Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ghonchu goes to Nagarjuna Sagar dam

Ghonchu got up in the morning, feeling excited. He was to go on a road trip to Nagarjuna Sagar dam on Krishna river, around 150 kms from Hyderabad with his team-mates Vidu, Ronku and Somu. Had he known what all adventures lay in store for him, his excitement might' ve been much lesser.

Having rented a car, they set off with Somu at the driver's seat. After however driving for an hour or so, they ran into their first hurdle. The car started stuttering, and finally stopped. However Somu and Ronku had some expertise about cars and they figured the problem was that the car was overheating. On opening the bonnet, they figured out that they needed to feed something called coolant to the car. Ghonchu, who himself didn't know anything about cars, pretended to nod intelligently agreeing with the others.

They all bent expectantly as Ronku poured coolant into a cylindrical can under the bonnet. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, there was a sputtering noise ptttr, ptttr and steam started coming out of the outlet. Ghonchu, whose nose was closest to the bonnet in his bid to show-off his knowledge of cars; jerked backwards and landed 4 feet away on the ground.

Ghonchu decided nodding at the right time was sufficient to look intelligent.

After performing some more experiments on the car, and it failing to start, they started despairing. They kept pouring more and more coolant; which the car kept happily guzzling, making noises like grrrp grrrp grrrp. However, they were lucky enough to get hold of a car servicing shop where they towed their car, left it for repair and continued their journey to the dam by bus.

On reaching the dam, Ghonchu felt it was worth the effort taken to have come there. The dam looked monstrous with water flowing elegantly out of six of the gates, and causing a waterfall-ish effect with water hitting the standing water with brutal force.

Soon thereafter, Ghonchu's friends decided to take a bath in the catchment area. Their enthusiasm went up on seeing other groups there - with girls. On reaching that area, they saw a sign - "Danger. Crocodiles may be found here. Do not enter the water." However, Ghonchu's friends disregarded the sign seeing other groups there. Ghonchu, himself was extremely worried and judging by his reaction to lizards, his fear of crocodiles was only around hundred times more. Since he did not wanting to seem a coward, he entered the water. Since Ghonchu didn't know how to swim, he didn't stray too deep. He just stayed close to land and looked around at his laughing friends who had gone further in. The other groups had gone. All seemed peaceful.

Ghonchu decided to put his face underneath water. Having done so, he saw something which sent a chill up his spine. He saw a long, dark object floating towards him. With a strangled yell, he shouted "crocodile". He was waist deep in water, and hurriedly tried to run back to land. In doing so, he lost his balance, but still managed to reach the rocky outcrop near the water. With his eyes facing the water, he moved backwards until he stumbled and ended up sitting on a log of wood. The others had swam out of the water too and were watching with baited breath.

Gradually, a shape emerged.. It turned out only to be a log of wood.
"Whew!", exclaimed Ghonchu and wiped his brow and looked at the others in relief. However, the others still seemed to have expressions of horror on their faces. Ghonchu quickly cross-checked the log, and then told the others, "Hey, its just a log of wood. Can't you see?"

Nobody responded anything. All three, Ronku, Somu and Vidu seemed to have frozen into silence with shocked expressions. Before Ghonchu could ponder more on why that was so, he started to feel the ground shake. "Hey, an earthquake's happening!!", Ghonchu exclaimed thinking that so many things were happening today. The others still didn't react before Vidu slowly raised a finger pointing towards Ghonchu.

The log of wood, Ghonchu thought he was sitting on was actually a small crocodile which had just moved. When Ghonchu realized that, he leapt up in alarm with another scream and sprinted away from the catchment area. He kept runnning and did not look back until he reached the road.

Soon the others reached to the safety of the road as well with panting breaths. Ghonchu's face was ashen white from shock and it did not seem that he would ever speak again. Somu quietly asked him, "Ghonchu, are you ok?" Ghonchu tried to reply but no words came from his mouth. When finally he was able to say something, it sounded very similar to the noises the car had been making in the morning. "Gpppr wpppr", his teeth chattered with numbing shock.

They collected the car on their return journey, with Ghonchu still not speaking too much. Unfortunately, on their return trip too, the car started giving trouble by overheating. Since it had now become dark, Ronku asked the others to provide light from their mobiles while he poured in the coolant. Ghonchu, with quaking hands and remembering his morning experience enlightened the surroundings as Birbal had once prepared khichadi.

Ghonchu eventually reached home at midnight. He consoled himself with the thought that if nothing else, atleast he got a nice snap taken of himself with the dam in the background which could be posted on facebook/orkut. This was the pic taken!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The beauties of nature!

A few weeks ago, I went by an early morning flight. It is a sheer delight to watch the moving clouds, and then see the sun rise and hit those clouds.

At one point, the cloud cover was so magnificent that it formed a complete massive snow-like bed on which the aircraft seemed to be gliding. A massive swirling pure white, lit by the sun's rays and the only thing visible from end-to-end; the soft-cloud bed seemed to stretch endlessly.

The aircraft continued to glide on the white sheet underneath, which gave an impression of some heavenly land. No wonder, we always perceive that heaven is up somewhere; if one is an admirer of natural beauty, what I saw could easily be described as heaven. I had this crazy impulse to walk out of the aircraft, wrap myself in a blanket of soft white cotton-type cloud cover, and go to sleep in that serene environment.

And then, all of a sudden, the white land ended abruptly with a gigantic abyss of nothingness. Watching the aircraft moving from over the white beautiful land to just empty space, where nothing exists underneath gives a queasy, yet amazing feeling feeling. Almost as though one were traversing a river and unexpectedly encountered a waterfall chasm with a dramatic drop.

It was beautiful. Period.