Write up from Masanamuthu
Have you ever realized that you eat more when mom feeding you by mixing rice & curry at her palm in our childhood? Why? Why do we eat lot when our friends sharing food with us? Anything that takes in with love, caring and affection is always having double value. Just imagine a situation where 30+ people sit together and have fun with lots of love and take eating as a job in mother nature's land. Nothing will remain in plate, stomach will be loaded with heavy food and your heart will be bumped with lots of fun and natural energy. This is what happened in CTC’s first foodie trek. WE emperor team thought to organize a foodie trek for a long time but somehow our addiction to hardcore trekking didn’t allow us to do it. We shared our idea to Peter at PX3 trek while eating rice + mambalam iyer’s sidedish restlessly for dinner, he should have thought we are eligible to organize the foodie trek and approved it politely. We got one week end free but only 4 days to go, there were lots of question asked ourself that will it be possible first ? how do we get advance payment ? Purchasing food items ? selection of menu ?. Finally sent out the invitation with grilled chicken pieces and few trekking photos. All were welcome, nobody got rejected. No conditions apply for eating. Now the preparation was ON at our regular tea shop by taking snacks, countless cup oftea,coffees.
Being last benchers at college days, we were happy to do last minute planning and executing it properly. yes, No wonder we started buying food items by 2 pm for the trek journey which starts by 5pm. Myself,bharani was busy in buying charcoals for dinner – barbequechicken. Senthil,Arun got busy in loading food items into boxes and making 6 feet bill from a super market. Bala got busy in saying lies to his project manager and escaping from official duties. Keep running and riding bikes towards each chicken shops and got 15kgs of chicken[ Pray all the hen’s soul goes rest in peace ] . We quickly prepared masala by adding curdand dipping chicken into it and finally loaded the chicken masala mix into car [ All damages to bharni’s room kitchen ]. Our Main chef Arun started his duty well from here. Between, we went to regular bakery where we ordered chips, he was so happy that everytime i purchase items from him and I was happy personally as I have been given every time handful chips,pagoda to eat at delivery [ ahhhha..ahhha]. Thanks CTC for the social esteem. ‘Marathon’ Guna was called to come our area to take some load into his car as it was really huge load which can’t be loaded into Arun’s car alone, he was kind enough to do any help. I got into his car with white skin girls ‘Nanna’ , ‘Luu’ and started the co-ordination from tidel park & Guindy.
Thanks to Pickup point co-ordinators Hassan,Mari & Anand who did their job timely. Another challenging task was few car owner’s drop-outs at last minute and one car got some trouble at koyamedu unfortunately which added pressure on my shoulder. Chennai traffic also tested our patience where we couldn’t find any place to park our car easily. Rohini theatre was the last hoping point which was initially assumed to have less terrific but no luck there too. The instruction was clear, every vehicle should be loaded with people and no lead or sweep car concept here and everybody gets out of this c(sh)ity and give us a call. What a traffic jam? , It came to know that was a auspicious day for marriage so all the marriage hall was blocked and no wonder the roads also blocked nearby the halls.
Chella sir & Krithish ( 4th std ‘D’ sec) and Krishna joined the party in mathuravayil . We needed one more bike to accommodate 1 guy as arun’s car couldn’t take 5 guys due to huge load of food items in seats. so he stopped the car and ran back 1 kilo meter to his house and took his bike with pillion rider ‘Mari’ but reached Thiruvalluvar byepass road first after overtaking all the vehicles .Bharani took driver’s seat in our car.The moment I saw pillion rider, I could sense his mind voice why the hell car owner got dropped out. Thanks Arun to give him fun,thrilling ride and Thanks to other three bikers who took the ride to Nagala. Anyway it was not a smooth beginning at last. All the credit goes to Chennai traffic management system and Metro projects. Finally we managed to escape from the city with the evidence of fresh wind which touched the body and said welcome guys,you started coming towards real world from your virtual world such as facebook,internet and bloody television. While vehicle’s tyre rolled towards oothukootai,we rolled back our past trek experience and shared funny moments among us. Ravi recounted his south Africa trek memories with us. Now the time is 11.00 pm, all the souls were waiting for dinner assuming we were going to take dinner at road side shop but most of us didn’t know that we got our chicken sleeping inmasala inside our car. No stop at oothukottai .every car,bike were rushed to Nagala base camp site without taking single tea or bun.
