On a certain Saturday, the Arien got particularly bugged with staying at home and catching romcoms (Romantic Comedies). While I was trying to analyze the various places to visit and how loong we have to drive, I realized that the Arien was ready. He had decided to revisit Dodda Aladha mara (Dodda (big) Aladha (Banyan) and mara (Tree)). Having visited the place loong looong ago, I could not recollect much of the place. I did recall that it was a loooong drive past Kengeri on the Mysore road and also that we must carry our own food stuff. It was when we were ready to leave that I remembered that there was a Country Club pretty close to that location where we had had lunch. I also recalled tht the Arien had enjoyed the food. Well, thts def two birds with one stone 😀
It was a looong drive on a saturday when almost all roads lead to Mysore. However, we were starting pretty late n so we hoped there won’t b an onslaught of vehicles travelling in the same direction. There were quite a few vehicles travelling in the same direction and the Arien insisted on driving like he was part of a F1 race on an obstacle course. It was after we turned right past the Raja Rajeshwari Dental College (I think), he slowed down with a naughty grin saying “Wow!! It has been sooo long since I drove like tht.” I did not-rather-cud not say a word. The entire drive had terrified me. I was wondering if it was age sneaking up on me or if it was the reckless driving on the Arien’s part tht had terrified me.
The Arien drove to the Country Club and we were pretty surprised to see tht the place had changed quite a bit. The place was crowded with 20somethings – mostly boys – it was workshop day ‘cos they were all dressed in their conductor outfit (brown shirt – brown trousers) and they were making quite a racket. We left shortly after having a late lunch and I was largely calmed down, towards the Dodda Aladha Mara. The road towards the Big Banyan Tree was dotted with nurseries on both sides. This was def a new development. Each nursery was trying to outshine the others with their presentation of flowers and we were tempted to buy sm plants for our home. However, we did not yield to the temptation 🙂
We reached BBT shortly afterward and walked in. It looked awesome with the sun’s rays coming through the various banyan branches which almost look like individual trees. The Arien informed me tht the Banyan Tree was 400 years old and the entire tree was supposed to cover 3 acres of land. I reminded him tht this was a revisit n he had told me this the last time we came 😀 Cheap Thrills.
We walked arnd – 3 acres did not seem much – maybe they had trimmed the tree a bit – or maybe on a revisit things don’t seem as big or as awesome. Hmmmm… After walking along the path created and disturbing lotsa couples who were on their rendezvous, we had had enuf of it. We walked out and tried to fend off the hawkers who were keen on selling us their mangoes n beggars who were keen on collecting sm money. It was a warm day and the Arien was tempted to have cucumbers and so we went ahead against my better judgement. It was indeed nice. We were ready to return home when the Arien told me tht there was a dam further on and lets go there. Of course, he was not asking me – he was telling me 🙂 I had no issues b’cos I suddenly felt tht the BBT was not as gr8 as I thot it wud be.
We also see the ISRO Moon Mission Control room. The Satellite looks pretty impressive and can be seen frm far. In fact, we attempted taking many shots until we realized that we had to pass the ISRO Moon Mission Control Room to reach the Dam. I was actually pretty surprised to see it as I was completely unaware of it but looks like most ppl in B’lore are totally aware of it. I really must read a newspaper other than TOI. SERIOUSLY!!
The road is pretty bad after this. In fact, I actually thought we had lost our way. If it were not for the villagers who told us that we were on the right track – I wud have convinced the Arien to go bk by telling him tht the car was hurting 😛 It was while we kept going forward that I saw an amazing field full of yellow flowers and was reminded of the sunflower field we saw on our way to Maidenahalli. I insisted that we have a pic of this as well and so we did.
The first view of the Manchinabelai dam was almost breathtaking. I was not even aware of such a place – I recall having cm till here in my earlier visit but we were told tht the dam was closed n we headed bk. This time we went on a different route. The Arien was busy shooting birds. I was observing the surrounding area – no other person in sight – the late afternoon sun’s rays on the water produced a calming effect and the dam seemed far far away. As we moved closer to the dam, we noticed tht a drunkard was lying nearby. Seeing him reminded me of the zillion warning signs: “Beware of thieves – Do not go to lonely places – Travel in a group etc. etc.” I worried tht he wud suddenly wake up and….. I cud not complete the sentence in my head so I urged the Arien to leave as soon as poss. The Arien agreed and we left after he shot sm more snaps of birds that were flying away. After we moved away from the dam, I felt a lot calmer and teased the Arien ’bout his pics 🙂 Not surprisingly, most of the snaps were good.
As we were moving towards Bengaluru, we passed a sugarcane vendor, near the aforementioned Dental college. The Arien instantly stopped n insisted on having his fill. I get absolutely worried ’bout consuming anything frm roadside stalls where the water is suspect – the Arien has no such qualms and so there we were standing on the side of the road while the Arien had his fill. I think I was more concerned ’bout who wud see us here and report it bk to my family. I wud recieve lectures for years on end. I was looking arnd – hoping no one whom we knew wud drive past – it was way off but still I was nervous. The Arien asks me to try it – he smhw manages to convince me and soon I am having a cup – of course I am still looking all arnd. I still remember how wen a friend convinced me to have Paani Puri from a roadside vendor in Mumbai, I did and fell so badly sick that I cud get to work only after 4 whole days. Knowing my history, I shd not have had this drink – but I did. And for once, I did not fall sick after this episode 😀 We hit peak hour traffic on our return and it was pretty late when we reached home. However, it was a fun half-day we had after a loooong time.