Oct 22, 2019

October 22, 2019

Kodaikanal and Magic Mushroom

It’s 8 pm in the evening, received an mail from my company with good news. They sanctioned the request for my transfer to Kerala. After getting a break up with her, I've made a transfer request to hometown and now it's time to explore my hometown. I packed my dress & booked a taxi to Shanthi Nagar Bus Station. While moving to the bus station, I thought of having a fresh start and felt to commit a trip alone.

On my engineering days, I heard a lot about Kodaikanal and its beauty. We friends planned many times to get there and enjoy the climate, food, and the very special Magic Mushroom. Due to so many reasons, we couldn’t make it out. So I thought it was the right time to go.

Reached to the Bus Station and enquired at the Information desk. I came to know that there was no direct bus to Kodaikanal. Waited for half an hour, saw a Karnataka State bus which was going via Coimbatore. I inquired about the ticket availability, but the bus was found to be full and I requested the conductor, anyhow provide a seat for me.While I offered him an extra 300 rupees for over the ticket. He offered a space along with him and the bus started moving.

The bus moved out from Bangalore and I was able to feel the difference in breathing. Amidst my journey through the forest, happened with an issue for bus. There is an issue with the bus tyre and conductor requested everyone stay back for some time outside the bus. Well, I tried to do my best along with the conductor to solve the issue happened with bus. The Bus started moving again and the conductor really appreciated me for my support we started interacting. I came to know that he is Mr. Ramanujan from Tumkur.

It's past 1 Am in the morning, the bus Stopped in a hub for having a refreshment. People moved out of Bus to have food and for refreshment. I had only 15 rupees in my wallet and the rest of the money in my ATM card and the place looks like a remote village. I was hungry but I went and bought a cigarette. I enquired about the ATM to the Ramanujan and he said it will not be available here. He offered me a cup of tea and a pack of biscuits. I think he understood my situation and I happily accepted it, because I'm a bit hungry. After some time, the Bus started moving, I can see lots of hut-like houses near the roadside and so many people are sleeping out on the streets. I felt like, how lucky I am.

The driver slowly started increasing the accelerator. I and Ramanujan started our interactions and came to know that, at the age of 21, his father died due to some heart problems. Ramanujan’s father died during his service period, concerning the same, Karnataka government transferred the job authorization to son Ramanujan. Thereafter the responsibility of Ramanujan's family is upon his head. I also narrated the reason behind my Kodaikanal trip to him.

It's 8.10 AM in the morning, the bus reached Coimbatore main station. Found an ATM counter near me and withdraw some money. When i stepped down from there, Ramanujan was waiting for me outside. I felt surprised. !! He invited me to take a fresh up from his cottage near to the bus station, but I planned to reach Kodaikanal by noon. So happily rejected it and we both said Goodbye. The journey along with Ramanujan really made some relief to my mind.

I started my journey towards Kodaikanal by picking a direct bus from Coimbatore. But, the direct bus is from the Ukkadam bus station. To reach soon, as I'm not aware of the route, so I was forced to pick an autorickshaw towards Ukkadam Bus Station. I reached there in a few minutes and enquired at the information department concerning the bus time. They said; there is a straight bus from Coimbatore to Kodaikanal at 9:15 AM. I felt happy. πŸ˜€ It’s only 8.50 AM, I have 20 -25 minutes in my hand. I took a quick refreshment from the bus station itself and had breakfast from the nearby hotel.
I can see that a bus with fully found to rush coming towards me. The conductor is shouting and saying " Pollachi Palani Kodaikanal" " Pollachi Palani Kodaikanal" " Pollachi Palani Kodaikanal" and I can see the bus was surrounded by many people, Somehow I managed to get a seat on the bus. - Feeling weird. πŸ˜₯

I have an aim and I'm focussing on my destination, not how it at the journey. The bus moved from Coimbatore. Thank god, I got a window seat, after a few minutes. Like Ramanujan, here i got a new company. There I found an old man sitting near me. His name is Selvam and he is from Tirupur and he was going to Palani as a part of offering his hair to lord Palani Murugan. People in these areas are more Orthodox and I've heard regarding it, during my childhood days from my Dad. This kind of people will give anything for getting the attention of a god. I don’t like this kind of attitude and am not interested in talking with these kinds of people because I believe in Communism and I became an atheist and I admit the same in my life.

The bus reached Palani. There is 15-minute halt over here. I felt like very bad once I stepped down at Palani. the culture, beliefs, the attitude of people and what they followed over there is stodgy to me. As you can see over here and there with nandhi mezhugu culture followed I felt very bad about it. I ran to the bus - closed my window and took a nap. I felt really tired and I fall asleep and didn't check whether the bus started from Palani or not.

It is almost evening, and I awakened, the bus was approaching to Kodaikanal. I was a bit sad since I missed the journey through Ghat. I reached Kodaikanal at 5 in the evening. I was able to feel the cold climate of Kodaikanal. I went to a small shop and ordered a cup of tea and a cigarette. From there I saw a guide who is from my hometown and I am really happy to meet him. He is Mr. Hari and he has been over here for the past 18 years as a local guide. Since we are from the same home town, he has a special affection towards me.

We reached in a homestay which was maintained by Pandi, one of the homestay providers in Kodaikanal and he is along with his family. They welcomed me by giving me a special Kodaikanal Coffee and a piece of Kodaikanal chocolate. They are having good hospitality.