Two more bikers who came individually also joined with us and all the vehicle started paying entrance fees at the village which believed to go to a temple welfare but didn’t see any improvement in any temple or in the village for the last one year. It was fun to me to ride CBR bike in base trail road with arun and deciding,swapping the menu for dinner as it got late. The moment vehicles parked in the base camp, charcoal were spread, campers were set fire and the preparation was on with full swing to park the chickens in the grill to get the tasty Emperor’s barbeque chicken. First round of chicken was getting ready with great volunteers senthil,bala,Mari,Vikram,
Prasana,Ram mohan and many [ Excuse me for the missed names ] who covered the grill with applying oil,rolling over the piece and made sure no fire was burn but heat spread over it. Vegetarians made themselves busy in makingpanner by putting it inside paper and placed it in the grill, It was collaboration of non veg & veg at the same grill but luckily the paper covered on the paneer would ensure that it will turn back as veg at last. Another fire was set and big cooking pot was placed with water to prepare tomato soup, everybody started asking me why this much big pot for soup? but they didn’t realize no soup was left on the pot later. Hungry birds swallowed it. The soup became starter for the dinner to folks. Meanwhile group of people was led by Hassan to fight and show their muscle power with a tree to get the dry wood in order to put a nice camp fire not do fire the whole night but to capture few snaps in front of it. Group of hungry souls kept watching the chicken pieces,
I’m sorry to mention the name here Avai,Priya,Gomathi and Fathima. It was totally fun to see all the guys were busy in cooking chicken but girls were busy in watching it. They could have thought no roles to play but i recommend the boys to get ready for the next generation life style. One more fire was set to prepare yummy halwa which was led by Sridhar & Narmatha. They played with the recipes and finally prepared it after a long time. Wowww. what a taste machan. Thanks for the surprise sweet halwa Sridhar. Tummies was filled with yummies. Now the fire was heavily ON not only in the vessal but also in everybody eagle’s eyes to get the first set of chicken pieces from the grill. Some eagles were already wandering near the grill to get the pieces into their bowl [Hassan,Alwin Are you? ] Once first round was ready, everybody were fighting and sharing the chicken each other and filled their stomach. i didn’t count the round but 15kg of chicken should have taken nearly 10+ rounds that took around 1:30 am to get it completed everything. Kanna sir who slept was awaken to get last round of chicken. Thanks Nidhi who became expert in checking the chicken cooked properly or not. We never put full stop to eating but 4 or 5 chicken pieces were left in the grill which was packed later and put inside a pot for next day’s breakfast. Now the whole CTC family’s dinner feast got completed successfully and started sleeping on the tarp. Sheets. I still wonder how CTC got the magic of making strangers as friends in span of 3 to 4 hours and made them to eat in same plate with sharing and love. Referring to my first page, there is always fun in eating with friends with no conditions
It is one day trek,good to spend much time inside forest rather than sleeping inside mats in base trail. All the lazy souls were put into active mode by 6:30 am from hibernation mode. We didn’t want any participant asking “Thambi, Tea ennum varala” . so Pot with full of water was put in fire. milk powder,sugar brought near the pot but came to know that we missed to buy tea powder. I’m still proud to say last benchers [ ahhha.ahha] anyway I was happy because I got another chance of riding CBR to village to buy tea powder. Hot morning teawas ready like five star hotel style where you need to add sugar,milk yourselves. This can be served countless bowl and rusk packets also added taste. Meanwhile Arun & guna went to buy mutton to the village, all goat roaming around might have scared about CTC Emperors. Senthil sardhar ji with great volunteers was quick in cooking chappathis from ready to cook packets, Though it became ‘ready to eat’ now,we packed it well and started trekking with leading senthil & sweeping bala. Freshers could have excited about walk towards the forest. Myself,kali,mari and group of 5 guys were waiting for chopped mutton to come,After sometime we also trekked towards mountain which always give us happy moments and gave me true friends personally to my life through CTC.
