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June 8, 2011

Wyanad in the night


You enter Wyanad ususally to pass through it - to Cochin, to Calicut or to Southern Kerala. You hardly roll down the window when the clear sky becomes dark due to the madly dense canopy, you think about the impending vomit of your chidlren now that the hills are twisting, you do gaze at the fields and wonder about the greenery of God's Own COuntry. As you reach closer to the border of this hilly district, you will yourself to sleep as there are no longer any interesting buildings to watch and speculate the prices of, neither are their any towns to buy your regular snacks from. You invariably sleep and wake up at Mysore, smiling pleasantly at the noise of the Maharajah's bus stand and his palace that stands tall.


But my eyes pop open long long before I entered the land of the forests. I sit up in anticipation in the red and white KSRTC bus that does reek of vomit, but is regularly cleaned in the depots. I sit up and move over to the window to watch the spelendour of the hills and forest draping her modestly. I become a poet watching the clouds over Brahmagiri. I point out exactly to whichever part of me that is able to twist that if Brahmagiri is front, Chembra must be behind. I wonder and wonder and reach the forest.

It was about eight in the dusk when I drive into Wyanad through Gundlupet in Karnataka. The road was wide and empty except for a turboed KSRTC bus and the sights were a beauty. It was raining in the strange Karnataka sort of a way that makes you feel that any rain in this dry zone is inadequate yet if you step out you wet and drenched to the bones. It was raining and the road was shimmering and more than the rains, it was the thunder. In periodic intervals, it lighted upo the skies and made outlines turn to figures. A lady to the left, a giant tree straight ahead and a Pachyderm walking past. To see all this in a quite vehicle at an uneartly hour made me gush with feverish excitement.

It thundered more and the forests swayed. I was in Wyanad and was driving past the hope that sustains the hills and the surrounding plains, a Wyanad draped with Bamboo and grasses and shrubs, a Wyanad plentiful - the hope smiled and returned - the thunder just circled through forests forest's fargile shadow. I reached the checkpost..