Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kutta- paradise untouched

If any one were to ask me have you ever been to a place with no idea about it and no expectations and yet it turn to be something so memorable then I’d say its definitely gotta be kutta , a small town bordering Karnataka and kerala in madkeri district

Ok so now before I talk about kutta in detail lets go a little into how I ended up being there, for which I’ll have to talk about friends that I have recently met online .we’re this group of enthusiasts pretty much bored doing the obvious things all the time so one among us had came up with something out of the box and gradually after some nurture and fine tuning it was all set to take off. So we were all ready to go to this place called kutta for a 2 day trip. Now this aint any ordinary trip it came with its own peculiarity and at the same time was innovative.

The task was pretty much simple and straightly laid out, we were supposed to go to the place(kutta) , find a job there and earn enough money that could bring us back home.
How we went about doing the job is something we shall talk about later

So we set on the journey on Friday night the 10th of may, we were 10 of us, the number was achieved after a lot of additions and deletions. me myself had dropped out earlier and had made a last minute decision to join the team. Many of us were new to each other yet fully charged up to take on the task of the trip. We got to know each other on the way and then we did talk a lot about everything. Be it gossip, the system of education, or the government everyone had a say in everything we talked and talked. So in no time we were all got along with each other so easily

It was nearly 6 in the morning by the time we reached the entrance of nagarhole national park. We got out of our van and had a quick glimpse of the forests before our driver could fill some formalities at the entrance of the gate. Thus our van drove into the park , the road leading through the forest was in good condition and is dotted with numerous curves, which I feel is delight to drive through . The forest appeared calm and beautiful in the early morning. We could spot some deers, peacocks and an elephant to our luck. The more fiercer ones were never to be found. I just hope they re in good numbers deep in the park. It was very discouraging to see so much of human settlement inside the park which was something to worry, anyways we exited the park in no time and reached kutta. This place was actually at the edge of the forest. probably that was what made it so beautiful and calm

We reached the main bus stand, which appeared like a scene from a movie from a bygone era. the whole atmosphere looked stand still with the time . there were very few people and some stores that we could spot these stores had very little to offer .people in here spoke Malayalam and only handful of them knew kannada which was again disappointing given to the fact that kutta still belongs to Karnataka. Anyways on the whole the place looked peaceful. we made futile attempts to find a room to freshen up however the 2 lodges that kutta had were filled.
So our only hope was “tranquill lake” which offered home stay at a little distance from kutta in a place called chircad . how we gotta know about this pace was through a visiting card given to us by the forest guard at the exit gate of the forest we somehow managed to get the card even though he was reluctant to hand it over to us after listening to our plans . he knew this place was damn costly and was sceptic about whether we could really afford it .

So here we were inside tranquill lake which was a huge estate spanning 30 odd acres . Once inside we wasted no time in meeting its owner Mr Cariappa .he sounded very polite and enthusiastic towards us .after we told him our plans he was almost spontaneous in agreeing to offer us a job . he even agreed to give us the dormitory which was a part of his home stay for free in return to our work that we wanted to do. each bed on the dormitory was supposed to cost 350 per night ,so that came fully free

He immediately took us to the coffee plantations where he assigned a group of 5 which included me the task of ground preparation around the coffee plant for manuring . the other group of 5 was assigned the task of manure mixing along with wood smoothening and one among us was offered to look after the pepper weight and the number of bags that he was selling the same day to the agents

So we got onto to work in no time even though we still didnt have bath or breakfast.
this was the sort of work that required no brain it was just raw labour and we enjoyed doing it. After clearing 10 plants or so was when body showed some reluctance in the form of sweat. However it didn’t matter much we kept going interrupted by small resting sessions often that marked some photo clicks and some chit chatting with the labourers there. The more we got to know about them it was both encouraging and discouraging. They led a simple life and had very less to worry about, they didn’t care for the government that had completely neglected them neither were they unhappy about being paid very less for a days labour. They sounded to be content. they did have their own share of entertainment in form of movies that they watch every week in theatres. What I felt nice about these people were that they had very little to complain in life unlike we people who have so many complaints given to the fact that they were paid as little as 75 rs for a days labour and still they seemed happy enough. We were able to make ground clear for 150 plants (the number have got a little exaggerated) and then we set off to see what the rest of team were upto

