Musings from Urumbikkara
Only thick mist all around us which appeared to thicken overtime. We are on top of Urumbikkara mountain ! Intermediate drizzles. Cold that just creeps into dress. Fog that creates a white voidness. At times wind wound sweep out mists giving a dazzling greenery of the valley. River, cotton like clouds, green carpeted hills & a couple of settlements at the bottom. Like Enthiyaar & Mundakkayam, not far is Vagamon hill ranges. On the heights, in a container of rocks we decided to halt. The whole beauty of Urumbikkara is an experience here. Beneath the sky, among the clouds & upon the hill top!
A group of people who likes the thoughts which define the very meaning of life, art, literature & music is getting formed at Kottayam. A group of young clergymen is behind it. This movement has also the whole hearted support of thinker & writer Dr.K.M.Georgeachan. The name of this un-announced group is, “A little time in the verandah”. This started in the music of Shahabas Aman. A couple of friends in this group are the people in this trip to Urumbikkara. They decided to add me to this journey. And to volunteer this event a couple of workers at Planet green from Enthayaar.
Manoj, Bino & Shino can reach Enthayaar within half an hour from Mundakkayam through Kootikkal. From here there is a way through mountains to Urumbikkara. Only a jeep can pass through such a treacherous path covered with round big rocks & steep Mountain side roads. It literally is an adventurous ride. It is a one-and-a-half hour long body rocking trip. If without jeep, one can trek the mountains from Enthayaar & reach the heights of Urumbikkara. Hence a walk in the rain & trekking in monsoon! Most of the travellers took the walk along the mountains. Though the monsoon clouds hide themselves somewhere, on the day this little trip of ours started, the clouds began to emerge back from their hideouts it seems to the top of Urumbikkara.
A thunder just cracked somewhere behind the mountains! The coolness of rain & the greenery of the mountain made us forget the fatigue of us all. The rain just flows in through trickling drops. In the valleys, the rain is continuing its dance swaying in all possible directions. The clouds gets swept towards the mountain sides. And the temporary blindness created by the fog. Let me tell you, the trek to Urumbikkara is not another walk in the park. In a place on the heights there is a basin called “Madhaamakulam” (the pond of the foreigner). Like a mausoleum of history, there is the bungalow of Murfy the foreigner. In the hillside there is a rocky structure that looks like the bosom of a woman called the “Irumulachikallu”. There is a small temple just beneath this structure. After passing beside the Irumulachikallu we arrrived at a front of the mountain. A sky that extends to infinity, the twisting & turning valleys & the travelling clouds. We found a place with rocks a couple of grassy cussions where we decided to set a camp.
While getting off for the journey the intention was not to conquer the mountains like a brave warrior, rather it was to breathe in the fresh air & get inside the light of the land deep within. To enjoy the swaying of the rain & fog through a meditative pose. From the hilltops the rain is indeed a spectacle to watch. We can see the advancement of the rain through the valleys & after the drizzle, the valleys look fresh like just after a quick shower! Cinema, literature, music, the mist & the rain started to descend slowly upon the travellers. Upon a mat, K.M.Georgeachan started to meditate. Slowly but steadily the blanket of the night began to cover the skies of Urumbikkara. The shadows of the mountains came searching for us. Using the twigs & wood we collected from the valley, we made a fire & having black coffee & black tea, we enjoyed its warmth.
Just like a night in old ages, we all sat around the fire. Travellers started to share their experiences. The wise words in the talk of Mr.Georgeachan shone brightly even in the night. I shared a poem about “Tibetan Nadodi” which was written on an experience from a trip to Kailasa. It was a poem on a Tibetan Gypsy who didn’t see trees. A memoire to the extinct Tibetan culture! A thought about green earth flashes in my mind while standing upon the Greenery of the hills, mountains & forest. The discussion about experiences kept on till late night. All of us ate the food which was pre-packed while at it. Manoj shared an experience about sighting a tiger here at night before.
Thanks to him after that everyone was alert about even the slightest of sounds. At times when the mist lifts up, we can see the lights from the settlements in the valley. The gushing sound of wind in the pitch black darkness of the night. As soon as we started to hear the starting of rain from a distance, we decided to retreat to our tents & dive into the blankets. The opera created by rain upon the tent. The rain didn’t have any intention of stopping. Darkness & sleep. As i came out of the tent the other day morning to see the sunrise, there was still a small drizzle & chillness, my heart was getting filled with 1000 such sunrises. Timely stares of the sun which penetrates the clouds.
“A little time in the verandah” guided us to this blissful land created by nature. Without the cheers of travellers, the calm, awesome mountains & sky of Urumbikkara.
Translated by K.Vishnu Prasad