The Last 30 days.

I can’t believe that I’m sitting in my Bangalore home and writing this post after what happened in the last 30 days. I don’t have words to thank all those amazing people who took care of me over these days to bring me back and bouncing. Not quite there yet, but in a while. But I’m alive, for that matter.

I was between Italy and Germany during June 23 – July 9. We had an amazing time at the Info Activism Camp and later in Berlin with Kaustubh and Rome with Tin. It was fantastic. Towards the end of the trip I was quite tired from a sunstroke and irregular fever. On my flight back the fever decided to test the case and did the trick. 109 degree Fahrenheit with rigor. I arrived in Bangalore the next morning and went straight to a hospital.

From there until the last week, I have been to 4 hospitals, consulted 9 doctors, subjected to 7 blood diagnosis, 4 different radio-imaging, 3 antibiotics and a lot of stress. This was no fun. Not to any extent. I’ve cried and I’ve seen my mum crying at the same time. I was struck by an unidentifiable fever. I’ve lost weight and hair, and for whatever reasons my heart is heavy and life is rough.

It took a while to identify that I was suffering from a precursor of Enteric Fever. I’ve recovered now, though hopes weren’t too high in my mind. Time heals and patience count.

I want to thank Rahul – for coming over to check on me while I was down in Bangalore, staying over without sleep, taking care of me and taking me to another hospital the next day. I want to thank my mum and dad. I’ll easily run out of words here. What they went through is nothing compared to the pain I suffered. My aunts and brothers – for sending me food and supporting mum whenever she was alone in the hospital. I want to thank Gautam – for taking care of everything so that I could stay away from work as long as I wanted, checking on me and sending me one of my favorite books when I was getting bored. Francesca and Ashima – for talking to me when I wanted to. RijuShashank and Ayesha for letting me know that they miss me and I need to be all right soon.

And thank you everyone – your prayers and wishes helped me through.

Trekking at Pakshi Paathaalam

Pakshi Paathalam (Bird Cave) is a wonderful trekking trail which takes you into the mammoth caves where birds nest. It has been found that a hundred different species of birds find their homes.

Trip Plan

To reach the cave you have put a lot of effort and walk through the dense Thirunelli forests. The trial is around 7.5kms long, which takes you through the true forests.

I had my parents and family friends to tag along for the trip and couldn’t actually take the entire trail. My plan was to map the trail and pull it to heritagewalks.in. Feels so sad about it.

Went to Thirunelli temple that hits a dead end. Tried for a space to stay found that this weekend the place is going to be busy. And finally managed to get a good stay right in front of the temple.

To go on the trail you have take the permission from the forest guard for Rs. 160. Someone from the Forest Department will accompany you on the trail to narrate and get things on track. These people can at times be funless and most often discourage you on continuing the trail for several reasons. Another important aspect is time. The caves are a bit dangerous and tough to get through if you are late to reach the place. If you make it before 9 in the morning everything should be okay.

Squirrel

On the way to the caves you can sight (only if you are lucky enough) many jungle dwellers including elephants, forest squirrel etc. We were in fact very lucky to see the squirrels. Unlike the ordinary ones they’ve very long silky tail. You can know their presence, listen closely and should hear them.

Once you are on the trail, and this is what makes me wishing to go back, you get to know nature better and how the middle of the dense forest would feel. The coldness, the birds, and I don’t know what else, something will make you fall in love with the forest.

We had a guy with us from the Department and 2kms on the trail wished if he hadn’t come. If I can find a trail map somewhere that would have been a better choice. He was showing signs of tigers and lone elephants wandering somewhere near and some of the team got really frightened! Insane. And they started backing off. Finally we ended up deciding to take a slight deviation on the trail, another 3kms, to hit the stream called Kaalindi.

Bamboo Forests.

Along the walk,  we found some interesting things. The Bamboo Forests. I know that’s not new but they were bloomed and they bloom only once in 40 – 45 years, which marks the lifetime. The flowers had a strange rice like grain inside them. Adivasi ladies are found busy collecting the flowers and separating the rice from the flowers.

Cave temples are found scattered around Kerala. We found a very sacred and beautiful cave temple de route Kaalindi. The temple is packed and designed with stones for different purpose. There was a small pond near by to facilitate the devotees.  When I tried to step on to one of the rocks someone called out loud to remove the sandals. So sacred, it shows.

Cave Temple

We walked another 2kms in the forest to hit the river stream called Kaalindi. Kaalindi is in fact a bigger river that originates from somewhere in the Himalayas. It has been said that taking a bath in this sacred river will wash away all the sins one have done – Papanaashini. Paapam (Sin), Naashini (Destroy).

We spent some time along the river and few us didn’t mind to drown ourselves in the stream. Had some wonderful food and headed back to the room.

You can find the entire GPX of the trip here.

Drive to the Kallanod Estate

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Our neighbor has an estate in the outskirts of Calicut, a place called Kallanod. Kallanod is famous for the cartoonist Paul Kallanod. The drive took an hour and 30 minutes. The place was totally packed with rubber plantations. Learned some interesting aspects of getting rubber to the industries from the plantations.

Prepared map mash-up using geocommons. Here we go. http://geocommons.com/maps/52489