Live interaction with BASC Team & Members - 2nd May 2020

Monday, March 28, 2011

Its past a month and I can still feel the gush of the mighty Hebbe and not so calm Kalahatti in my veins. Yes the terrain reaching up to them is traversed by lots of episodes of chatter, clutter, murmur, screams and peals of laughter which started on Friday 25th at 10.30pm..a la..Majestic. I was a reservation against cancellation member of this vociferous team of 12, lesser known, less prepared and less capable. Ultimately I emerged as the most cared for..:P
Jinu, I applaud you for the way you started breaking the ice amidst the group. Nitin and Meetu replying the most unconventional way that they are serpentines-Ichha Dhari Nag Nagin opened up a host of other introductions..everybody obliged and we kickstarted well. I do not remember the time when we stopped for a cuppa at a roadside hotel..but I remember that I took my chance to have another good look at the motley crowd with whom I had set off to spend the weekend. Here I would add a note..I was little apprehensive towards joining a crowd of whom I do not know anyone..But then I thought I need to start..Click Click went some shots..and we hurriedly packed up again to continue with the rest of the journey.
It was barely 5am at Kalahattigiri..and our event manager had already started hoarding..as if we were supposed to queue up for a parade..Jinu..I wonder where was the whistle on the 1st day..it only made an appearance on the 2nd day to Hebbe..!!! I felt a little chill when I alighted from the TT. It was uneven, dusty and shoddily green here and there. I quickly picked up some snaps, the board reading Kalahatti Falls..yess..now I can boast I went there..We ambled towards the foothills..I was having queer feelings, little streaks of tensions and some high tides and low tides with each cycle of pumping of blood into my heart and this never stopped through out the odyssey..We climbed steadily towards a smaller base of Kalahatti Falls and I was already feeling tired..took mini breaks..Veeru's omnipresent hands pulling me out of every possible down strides and then I felt better. I was already munching on a chocolate bar Kiran had advised and offered me during the walk..Have it..You will get instant energy..I am not a big lover of chocolates..but Kiran..Many Thanks..I needed it.. We freshened up at the first smaller base..everybody enjoyed the rushing falls except me..Alas! I wasnt carrying extra pair of clothing..You all called me so many times to come inside water and I had to stay away from it..Missed it there.. The strides continued with trampling over dry leaves..I was slipping tad bit..soon I realized I do not have the right pair of shoes and it is going to be difficult further. I am glad I could be back to Bangalore with the same pair of shoes. Veeru the saviour never left me alone and thus I could keep up with my expeditions. Some time later we had breakfast guarding each pick towards the mouth from the monkeys. They were springing from one branch to another but we managed to quench our hunger and thirst by ditching them. Jinu and Veeu had by the time disappeared to discover route towards the main base. I have rightly names Veeru as Jungle Boy..he screeched like the monkeys and was as fast as them while crossing the grounds...amazing!! We embarked on the next part of the journey, to the main base of Kalahatti. It was a roller coaster..climbing, holding tree branches for support, guarding against rough bushes and a real tour towards the top. I do not know how many mini breaks I took along this path, but it was worth everytime..I ran short of breath, thanks to my sedentary life style back at Bangalore..promised myself..I would work to keep fit. The murmur of the stream gradually and eventually magnified into the beautiful sound and we knew we have reached Kalahatti. There were huge boulders strewn and one by one all of us resigned to one or the other to savour up some rest and sunlight. We did a lot of photo session over here..I posed a lot and assured myself..it was worth the ascend to view such a picaresque bounty of nature..We experienced leisure at the base with another round of water bath and sun bath. Little did I know that we would pick up the most alien route to descend after this..
If I say most alien route..I can still see so many hands up in consent..slipping, falling, bruising, trembling..we underwent all and it was not only me..Jinu might have posted some pictures of sturdy travellers..but all that is showing up is not true, not at least for the descent from Kalahatti. But we revelled together and covered quite a distance in lesser time, thanks to the uncanny short cuts we took...Then it was a combination of plain walk and some slides that we reached to the starting point. Battered and hungry, we gorged on rice and watery sambar, hankered for a second piece of papad and had the most memorable lunch of our lives, the simplest and humblest way. It was time to bid goodbye to Kalahatti and we were driving to Kemmangundi now. Kemmangundi, the land of the red soil..this is what I heard from my team and after a short journey of less than an hour we arrived at Raj Bhawan where we were booked for the stay. A good round of tea and the next deadline of 5pm for sunset given, we headed to catch up on a little rest in our guest house rooms.
