Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
One key incident that stands out in my memory is the Ooty IV we went in December in our third year. We were supposed to go to a protein factory in Ooty and then ACC in Madhukarai, Coimbatore. We had arranged for stay at a friend’s guest house in Parsen’s Valley. We took the wrong direction and got lost in Ooty after 5 PM. Post 5 PM, it was sheer darkness, obviously it was December. It was the age when limited people had cell phones and no cell phone would pick signal at that height. Couple of guys used their cell phone lights and traced the road down until they got signal and contacted the guest house that we had arranged.
Our friend’s father owned the place and he guided us in the right direction. We spotted a mad guest house where there was only one scary watchman. We had to take a rest room so we dared to talk to him and got the permission. It was 12 midnight when we slowly reached the place from where we had to climb to the guest house. It was raining and we had to carry our bags as well. There was very little moon light. Couple of the guest house watchmen brought us lanterns. All 41 of us plus 2 staff formed a human chain and climbed.
The path was full of growth, ups, downs, pot holes and all of that. It was slippery too. With the person in the front and couple of us shouting instructions like “Hole”, “Be careful”, etc, we finally managed to climb the path and reach the guest house, soaked to the last cloth. They had no food as we were very late but knocked up some quick thing to eat. We ate and we hit the bed. When we woke the next morning, the bus driver had brought the bus up. It was while going down in the bus that we realized how steep the path we had climbed up was. One slight mishap and most of us would have fallen off the edges or hit something hard.
It was the urgency of the moment, the ignorance about the terrain and to an extent the trust we had in each other that made us climb that path that day.
The rest of the tour was less eventful – we did visit the factories but spent limited time there and tried to maximize the fun.