June 12, 2006


Scratch. Scratch.

Must be a wild cat or something. It was a little after 3 AM.

Scratch. Scratch. Louder this time followed by a definitely human cry, "Help!"

I tried to locate the zipped door of our tent and opened it frantically.

V~ stood outside holding an umbrella in the pouring rain, shivering. He must have caught the look of panic on my face or maybe he realized he shouldn't have exactly said, "Help!", anyway, he added, "Our tent collapsed in the rain. But no problem, I just need a car key so we can sleep in the car, you guys go back to sleep!"


Anyway, our camping trip was fun, the rain made it more "adventurous" as our local Tarzan claimed. Few observations/thoughts/random musings follow:

  • We are possibly the only bunch of people that cooked Suda suda alu + onion curry with lotsa green chillies, channa + tomatoes + masala + lotsa chilies curry with gravy (thanks to Sb~) for a "light" dinner at our campsite. And to add variety, we had sev puri and bhel puri in the morning (thanks to p&b) and sandwiches and hot coffee the next morning.

    Making each cup of coffee was a kind of elaborate procedure (devised by k), first he would mix milk, coffee and sugar in a plastic cup and place it in the microwave, set it to 2 minutes, approximately 1.5 minutes he would come back and notice that the plastic cup has lost its delicate balance and the coffee is now getting directly heated in the microwave and then we would proceed to step 2 - the cleaning stage. In this stage, a few other unfortunate souls will join him to clean the microwave plate which is now swimming in a rich almost-coffeeish liquid. Then k would fill in another plastic cup with milk, coffee and sugar and this time make sure it is placed exactly in the center and standing straight inside the microwave. And viola, a hot cup of coffee is ready in exactly 4.5 minutes!

  • P~b rocked with the grill! He managed to make 3 tortillas/minute, he made a total of 24 tortillas for the twelve of us. His grilled potatoes (I helped, I helped! Yay!) were a big hit too!

  • Black bears were a popular conversation topic at the campsite. Although we couldn’t reach a consensus on 1) whether we should play dead 2) make a lot of noise 3) run away 4) attack, if a black bear drops by.

  • K and ANM were absolutely fascinated by the whole fire bit. They had the most fun buying the logs of fire, adding coal, coal starter, lighting it up and giving the camp fire company until it died. ANM’s word of the day, “ember” was a big hit at our campsite.

  • I was glad that I was not the only one that prayed at night when we saw one lightning after another flash outside our tent. Oh and the gentle pitter-patter of rain drops can sound so much louder when you are sleeping inside a tent in the middle of nowhere. It was a scary but thrilling experience, distant and then not-so-distant sounds of thunder, flashes of lightening, a slightly leaking tent and me. Well, there were seven other people in the tent, but you get my point.

  • We had several interesting discussions/arguments inspired by let’s say nature…one of which was, are the guys who got a campsite allocated right outside the rest rooms lucky or not? Since the restrooms were really clean and smelled great, we decided they were lucky. P~ and I decided guys were luckier than girls when it came down to basics. While we drove to the restroom from the campsite twice a day, they just picked a tree and they were all set.

  • ANM decided at 1.30 AM Saturday night that it was way too scary to drive back alone in the night. I totally agree. We discussed what we would do if we were left alone in the dark, I figured I would just knock (err...scratch?) at the nearest tent, asking for help (and get shot for it probably)!

  • I heard the sound of waves splashing against the shore, after a really long time.

  • 6 cups of rice is too much when you are also making 24 tortillas and alu curry and chickpeas curry with lotsa green chillies. Yes, it’s a lot even if you are having a second serving of rice with butter milk and manga thokku pickle.


RT said...

btw where did u go camping? or did i miss that?

A. Noname Moose said...

K and ANM were absolutely fascinated by the whole fire bit.

I guess I was... to not have noticed that someone was busy snapping away that picture. *chuckle*

Muthukumar Puranam said...

thanks for that volley ball photo..I remeber that one I sent from far outside to "B", avan netla adichittan. But think best part was VB..awesome.

Nikhil said...

Ramya - did kamal get crushed burger patties this time too? if not - he has improved! our last "camping" trip that we had - kamal managed to get crushed boca burger patties... and because of that some 5-6 of us had to stay hungry for QUITE some time :)

Zeppelin said...

hmmm...*sigh*... reminds me of the days when I was a kid and how our family went to the beaches near neelankarai, or mahabalipuram, after a couple of days' and nights' preparation complete with lunch and snacks, and even coffee in those butterfly stainless steel flasks..

sambar/puli/thenga/lemon saadham were among the choices... well, actually two of the above.. :) along with thair saadham, with some vegetables in it.. like shredded carrot, green chillies, ginger, etc. and manga/thakkali thokku to go with it.. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......all this food would be packed in separate packets mostly based on head count...and there would also be water brought in cans, and plates and tumblers... man ! the whole know what i mean ;)

and once the whole family reached the beach, we would all play in the water for a little bit, and then we would have to eat... hungry or not.... :) so, the elders would then spread a bedsheet or two which they so intelligently brought along, otherwise we would have to sit on the slightly damp sand.. and then we would all eat and play a little more in the beach and by time it is late afternoon....well.. time to go home.... :))

**sigh**...those were the days... hmmm.. :)

Subha said...

And I don't deserve any mention! :((

Anonymous said...

ramya, a very cool(pun intended coz of rains:)) & crispy narration of the event:). You actually took all of us to the venue:). It's so thrilling:). A nice piece!!. Btw, nice to have taught the art of coffee making twice:).

dinesh said...

Must have been great fun ! I know I should have made it..and I really wanted to come too..Just didn't work out.

This whole weekend was spent wishing I was with you guys in the camp.. :(

Prabhu said...

And I didnt get mentioned too :(

RS said...

rt - Daniel Boone National Forest, just an hour's drive from Lex :)

ANM - :p

pb - You are welcome :)

nikhil - Thankfully nope :) Thanks for the hint, I'll tell K no more crushed burger patties :p

arun - nice write up :)

Those were indeed the days :) (we sound like 80 year olds :)

subha, prabhu - VIP paer ellam mention pannanumana? Makkal kettu kettu terunjupaanga :p

anon - :)

dinesh - dude, you have to make it to our next trip!

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