College is hard, like super tough. To have more weightage to attendance than knowledge is the worst thing in College and it sometimes comes hard on you. But with all the worst things in college, the only good thing is the classmates and the friends you make. That environment you get when you feel like a family of nearly 50 is something only blessed people like you and me reading this will get. If you feel like you’re 12th Grade was better, I’d say be patient and you’ll find the difference.
The thing about college is that it’s a big mac sandwich b/w exams, attendance, fest, celebrations, politics and for me Hackathons. The only refreshing time you’ll get, Is a trip with your Class and this was one of the best life decisions I had taken.
So let me be Santhosh Kulangara for the time being.
Dec 4, 2019
The University exams started for us and this was the time after 2 weeks since my class had got together and this was too for exams. The First exam was Life Skills and that was for 2 hours. After the exam, we got together in our lab where our IV co-ordinators Abhishek, Jayalakshmi and Jaydev set up a slide show on where our trip would be. I was sceptical about the whole agenda but I trusted my friends. So took a vow on to not do much research on where we’ll be going rather I thought like “Go where the wind takes you” level stuff. The first dates were January’s Final week
Jan 24, 2020
The first Coronavirus infections were confirmed here in Kerala. As a cautious state who has seen deadly viruses like Nippa and Sikka, the Govt declared the situations as an emergency and all travelling outside of Kerala was banned till March final week. The IV had to be cancelled just the last minute. My friends were devastated, me having had an experience like this before was sad, but not devastated. Being postponed 5 times, meenhacks had made me went through a lot on the postponement stuff. I had a fear that this postponement will go on and on just like meenhacks.
Week Between Jan 24 and Feb 20
Discussions went on for when to conduct the IV, I had to take a workshop on 9th Feb at Kochi and that was one of the Best Hackathons I’ve ever attended. My friends were kind enough to push the date to one more week on Feb15th. We were also having our Annual Tech Fest in College and in between that we had to pull this off
Feb 21th, Friday
The most awaited day had finally come. I wasn’t feeling any usual rush for a trip or anything. Even started the packing for the trip on that morning. Whew…
The items I had to take were quite some. 5 Tees, a pair of pants and shorts and a hoodie and shoes. This was seen a dumb decision later but meh, I trusted my gut. The Items were consuming quite a bit of space so searched youtube and found about Ranger Roll, man that’s the best travel hack I’ve ever come across. Anyways, left home at 11.15 am to catch the bus at noon from 10kms away. Reached college at about 12.45 pm. There I was in College for a trip to start at 2.30 pm. I stayed till 2.30 pm in the nearby hostel with a bunch of my friends.
At last by 3 pm we boarded on our Bus. Boarded on it and gave a shoutout to our Tutor and our coordinators. The bus went on with the swiftness of a swift towards Ernakulam which was our first stop where we were to visit the industry. We visited it and the best part at Ernakulam was walking and crossing roads in Edappally at about 7 pm as a group of 50. For a guy from Kottayam, this was something new.
We forwarded with all the music we could listen to, with all the energy we could use. In the way, saw the Meenachilar, Moovatupuzhayar and Periyar rivers. Our next stop, Malpe in Karnataka.
Feb 22th Saturday
It was at about 7 am when I woke up. We had reached Udipi which was 2-5km from Malpe. Got into a hotel where we had to fresh up. After all the morning runs, we freshened up and went to another restaurant to get breakfast before going to Malpe. The restaurant we went to was so visually appealing in the inside but felt a bit shaggy on the outside. We got our food and set out for Malpe. Digging into Malpe, it is a quite awesome place with much adventurous stuff like parasailing, speedboating and other stuff whose name I don’t remember now. The beach was bustling with people. Students who came for excursions and people who want to escape the heat and many. The best thing about Malpe is St Marys Island. As the name suggests, it’s an Island in the near 300m of the mainland beach. The only way to reach the island was through boat(Duh!!!). So we got on one went there and continued with the Journey. St Marys Island was a privatized beach/island where it would cost you a fortune if you lived there. Water costs you 30rs and that’s Rs10 more than what you get here and everything there is business. The scenic beauty of St Mary’s Island is exquisite. The aquamarine-coloured sea, the crimson-coloured rocks with a polished so smooth than even with marble grinders are hard to achieve. The limpets on the rock were a new sight for us a lot and most of us didn’t even care what they were.
The rocks and the sea gave us ‘Hit Refresh’ feeling and this was way cooler than we expected. Who knew that the Arabian sea was soo relaxing to watch. The heat was unbearable we wanted to jump into the sea and cool down ourselves but later we did go we went back to the beach. St Marys Island was more of our photoshoot place and the best photos were taken from there. We had to spend about nearly 2 hours there and went back to malpe beach on a boat. Some of went to jump in the water there and had cooled down from the heat.
After the beach we went to the same hotel we had gone in the morning for our Lunch, had a wonderful lunch and we proceeded with our trip to Coorg. We went through the Mangalore route and on our way passed above the Netravati River. Netravathi is the name of Kaveri river in Mangalore. The Netravathi was so damn big with its breadth. The film that we saw on the way from Malpe to Coorg was a Priyadarshan classic Vettom. We were amazed by the depth of the film, the perspective of love, the perspective of money and life. We reached Coorg at about 9 PM and straightly went to a DJ House. In our way, to Coorg, it felt more like Kottayam with the Rubber trees and the Arecanut and Cashew Plantations. That place was made specifically for this purpose and was almost filled with students. The DJ was not at all any good in my honest opinion and due to my asthma I couldn’t handle the dust and dropped out of the party to get myself medication and went on to get a tea for the cold there.
