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The Wonderful Moozhiyar
The Wonderful Moozhiyar
While planning to make a trip as part of the wedding anniversary celebration, so many places and ideas came to our minds one after another. There were arguments and discussions and finally we decided to have an adventurous journey. Being the residents of a hilly district in Kerala, the “God’s Own Country”, it was not a difficult task for us to find out such a destination in our own place. Thus on the 19th of May, we went to Moozhiyar, the capturing forest area in Pathanamthitta.Before the trip, someone reminded us to take enough food and water as there is no shop or hotel anywhere near the area. We set out at 8 o’ clock in the morning. Our’s was a ten-member group, consisting of me, my husband, three year old daughter, my brother, his wife, our cousin ,aunt and her family.
By noon we reached Seethathodu, a remote village from where we had our lunch. It’s from the hotel manager that we realized the actual risks of the journey. He suggested that it would have been better if we had reached the place at 8 o’clock in the morning. He warned of the possibilities of a rogue elephant on our way, that too any time unexpectedly! That was really a source of tension for us. But we insisted on resuming the journey because all of us were in such a hilarious mood. By the time we reached our next destination, called Maniyar it was 3 p.m.There were only narrow roads with huge trees on both sides. There was a small dam in Maniyar.We spent a few minutes there, taking photographs watching the beauty of The Pampa River.
Before we got inside the car, a nice drizzle came to hug us. We continued our journey. Meanwhile the drizzle turned into a heavy rain. It was a fairly cold evening. We were talking, singing, and playing ‘anthakshari’ which is a local game.
On the way there was a forest check post. We had to get a consent form signed by the guard there. He told us to be back there before 6 p.m. as the check post would be closed by that time. We agreed and resumed the journey. Wow! It was really an ever memorable one! We all got extremely thrilled to see the real wildness of the forest. It was a great experience to drive the car through those narrow roads which looked like a black line with greenery on both sides. On the one side of the road we could see only huge trees and creepers and on the other side the frightening precipice. We stopped for a while to enjoy the real thrill of being in the wild forest. We all got outside the vehicle. Even if we were ten in number, we felt like all alone in a supernatural world though it was natural every inch! The noise of the cricket, the singing of those unfamiliar birds and the flowing of water in the streams were all adding to the wild beauty of the forest! While spending our days in the hurly-burly of an urban life, we never even feel that somewhere in the world there are places where we can enjoy what we call the real serenity of life, where we can be one with nature which has been nurturing us, the human beings for thousands of years!
We reached our destination at 4.30 p.m.There was a ‘look out’ point in Moozhiyar from where we could view the Penstock pipes connecting the reservoir and powerhouse ,which form part of a major hydro-electric project in the state.
It was raining heavily. But we did not feel reluctant to get wet. Though we asked the kids to sit in the car, they also demanded equality and we had no option other than allowing them to come out to the raindrops! A few other visitors were also there in the look out point. We had a chat with them too. After some time the sky got clear, and there came an end to the heavy rain.But you know, we cannot predict how quickly things change! All on a sudden visibility was badly affected by fog and we remembered the warnings given by the guard and the hotel manager. So we decided to return regretting that we should have come earlier. We wiped ourselves with towels before getting inside the car.
At a five minutes’ driving distance from the ‘look out’ point, there was a local tea stall. We had our tea and snacks from there. It all seemed very nice especially because we all were very hungry in that cold climate. On our way back, we had a chat with the police officer who was in charge of the area. We wondered how he had been staying all alone in that forest quarters!
During our return trip, we were a bit tensed due to the unfavorable climate and the possible presence of a rogue elephant anytime on the road. I was the one waiting eagerly for such a threat! Still we did not forget to take all possible snaps which I can share with you too.
A truck with bamboo plants was there in front of us near the check- post. I, who was expecting the worse thing misunderstood that it was an elephant in front of us! My goodness! It was getting dark and only a huge shape was seen. I got really astonished and frightened and no need to say that I cried out saying “Oh…Oh…Elephant”. But it was a real source of fun for my companions. They started laughing, teasing me like anything .Then I too joined them.
Twilight came along with thick fog which was a real impediment for us to drive. The bamboo-truck was no more seen. It was parked somewhere near the check - post. We began playing ‘anthakshari’ again. My husband was driving the car. Suddenly, he saw something moving in the darkness. Slowing down the car, he murmured, “Ssh…….keep quite. I fear if we are in a trouble.” He stopped the car and by that time we too realized that it was a herd of elephants crossing the road! At last the worst thing happened! For a moment we turned numb! Then we had the realization of how to tackle the situation. We switched off the head lights of the vehicle and kept ourselves silent. A few minutes passed by. We were waiting patiently and that too without even taking a long breath! Then we could see them disappearing in the forest. Friends, to be honest, I don’t have words to tell you how we felt then!
From there it was only ten kilometers to the town and thanking God, we continued the journey. I think it will be the wedding anniversary that we are going to forget never ever in our life!