Oh! What I would have given for it not to end! The trip to Pondicherry and Yercaud and 'Bangalore'... with friends! And the fun we had both in the run-up and during it. I mean when again, when an encore?
Four days before the trip, we started the campaign for the common funds. That meant visiting all the old acquaintances all of us had, and getting their varied contributions towards the common-good. The female ones were preferred. The boys almost never have any money with them. They're the ones with difficulties and inflation economies. But the girls... their parents load them up with enough money, which they have no way of spending. The only outlet is giving loans to poor boys who want to go on pleasure trips.
So there was the team under the leadership of expert canvassers Umesh and Anish, getting on the phone and that person who by had the bad luck of a sometime acquaitance with the lot of us. The money was borrowed on one pretext or the other, almost always with a promise, but never the intention, to give back the sum. I'm sure they'll get their dues in the Kingdom Come! For their priceless contribution to friendship, for their part in giving us more memories to treasure, of friendship. Three Cheers to all the benefactors who contributed to our trip!
Pondicherry was o.k. You see, we dont go bananas over beaches and that sort of thing because hometown Trivandrum has all the beaches we ever wanted, complete with Madammas lying on the sand in bikinis. Our search for a hotel in Pondi, turned out to be hilarious with people running over themselves to get us to a hotel with Caberet and swimming pool and more night entertainment. You wouldn't belive it, but we chose nay for the Cabaret and the rest and probably saved ourselves from being hauled off to some police station by kepieed policemen in the middle of the night. Nothing more to Pondi, because a bunch of guys dont think the Aurobindo Ashrama is interesting. So we skipped historical interest places, and all other interest places there was to see in Pondi. In fact we dint see much of Pondi, because all of us were bored at the thought of the culturally vibrant setting, and add the hot weather to it, we ended up seeing more of the channels on the TV at the Hotel than Pondicherry.
Gladly bidding Pondi goodbye, we left to the high point of the trip, which turned out to be the unplanned trip to Yercaud, a small hill-station about 20 kms from Salem. We spent two really wonderful days there, practically doing nothing other than making up ghost stories, and scaring each other, when we weren't running around the estate playing war like only small boys do. The team containing Manu, Sabari, Naveed and Umesh, beat us unfair and circular.
We went to the top point and all of us removed our shirts and started dancing semi-nude on the hill top amidst the fog and heavy wind. That coupled with the chill from the ghost stories which really scared Feroze and Ravi (me, I was not scared), made the experience truly wonderful.
I guess I'm not writing anymore beyond... it gives me the blues! Homesick, friendsick!