the rest of the team had already finished mixing one set of fertilizer bags that comprised of various chemical fertilizers to be mixed in various proportion. We helped them a little in loading the bags and then we were all off to bath and after a heavy breakfast of uppitu and lots of pickles we got on to heels to repeat the same task of fertilizer mixing and managed to finish one more set. the count was now 40 bags and this made it 2 sets
by the time this task was finished it was nearly afternoon 2.30 . we wasted no time and headed to the lake where the restaurant was situated. The lunch was plain yet tasty probably because we worked so hard and all of us were so hungry . the workers in the estate who doubled up as servers in the hotel , helpers in fertilizer mixing were very kind to us and treated us well.

some of the things that I observed about kutta was This place had only 2 kinds of ppl. One set were the rich and the hugely wealthy with acres of coffe plantations like Cariappa and others were the labourers who worked under these people . the middle class people were not to be spotted mostly

now it was 4 in the evening and everyone were ready to leave for irupu falls which is pretty close by to kutta we had a great blast under the falls which had water flowing in at freezing temperatures. Some preferred to stay away from the falls and helped click our photos and by the time we returned back to the estate it was evening and we stopped by on the way to buy a small gift to Cariappa . the idea was unanimous among everybody probably everyone in the group felt very impressed by his hospitality.

The night didn’t have much of activities because we were already tired working all day so we all had dinner on the lake side hotel , some preferred to have wine while others like me very happy with the chapathis that we ordered and we all got back to the rooms and thus the day had to end

Day 2 started as early as 7 o clock when we all started with the fertilizer mixing for another set of 20 bags this time we had what’s called the pace as we worked in close tandem like a team by dividing work amongst each other so thus we were able to finish the task much more earlier we then retuned to our rooms and quickly had bath and vacated the rooms most of them were sceptical about facing cariappa and telling him that we had given up and wanted to leave. We then went into his house and he was kind enough to let us leave. We presented him with a gift that we had got yesterday, his joy seemed no bound he was very happy to take it . we cleared some of the bills that needed to be cleared before leaving and thus we left tranquill lake .

It was nice staying at this place for close to 24 hours Cariappa was a broad hearted rich person. Many of us were taken by shock when he told that he was a bachelor and stayed with his mom alone. He was very dynamic and respected nature a lot which was evident from the way he talked about forests and coffee plantations. he had a good business mind for which his estate stood testimony. Apart form income that he derived from coffee, spices like pepper, etc , orange, jackfruit, honey collection and many more crops that his estate owned . he had beautifully crafted some part of his estates into home stay with the right ambience that people would look for. Here was a man who could have just chose to ignore us but instead took concern to help us realize the aim of our trip which I feel was successfully achieved. I shall remember him for a long time to come and am hoping to spend sometime in his home stay cottages sometime in future

we then drove to a hotel nearby and had breakfast further we had planned to go kurva island that was in kerala . after some dilemma of the driver about the permits we somehow managed to convince him and thereby we left . These islands were nothing that special to sort of talk of. I told to myself probably nisarga dhama in madkeri is a much better place
on the way back to Bangalore we again had to cross nagarhole where we stopped to have glimpse of elephants at the camp inside the forests . It was nice to stand very close to these tamed elephants and touch them .each of these tuskers have their own record in terms of the number of mahouts they ve killed all their life. With count going upto as high as 5. I felt the life of these mahouts were very pitiful

after leaving nagarhole it was again time for chit chat and everyone started narrating some funniest instance in their lives, some talked about the memorable moments so we were all fully engrossed in this activity it was night 8 and we stopped by to have dinner at a dhaba on mysore road. This one luckily had a good taste , sadly many of the dhabas on mysore road aren’t that good .in no time our van reached Bangalore as one by one people started to leave it was hard to digest that the trip had come to an end

.like they say all good things have to come an end. This one had met its end. However memories of the trip shall remain in us for a long time to come

my friends sachi, vishwas, vishwa angadi, sandesh, ashwini, sharath, vinay, prabhath, deepa and certainly the diver sardar . i shall thank all of you for being a part of this trip which was something new, something to remember, something to cherish

1 comment:

Swetha Padakandla said...

i had heard this story in a summary way! now read it in complete brief wise!
you people must have enjoyed, plus experienced and learn't a lot.. :)
nice write up