After the DJ party was over, we went to our lodge for the rooms and got into the rooms. We got into sleeping after playing a few rounds of cards. Coorg was waiting for us the next day.
Feb 23rd Sunday
Temperatures at Coorg was warmer than expected and we went on to get some Breakfast. The breakfast was okay and our next destination was the Sun Temple and a University by them. The university building was closed since it was Sunday and we took a group photo to compensate that journey. Then we went to the Sun temple and we were blessed enough to see Buddhist Prayers. That was very peaceful to hear to gave a positive feeling to us all. The Golden temple could be seen anywhere from Coorg and was quite big. The statues and sculptures gave a very new perspective for us towards Buddhism and were quite interesting to explore. Coorg was more of a filler episode in our journey 😝.
Our next place in Coorg was the Bamboo forest. People call that forest, it felt more of an artificial bamboo plantation to me. The best things in the Bamboo forest are the streams and the photography places and ofc seeing deers and stags and fawns quite close. We went upstream looking for picturesque locations and found a place without many people and took ourselves a lot of pictures. That was fun explorations. Rather than that noting worthy to telling happened in Bamboo Forests and we went back to get on the bus to get Lunch. The bus had gone to a workshop to get repairs due to malfunction in the braking mechanism and we had to wait an extra hour for the bus to arrive.
Later we went to get lunch and had out tummies filled and we set forth for Wayanad. We went via the Moothanga road and on the way, we saw an Elephant, deers and Monkeys. The film CID Moosa was on air and we enjoyed the film. We had reached Wayanad by 7 pm and we were taken by Jeep to another place for the next adventure. The place we were taken as part of our trekking here in Wayanad. We had ourselves a campfire and dance and got ourselves food. By 10 pm we started our trekking journey to Ambukuthi Hill’s top. We went through Grasslands, Coffee plantations and even got up steep rocks in the middle of the night. Most of didn’t think that we could do that. At the top, it was quite chilly and in front of us, we could see the city of Sulthan Bathery. Sulthan Bathery in Night is sol cool. At the top, we had to set up tents up ourselves and that was a fun experience. All of these work was completed by midnight and we went to sleep since we had to wake up early for watching the Sunrise from the Hilltop.
Feb 24 Monday
I woke up when my friends called me to get up. The temperature at the hilltop was so low that I regretted wearing shorts for the trekking and stay. The sunrise was absolutely out of the world. One of our friends went on Facebook Live and saved it as a post and many were able to watch it from elsewhere. We went again to other hills nearby and saw edakkal caves from a distance. After that, we trekked down to get breakfast and went to Meppadi for our next trip.
At meppadi we were to be going for off-road driving 7kms to an estate within a cardamom plantation. 4 jeeps were present and all of us went to the estate. On reaching there we were told that we were at the origin of a tributary of the Chaliyar river. It went through rocks of sizes big and small and we were told that that water was safe to drink. We drank lots of water from the stream. The rocks were polished by the water for thousands of years. The guide there told us that the smallest rock had been there for a minimum of 30,000 years and the water polished and eroded it in the time when the water flows. We could walk through the rocks all the way. It almost felt like spiderman jumping and doing parkour. We treaded so much distance by jumping through the rocks. We were told not to wash our legs in the water since this water was depleting and not much filtering is done in the valley.
Wayanad also has quite many Tea Plantations and we were given time to go through those plantations. Wayanad was the best part of our trip. We were quite sad when we left there and had to go. We came down to Meppadi valley and had our lunch there and we proceeded to Kozhikode for our final checkpoint.
We had to get through the Thamarassery Hill pass with 9 hairpin curves. Our driver who was experienced I guess made us across very fast. The film KGF was on air and we again enjoyed it. #RockyBhai.
We reached Kozhikode by 7 pm too. We were dropped out at Mithaayi Theruvu now called SM Street and we were to come to Kozhikode Beach for the return trip. We walked back and forth through the whole street quite for some time. S.K Pottakad wrote a whole novel on SM Street and a statue of him is upfront of the street. Quotes from his books are also inscribed on the walls. Later then we walked at night through Calicut City’s heart to reach the Bus in Calicut beach. 40 of us walked in a tshirt of uniform design and it almost felt like a mob going for protesting. That walk in the night was the vibe-st moment of all. We got in, our bus took us to back after dinner. We had a fun time on the bus, singing songs
“Miles to go before I sleep, Miles to go before I sleep”
Feb 25, Tuesday
We reached college at about 6 am and got home. Took a bath, went back to sleep in melancholy of the thought that ‘It ended soon".
- Abhishek, Jaydev, Jayalakshmi (Alphabetic Order) for planning all this
- DJ Nandhu and Akshay for the songs
- Thoma and Hari for the fights
- Mukhil, MVP and Abhinav for the cameras
- Teny for the 24*5 energy
- Rahul Reghu for the movies
- Radha for the slo-mo video
- Thouseef, Safwan, Alen, Bineeth for the dances
- Naveen for the babysitting
- Santoor Mummy for taking care of the kid
- Kumbidi for the Absurd Turban
- Gokul Ji for the Live Videos and the Youtube video
- And everyone for the new Meme and Sticker Materials