Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Destination Manchinbele

Weekend day trips – Can anything be better than heading out of the city. But before heading out, one has to get over the hurdle of getting the group to agree on a place and the date. After a long time, a big group of us had managed to make plans. But on the day of the trip, from a group of 8, we were down to 4. Why don’t plans always fall in place?

All days trips lead to Mysore road. This was no different.We were about 5 kms into the trip when we were stopped by the Bangalore traffic police. It was the end of the month and the cops are like werewolves on a full moon day. Is that politically incorrect? Now twihard fans know werewolves can be good too! They always look out for their loved ones. Don't you agree?

So Getting back to the  honest cop. He claimed we had run a red light and without batting an eyelid, asked us to grease his palms. Grease is a very useful lubricant. It can make you dance like Travolta, let you transfer money without  IFSC code and help you cook up stories too. Grease was the hero of our day, at least for the next 10 minutes

After we the pink ladies, pretended ignorance of the term grease and demanded for a reciept, the Indian werewolf in Bangalore made an excuse that the full moon had discharged the life of his blackberry. Once upon a time our Bangalore werewolves would sing this all the time

Whoooh ooooh who's that guy?
Whoooh ooooh who's that guy?
He came out of the darkness in the middle of the night,
Blazing like a mother with a fist of dynamite.

But with the blackberry, they just need to punch in the licence plate number and entire history rolls out. Yes technology has become their friend. The situation had all the elements of a hindi movie. The bad cop, the honest heroine, the side kick cop, the sweet friends of the heroine and the hero grease. Of course the gulabi hengasaru ( pink ladies) won the round that day! Jaagte Raho!

Though Bangalore is the most accommodating cities in India when it comes to languages, it is in these kinds of situations that knowing the local language becomes important. Pink turning to gulabi helped the situation. Isn’t it always good to adapt some of the local culture of the city you call your home.


Just one word of advise. Avoid taking the KR Market route towards Mysore unless you want to play " I spy with my own little eyes something black and not going round and round" forever
After crawling for more than an hour, we took a detour from Mysore road into the by lanes toward the Dodda alada mara. Dodda alada mara translates to big banyan tree. No prizes for guessing! We were driving towards a big tree which we were confident we would not miss. Lo behold, we almost missed it! Now don't you dare comment on the driving skills of the fairer sex.

Now I had been here as a kid. I remember it was just one big tree in middle of nowhere and we picnicked and played cricket with lots and lots of  macaques as our spectators. As with all tourist spots in Karnataka, the government has spruced up the place with pathways, manicured bushes and fencing. I had mixed feeling about this change. There is something odd about the mighty “I don’t care for anyone” banyan tree pruned so that pathways and seating can be accommodated. Something so natural, should be left to its own elements and not tampered with. As expected with this "improvement" we could spot just a few monkeys.

A couple of kilometers away was our final destination - Manchinbele. Because of its proximity to ISRO, the good roads make the drive enjoyable. Manchinbele dam was built for irrigation purpose and there is a small reservoir. We had planned to picnic by its banks. Its an ideal spot of picnic on a nice day. However as there is no tree cover close to the reservoir, this location would not be great on a sunny day.

It is always advisable to be safe by the water rather than sorry as just two weeks after we visited  this place, two deaths were reported at this reservoir.

As a finale to our eventful day , we the pink ladies turned into T birds when a van ran into our parked car. Though we tried to stop the culprit scooting away, he did just that. It is very unfortunate that help is never rendered when required. People around us instead of helping us , told us to move as we were blocking the traffic. Yes, everybody is always in a rush. The incident did'nt ruin our day but just made it more memorable one. We have a small dent on the rear bumper to prove that.
Location: Manchinbele,India
Date of travel: June  2011

Tip: Learn the local language!
Must do: Acknowledge the movies grease 1 and 2 without which this blog would have been incomplete!
First: Bring the traffic to a stop!
The travel connection: Memories!

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