Legs moved with Expecting Lot more in adding up friends through ‘making friends machine - CTC’. I didn’t mean the friends getting added friends in facebook, meant the friends will be friends though facebook is not in use. Team was enjoying in 2nd pool with fresh water and chilled friends. No need to explain its beauty, now Nagala itself would be bored about prising her. Little kid didn’t want to enjoy the water as he got enough enjoyment from his mobile games there. Time for breaking fast [ Is it ? appam chicken till 1o night ] Modern bread,chappathi with stermberry,mixed fruit jam and condensed milk cream were came out from volunteers who carried common food items. Foreign girls should be very happy now. Guys,Guys. come on to take breakfast but no response,everybody were busy in playing with water finally managed to come outside after dipping into water and got busy in dippingmilkmade cream into bread. I felt extra taste when pulling a piece of designed bread with jam from friend’s hand and had a little fight with few folks to safe guard my items. Meanwhile didn’t stop cracking jokes but everybody’s pronunciation was like ‘old actor karthick’ as mouth got struck with full of bread. Yesterday’s chicken pieces which was left also served here.
Not at all formal breakfast session, No table No Manners, Everybody enjoyed the food with fun. We spent around 2 hours in the same pool which is non-swimmers friendly pool. We did all fun activity there by playing water ball game. Please don’t ask me this game rules ] I felt sorry to ‘Messi’ Chella sir who got bad injury in his leg while trying to put goal. We winded up from there and started to 3rd pool where we planned to stay and cook our lunch. Few Organizer went early there with few people to make food preparation ready. It was not a time consuming process to reach 3rd pool where freshers amazed with seeing this for first time and non-swimmers who played foot ball in 2nd pool made 10 steps back. Time was around 11:30 am, lunch should be ready at least 1:30. so what are all the items ? Emperor special yummy briyani with Mutton gravy for Non vegterians, Briyani + potato fry for vegtrians, 2kg of chips,pakota each for both but first preference to Vegtrian folks. Collection of dry wood was in full swing and cooking vessal were put with the design whatever chef Arun expects.
Chef – Arun & co team [ Behaving like Strict police officer while cooking ]
Fire team – Bala,Senthil,vikram [ Theeya vela seiyanum nalla thambi ]
Veg.chopping – Chella,Anand & co team [ Usual job what he does in his house, thanks to Mrs.Chella ]
chopping girls– Priya & co team [ Great to see many young girl volunteers for the first time in my experience. Thanks team ]
wood collection – Sathish team [ Living veerappans ]
Cleaning – Sankar,Anandan & team [ Enna detergent ]
Tasting team - ??? Many volunteers actually [ Lakaada pandikala ] .
photography – ravi,santhosh & co team [ They should have scolded us in a very bad language for the torture ]
swimming with tube – Bharani & team [ ahhaaa, Million years to come to learn swimming ]
swimming without tube – Guna & team [ Proud to be in this team, 3rd pool is best one to swimmers ]
Diving – Ram mohan,Prasana & co team [ Tireless guys who did monkey job and irritated camera men enough to capture their dive]
Swimming with tube mission to cross 3rd pool – Avai,Fathima team [ They are looking for a coaching class to swim with tubes, please let them know if you guys find any ] Ok, Enough damage but i will highly appreciate them to break the barriers of a usual city girls.
English coaching class – Nanna,Luu
Fake cooking team – ???? - The guys who surrounded pot ,set up fire while camera men passes by there [ Will be nominated for Oscar awards next time. Guys, please don’t count me in this dept ]
Visit to mini courtullam – Masu & team, Group of 15 people wanted to create extra space on their stomach by doing extra trekking also wanted to enjoy at falls at Nagala
Naughty team – Krishthish 4th std & Vikram team
Swimming Learners – Hassan & team [ Brave souls ]
Idle team – Nobody I guess....Great guys.
