Feeling refreshes my frozen mind. Blue breeze, fresh air, moving clouds, force of the falls, water drops pricking our bones, chill shower in the falls during hot noon, exhaustion, low lung power, tired legs, pain in calf-muscles, throwing up sensation while descending 72 hair-pin bends. All in all. Truly sensical.
Very often though not always, dreams convey message during the day. One such dream did inspire me to do an uncharted trip, down south, with no or limited preparation. Thereby gain the moment and flush out my polluted memories. Breathe some fresh air. Thus, I set on sail with 3 trekkers, Vishnu, Saravanan & Jagan towards kolli hills.
Kolli hills is in Namakkal district, 330 kms distanced from chennai. It is placed in the eatern ghats and 1300 metres tall in nature and has some 70-75 hairpin bends. We pumped in diesel to our black ghost (fortuner) and ignited the four wheel drive towards, kolli hills. We prefered NH45 route via chengalpet, tindivanam, Ullunderpet, touching Attur, Namagiripettai, belakuruchi and reach the foothills of Kolli. One of the important places in the hills is to experience a shower in ‘Aagaya Gangai’, water falls. Our aspiration was not to get wet in the falls, or swim in the placid lake. But to let loose. Just to relax. See and feel some new things.
We had originally planned to start the trip at mid noon, but then postponed due to unavoidable, but expected excuses from one of our trekker. Every trip has an exception and this time was the starting time. We had initially planned to start at 13 : 00 p.m sharp. So to avoid driving in dark night. However, the wish of nature was different. We ended up starting at 4:15 p.m. A defined delay. It’s fine. Afterall, the trip is important and not the time when we start. I occupied the pilot seat, next to the driver, commanding the tunes of
the tones. Back seat was occupied by the excuser, who had come late. Beside him was our passionate trekker with an i-pad in his palms guiding the direction and confirming the milestones.Trip had begun. And, we all comfortably placed in our mind. We passed in the direction of time and wind, witnessing the transition from urban to semi – urban , and then, semi- rural to rual areas in the south.
The hills was named after female goddess called Kolli. Locally worshipped as kollipavai. The denizens believe that the female godess, protect them from ill natured intentions from all sources of evil. We learned that, the hills is reknown for exorcism. The sages/priests in amman koil are seen as an expert in exorcism. This news was shared to us by a wise looking old man. He said, climbing up the hills at night is considered to be unsafe. Oops! Wild bear, ferrocious dogs, attack from thieves, ill tempered spirits… We screamed ‘ill-tempered spirits’. Ghosts ? Thoughts started forming in our minds. A spine chilling feeling reached deep into our bones. “Would we be gang raped by some ill spirits – oohhhhhhh no ! “. One of our trekker was happy by getting molested by these ill-spirits ! Chee ! Yuck! We have come so far and halting at the foothills is not an option. We must climb up the hills. We started climbing up into the unknown with a tinge of awe feeling, faintly echoing .
We reached the cliff by midnight and managed to strike a decent accomodation for four of us. The hill is not so commercial and hence, the room rent are moderate. Temperatue was around 18 degree celcius. Chilly wind razoring our body. Quickly we negotiated the billing and settled for a late night sleep.
All fun and frolic started and over in the next 2 days. Trekking, climbing up 1000 steep stairs, panting for breath… etc etc… This 1000 steep steps did provide me all the uncomfortable feelings within my body. I was falling down and taking prolonged breaks, unlike my comrades, who were as agile as an panther. I had to encourage myselves to complete this task and take complete rest. As expected, the resting time was 3 times more than the task itself. Woke up in the morning, and , I my comrades were packing their bags. Untill now, I was in a different form, with litte to think about the incoming mails in my lotus notes server. We were ready to return to chennai. Started from kolli and reached home
I didn’t wish to end this journey. There is a lingering feeling, asking me to explore deeper and further. Move beyond, the visible. But, then there is fear, which holds my progress. What is the fear ?