A day away

Away we went for a day in the hills to clarify and restore; this record is a small gesture of affection for a very lovely place:

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Bheeman Falls was our destination.

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Drought had hardly touched the forest here; although the waterhole was a relief, the falls were dry:

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A group of young men soaked up the silence in the shade as we meandered over rocks now exposed by drought, admiring nature’s inspiring forms.

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There is a story that the mighty Bheema came here with some friends, they slept here under the shelter of the rock. Ever since something miraculous happens when you do something to the rock – the story goes . . . .Possibly I will get back to you soon with a coherent account of this myth.

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Back in the car park was where our day in the forest ended although we didn’t realise this at the time. A group of loosely acquainted Tamil men with most hospitable intentions decided to splash honour on our foreign faces and whisked us away to wait here and wait again there (virtually all day long) for a sumptuous meal on a metal table in the Block Development Board’s picturesque office; after which – greatly over-heated, we dashed back down the mountain before the sun set. But first I should mention another man in the car park whose job it was to fire small stones with nothing less than a sling-shot-bow at monkeys in Tamarind trees; this is marvellous, posed especially for you:

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And now for the hospitality. These goats will have to stand in place of the men in the car park since I did not photograph them – I took almost no notice of them, my friend nicely took over pleasantries while I marvelled at the sling-shot bow and odd chappals.

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The first photo of the men was at the first place we were told to wait while they went off to make arrangements about lunch. It’s the entrance to a Tourist Park where they thought we would be comfortable. And we were.

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We spent a lovely hour quality time chatting in the fun park before the cars belted to a halt in the earth piled at the gate and manoeuvre about face to take us back the way they’d come where we were disembarked hurriedly and escorted with big smiles to this room where we were to rest presumably:

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The surroundings were bleak and about as inviting as a deserted concentration camp nevertheless it was the Tourist Guest House so we discontinued wondering about staying overnight up there – to visit the famous Stellar Observatory for instance, as of yesterday prohibited for tourists due to Terrorism, it seemed on enquiry.

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So after more than another hour of quality time during which some good woman we never got to meet managed to prepare a huge meal for us and several men and at least one of those men’s families, we were courteously escorted through into the adjoining compound where some doors seemed silently, miraculously to open, welcoming us into the place where we were to be served food.

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