Pool watch man – Mari & team [ CTC Emperors always pays high attention in monitoring guys in water bodies to make sure safe joy, Kudos Super swimmers ]
Masu [ Its me ] , This is great idea to do recounting of 3 hours like the above one instead of mentioning every moments by your bad English, great escape readers. This is what we actually enjoyed; we chose their department and had a great time. Once the lunch was ready, no shout was given to guys to come with bowl/plates but guys politely formed circular queue around the briyani vessel. Vegetarians were given preference to get extra chips,pakota , guys were busy to get briyani , filling up mutton gravy and put desired design in plates. Ultra fast in eating, no fun, no jokes, didn’t open mouth except for eating during that time. The whole eatable items got finished in span of 30 minutes, we were about 6 guys who took a single big plate and ate in our usual rajkiran style. We didn’t forget to take 2nd round too. Altogether, This was a great lunch feast with CTC. What a tasty briyani ? and no words to explain the mutton taste. All restaurants are really cheating us by getting huge money. Emperors got side business to open up a restaurant. I can call it as “Dining Like Alexander the Great” . Guys were tired after a heavy meal so relaxed for about 30 minutes and somebody had a power nap unable to control sleeping.
We finally decided to go back to base camp, slowly moved from 3rd pool after cleaning up the vessel and collected garbage without leaving single plastics packets. Once we reached the cave temple, I stopped all the guys to gather and planned to a mission to revive nature’s value there. We heard from previous trek people that the cave temple was completely became dirty by throwing plastics cups, plates which was served during shiva rathiri celebration so we brought 30+ reusable cloves that used Costal clean up mission but we had doubt that how can we covey the people to do the cleanup there while mentioning it as foodie trek. We used to say ‘like minded people’ gathering in CTC, everybody does have same mind of set of trekking, doing physical activity but also nature lovers importantly. I brought out gloves from my bag and started my speech to request the guys to be part of clean up mission [ No compulsion, only volunteering ] but nobody respected my speech. Yes, everybody scattered before I finish my speech to collect the garbage. It was a great moment for me. 30 minutes of Robo job from humans in cleanup is more than enough to collect plastics wastage that may weight about 25+kg I guess. There were no enough plastics bags to carry the dump to base camp. Guys used a trick by pulling plastic plates in lengthy sticks and kept with us like jay hanuman. Everybody got stick to carry the plastics plates, other wastes got loaded into individual carry bags.
It was so clean and looking beautiful once the plastics vanished. My heartfelt thanks to all volunteers [ Volunteers = No of participants in the trek ],proud of this team and happy that we joined in this trek together. It is proved that we were not only in kola very eaters but also caring for nature amidst of eating heavily. It was great to see inspirational father Chella who guided his 9yr old son to collect the garbage. This kind of clean up should allow his generation to enjoy the nature whatever we had. It can not be easily explained as waste plate, It had left food with fungus and bad smell from each plate. Thanks again guys who did the job with smiling face without considering anything.
We all slowly moved to base camp by holding wastage in our hand and also carrying good memories in our heart. I don’t know why soft drink is must dish after a heavy non veg meal but anyway, No other go though we knew that it is not good for health. we asked Krishna & mari to get chilled soft drinks from village to all fellow trekkers, they became wholesale customer in a small retail shop there. Hold on, please don’t assume that my write up is nearing climax as far as food item are concerned. Chella sir bought & brought all the food equipments such as onions,tomatos,creams & bread to prepare bread sandwiches and preparation was ON, Sankar : Don’t you get tired in volunteering activity ? .
This was something he brought from his own cost to contribute something to foodie trek. As an accountant, i asked him politely please let me know the cost so that i can reimburse back to you. He simply rejected an indirectly told me “Boss, currencies can’t counted for love”. Thanks chella sir. Between, Self introduction round was started in emperor style and it happened to know each other by eating bread sandwiches and cool drinks. [ Non stop eating throughout the day ] We all departed from there and stopped in tea shop for last meet up point to get facebook contacts and to say bye with the promise of “will meet in future treks”. No CTC trip would not be coming to an end without a group photo. As a whole, It was a great trip with lots of fun and heavy food, unlimited eating. Thanks readers.