I said in my previous post, life in Areekode was fun filled. Weekends were not for us to sleep (On Contrary to that, I engage myself sleeping in weekends in Bangalore – Quite boring). There would be something happening for us on every Sunday. Going for a ride or climbing hill or freaking out in beach or fishing or rowing or swimming and many more. One such thing happened on a Sunday, an interesting trip to Ooty.
As I was mentioning, we used to go for leisure trips every now and then. In this particular day we went for a friend’s marriage in Nilambur. We’d rented a car. We were five (Me, Aslam, Shameer, Ramiz and Bushair). We didn’t had much do in that marriage other than having the marriage lunch. Everything got finished by 11.00 AM. What next? We’d rented a car. We got to give it back. 400 bucks only for two hours? Naaah…It’s not fair. We were probing for options. Then we all decided to go Ooty. It’s just 100 Km away I guess. So all set, a ride to Ooty (It’s not the first time we were going there). Filled petrol from the nearest gasoline station and we got moving.
We have crossed Gudallur and covered some 25Kms, 25 more kms to go from here. The car stopped!!!. We were of the thought that it would be the problem with the engine. Ramiz and Bushair knows petty mechanism of the car. They said the things are all ok, but why did it stop. Then we checked the gasoline. The fuel tank was empty. We didn’t know that the car was an avid drunkard. We need to find fuel from somewhere. Options are go to ooty or go back to Gudalur to get the petrol.
We stopped one Jeep which was passing by. We asked the driver whether we could petrol from any nearby place. He said, yes its available in a small town 8 kms away on the way to Gudallur. So me and Ramiz got into the Jeep to get the petrol. We reached that place (I didn’t remember the name – I should blame my grey cells, it too bad in storing information). We gave the driver 20 bucks and asked him to guide us to the place where we could get fuel. We went to a small workshop; it rather looked like a Pit shop. The man there said, he has also run out of fuel. Only option left out was to go Gudllur.
We’d mobile phones with us. But unfortunately there was no network coverage in the area where our car was parked. No way to contact our guys there. We got into a bus and reached Gudallur. It was 4.00 clock in evening then. We got some 3 liters of petrol in two Pepsi bottles. Now we got go back. No bus was ready to board us, as we were carrying petrol with us. We decided to by a shopper bag, bought one and put the bottles inside. We boarded into a Karnataka state bus to Ooty. We didn’t know the name of the place, so took ticket till Ooty. We just know the landmark. The KSRTC is very infamous for the speed. I think even bullock carts can over take it. We were just peeping outside all the time to get a better sight of the landmark we know. It was 7.30 PM when we reached the spot. Ramiz was saying he doubted whether he had seen our car somewhere going towards Gudallur while we were in the bus.
We got down the bus, but the car was not seen anywhere neither our friends. Mobiles again failed us, no coverage. We started walking upwards, as we thought we alighted at the wrong place. It was so chilling night, and we started feeling pain in our legs. We were not wearing shoes, but the ones we had are leather chapels. We didn’t have any jacket also with us. We just kept on walking, but no sign of the car or friends. In between we saw a guy and asked him did he saw any white maruti car parked somewhere. He was a drunkard and starting saying something else in Tamil. He was scolding us. When I turned back, I didn’t see Ramiz. He has already started walking towards Gudallur. It might be 10.00 PM by now. We were walking towards Gudallur and we reached a small bridge. And we identified it. We had parked the car somewhere near that. On the wall of the bridge with the mobile phone light, I saw something written in Malayalam (am not saying what it was here. Its bit ugly) My phone number was also written there (I did a valiant effort to erase it – man it’s my reputation on stake). We realized it was our friends, and came in a conclusion; they might’ve got fuel somehow and might’ve driven back.
We started waking again, it might be 10.20 PM, no vehicles to be found on the road and it was chilling dark. Finally we saw a lorry coming; we’ve thrown ourselves to the middle of the road to stop it. We asked whether we could get a lift till Gudallur. The driver accepted and asked us to get in. We were happy, I sat near to the cleaner and Ramiz near to the door. We started talking to the driver and cleaner and were saying our story to them. The driver smiled and said, the people there have spotted a tiger roaming in that area two days back. Oops.. When we were talking to them we realized it is not secure to travel with them. He started asking us whether we were carrying money with us, do we had mobile etc. When we reached the small town where we been for the search of petrol, the driver stopped the lorry. He said they are going to have a light dinner. We got down the lorry and by this time we’d decided not to go with them again. We went to a STD booth nearby and Ramiz called at his home. He also called his friends in Areekode. We saw a Kerala SRTC bus coming. The bus was going to Kannur. We got into that bus and took ticket to Gudallur. When we reached Gudallur it was 1.30 AM. We went to the direction, where we could get a vehicle to Nilambur or to the Kerala border. We could see many vegetable Lorries going; we tried to stop them signaling the need for a lift. None of them stopped. We enquired in the nearby tea stall about the bus to Nilambur. They said the first bus is at 4.30 AM. 3 more hours to go. We decided to wait there for the bus, in mean time we tried vehicles passing by to stop.
Suddenly at about 2.00 AM, Ramiz’s mobile phone rang. It was the call from Aslam. Big relief for us, our hearts started thumping with joy. They were also in Gudallur. And they are about to go on the way to Ooty in search of us. We met them at the Petrol bunk nearby. All started hugging each other. Bushair slammed the accelerator to the maximum; we needed to take rest at the earliest. And we reached Areekode by 4.00 AM. Quite a happening day for us, next day we were all back at work.
This is our version. The interesting part is the version of the other three friends. I know blogs are to be written short. My friend’s part is much interesting and dramatic. I would write about it in my next post.