improper question selection, bad time management and careless mistakes to say among the few.

26th - even -7:10. A visit to a Wonderland

Wanderlust and weather-beaten Chandan was in the rarest of moods and inveigled me and Rama for an outing to an arcane place (that was a surprise !).A volte-face change in our moods and off we went, delirious, with our victuals and THINGS bundled up, on his 100cc that was visibly grieved and screamed blue-murder having to lift 3 people worth 200 kg, me contributing the least.

After around 40 minutes of biking we were out of the city limits, to a place called Tankapani. It was dark. With beamers flashing on us, the monstrous and callous trucks went past us as if we never existed.

Finally we reached the place, though I could not figure out anything except for a giant Banyan tree. It was planted by Chandan around a decade ago and hence was a very special friend for Chandan (hence for all of us !).But, what else? We parked the bike and walked a few steps to an amazing land. We now realised we were actually on the river bed of Dayanadi.

A visibly endless stretch of grassy land, with the still and vast river by its side set in an amazing tranquility and darkness of the evening slightly lit up by the innumerable stars that embellished the night sky. Away from the cacophony of the city life, its quiet ambience ravished us. With no one around us, we felt as if we were in a completely different land that was so beautifully embraced in the myriad colourful elements of Mother Nature. Free and frenzied, a strange feeling of wilderness descended on us. Though the moon light was absent, a distant white light lit up a streak of the river with its tiny waves that emanated simplicity, humility and contentment in self that was so lacking in everyone of us.

History goes like this; the famous Battle of Kalinga was fought on the same river-bed that seemed so cosy to us now. The battle ensued such loss of human life and blood-shed that blood flowed and gave rise to a different branch of Mahanadi called Dayanadi. The Battle was such horrific, it changed King Ashoka from ChandaAshoka to DharmaAshoka. The history of the land augmented a special human touch to the entire place.

The whispering of the crickets and the sound of the swinging coconut tree leaves was purely rejuvenating. Meanwhile, the booze and smoke flowed and we were waffling and battering inconsequently. The place itself was so touching and meaningful, we didn't need to add any meaning to our talks ! The cool breeze that wafted the scent of the rain-kissed ground, was intoxicating and soothing to our frayed minds and bare bodies.

The soporific effect of the breeze and the perfect ambience all around was so tempting that we lied down. Romantic, isn’t it? Though there was some sort of romance between me and Rama, ‘off-the-wagon’ Chandan remained a happy spectator!! As we lay there on the grass, we could doodle any picture like Shahrukh could do in Swadesh, in the twinkling stars draped in the night sky. Such are the pleasures of nature that so ruthlessly desecrated by ever-wanting humans. We had lots of fun, and talked and laughed our hearts out.

As the night crept in, we realised that 'twas too late and left off. Our quest for some dinner till late night is another epic to tell. The entire experience was a memory to cherish for and till now I get a strange feeling of nostalgia about that wonderland.

Its once in a blue moon, that you get to spend such wonderful and jovial time with friends, hope and in perfect harmony with nature. You feel like being on Earth !!