Sunset from Raja's Bhawan was worth every drop of sweat that might have dripped across our faces on that day. I have never witnessed such mesmerising playfulness of colours while sun bids goodbye for the day. Dusk set in and we were suddenly not so tired for the day. I bet the most beautiful set of pictures from the albums of all of us belong to sunset on 26th evening. Kushal pushing the sun towards Srini's mouth, Kushal as statue of liberty, Remo, Srini, Aneesha and the rest of us lapped on every drop of sunset happiness at that moment. Soon after it was dinner time and veg thali seemed to be the best food in the world by then. By the time we had finished, another deadline, next day morning 5.30am, sunrise from Z point. I did not get enough time to curse Jinu on that...rushed and retired to room..luckily could charge my cell and camera for the next day. Nobody could tell at that time if sleeping was important or resting our legs and backs were even more important. No point on debating that.
Jet set 5.30am next dawn, Jinu the human alarm knocked through our doors and we did not want to wake up for sure. Aneesha wasnt feeling all confident to go for it..she was given a dose of apple and there she was ready for the go..Hurriedly we readied up and the morning blanket of clouds was all set to embrace us. Briskly we reached the point to bless ourselves with the sunrise. Had we been even a little late, we would have missed it. For a while it was a hide and seek of the sun and then we finally caught good glimpse of it from different peaks of the Z point. This also consumed little bit more time than might have been thought of. So we returned back to guest house to fill ourselves with breakfast and then head towards Hebbe Falls...our last agenda of the tour.
After a verbal tug of war of starting to walk from there itself or to travel by TT to the farthest point where it can reach, we zeroed in on the latter, of course, I was the major factor voting for it. But could not reap much advantage from it, TT soon huddled and stopped and off we went towards the majestic sight of Hebbe. Through grasslands, burnt ashes, uneven rocky ground, tethering bushes and overhead sun making it difficult by the day we followed the trail lead by Jinu. He seemes to be vanished from time to time..I realized later on it was his usual way to search for a short cut to the ultimate destination. And what discoveries he made while on it!!! I descended in a tumbling fashion, all the while Veeru holding my hand and carrying my bag too. I was feeling as if I belong to a super heavy weight group of human being, forwarding each step was as heavy as the previous one. I wondered..have I expanded so much.......After a stark downhill and a gradual walk..we could hear the flow of the streams..there were 3...studded with small pebbles to moderately sized ones..we rolled up our tracks, folded our sleeves for one more time to wade through the clear water. I guess I was the last person from the team to reach the base of Hebbe. My feet were immensely paining by then, struck by pebbles so many times. So I decided to relax on the boulder lining for a while before plunging into the roaring water of the falls. It was astounding, tall, heavy and gorgeous. So I did not waste much time, quickly took some snaps and dipped myself into the water. I could soon join others in the game of splashing water at each other. Needless to say all handfuls were directed to me for most of the time. I was almost blinded by rushing water. Happy wanderers enjoyed solace in water.
Our return to the TT was the most clamouring one for me. All the while I felt I would collapse. Doses of electral finally helped me to complete the walk back. Climbs seemed to be never ending, common bends also seemed to be rebelling. I kept pushing myself..kept walking..Veeru showed me a distant pole at one point and said it ends there...with measured steps I followed him and thus could finally complete the loop. The smile of a wary but triumphant soldier was smeared on the face of everybody. We were a victorious troupe. We bid goodbye to Hebbe and our TT started to drive back. We had an early dinner at a Dhaba, relished the spicy curries and Naans. Reminisced all that have happened throughout the ridges and grooves of the journey and peacefully consumed the food. Since I had already accepted to do the write up, convoluted thoughts were making appearance in my mind. After a lot of tour and detour, dropping people to their respective locality, I was the 2nd last person left to be dropped at NGV. I felt like a satisfied trotter...brimming with stories to tell to my roommates..famished but still going great guns...Perhaps these 2 days have infused a different grade of power in me. I learnt so much from all you people...Jinu, Aneesha, Kushal, Kiran, Karthikeyan, Veeru, Srini, Sujeevan, Remo, Nitin, Meetu..the strength of sharing and caring and being together...We need this each instant of our lives..Hope to catch up with you all in some or the other sphere of life..Terrific team!

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Written by: Chandreyee
Event organized by:
Jinu John Image Galleries:Sujeevan, Srinivasan, Jinu


  1. Super cool ...I still remember each minute of our treknik...
    Chandrayee you scripted it very well

  2. It would have been an amazing trip... entire region is so pristine, calm and serene...loved it...