It’s almost sunset and pretty cold outside, I made a warm fresh up. I just started roaming around the Kodaikanal town after checking with Pandi and took a walk along the streets. I hopefully awaited for a Kodaikanal mushroom dealer, but I'm not sure who the best dealer and who give me the Kodaikanal magic mushroom. As I'm only sure about the Kodaikanal mushroom season and I want to make sure about its price. However, recently I had heard about news concerning the Kodaikanal mushroom price was comparatively higher during these seasons.

 I found an auto driver, who knows the taste of what I'm seeking for and I approached him slowly with my needs. My calculation was fine and I got a positive reply from him and then he took me to the famous center. But I'm so unlucky that day, we couldn't figure out. There is an issue in the road and there is full of cops out there. I have to return to my stay and the driver took my number and he told me that he will call me the next day. I had my dinner along with Pandi family and took a bad night's sleep.

It’s 7.30 AM in the morning, there is the noise of buffaloes and cows really disturbed my sleep. I opened my door and took a walk through the field. I walked back to my room and took a shower and I waited for the call of that rickshaw driver. I didn't receive the call yet.

View from the Balcony

So I planned to visit the place which is famous - Suicide point in Kodaikanal. It was found to be walkable distance and around 1 km from my stay. I checked with Pandi and he guided me the route and I made a walk to the point. It’s almost 9.AM in the morning, I found to be amazed the road was full of fog and I found a tea shop and had my breakfast from there. the guards are not allowing us to move towards it and I also thought to better maintain safety, since the viewpoint ends at a point which is 5000 ft from ground level.

While returning to the homestay, I just enquired about the availability of Magic Mushroom. The rickshaw driver called me and he just murmured to me and took the auto to a remote place and called someone from his mobile. After 10 minutes, a guy came and handover a pack to the drive. That was it.

The magic mushroom as they are colloquially called, contains psilocybin, a mood-altering substance. It is used as a type of drug, whose side effects include euphoria, altered thinking, and hallucinations. Since this mushroom has not been declared 'illegal', there's nothing that officials from the Narcotics Control Bureau can do to curb its sale and use. Locals from Kodaikanal say that customarily it has been used by tribal people for medicinal activities but now, in the last decade or so, it is being increasingly used for leisure purposes.

There are a variety of mushrooms that grow in the hilly areas of Kodaikanal, some of them poisonous. A local guide warns against pursuing the 'magic mushrooms' in the wild as it could bring them in trouble. These mushrooms are mainly seen in hilly areas of Kodaikanal. It grows during the time of Thunderstorm. Some mushrooms are poisonous and can lead to death. Mushroom is available only during monsoons in Kodaikanaland before the end of winter. September to November is the best time to find mushrooms.

I have read somewhere that, Honey with mushrooms is the best way to eat. So, while coming back to the homestay. Some of my friends who had experience having magic mushrooms told that it has to be taken by mixing it with honey and the best way is to eat this on an empty stomach to get the perfect trip.

I reached back to the Homestay. Mr. Pandy and his family were waiting for me to have dinner with other tourists. I was really felt bad about it, my plan is to have the mushroom in an empty stomach. But, I don't want to disappoint them and had dinner along with a team over there. There were Chapathi, Kerala Porotta, Chicken fried rice, etc. I took some fried rice and some chicken curry. While moving to my room, I heard some people talking in my mother tongue, and I am not that much surprised because most of the tourists are from Kerala. I saw them and smiled. They are from Cochin and all are Hotel management final year students. Rahul, Kishore, Deepak & Vipul. We all had a long conversation about climate, food and other trip experiences.

Pandy arranged a Campfire for us and we all went there to enjoy some hot in the Cold climate. Rahul is a good singer and he is a melody specialist. He used to carry Guitar while traveling. He sang a beautiful Malayalam melody song for us. Then I just opened the talk with them about the magic mushroom. They are also planning to have that, and they invited me to have with them the next day. It’s almost midnight, everybody gets back to their room with a peaceful ambiance.
Awaiting for yet another day.

I started the next day by lighting a cigar with a cup of black tea for better motion. The morning vibes of Kodaikanal is simply awesome. The climate is at the extreme. I think without a Sweater, it will be very difficult for a guy like me to survive here. I have a spoiled plan yesterday. I didn't have my breakfast, because I want to feel the spirit of magic mushrooms. As per plan, I have some mushrooms with me and other guys that I met yesterday also collected the same from somewhere.

As per the plan we all settled in my room. Except for Kishore, all we had it with honey and a piece of bread. There is nothing special in taste. After having this, we all felt the same feeling and we didn't have any types of special vibes.

After half an hour, it started working and slowly we all entered into the tripping vibes of magic mushrooms. We can really feel something special inside us and I can experience my brain started controlling us. We lost our self-control and once we laugh, it will be very difficult to stop that, Mushroom brings out the thoughts and gives a special thinking power to us. I've heard that Foreigners used to come to a particular park near Kodaikanal lake after having magic mushrooms for preparing movie stories. The same feel which I also experienced after having it.

We slowly went to the balcony and started watching the beauty of Kodaikanal. This stuff made the experience of high-quality 4k experience for nature when I stepped into the balcony. We all can feel the positive energy and happy vibe and also we all felt a mental connection between us.

This trip made a positive impact on all of us. After a long four hours, we all were back to normal. We went back to the Homestay and Pandy was eagerly waiting for us with bad news. Pugazhchi Thalaivi Jayalalitha, the chief minister of Tamil nadu is admitted to Apollo Hospital Chennai and she is in a dangerous condition. Pandy advised us to leave Tamil Nadu as soon as possible.

Car and the Cottage

After lunch, we planned to move from Kodaikanal but when I enquired, Buses from Kodaikanal is completely stopped due to this issue. So Kishore and Rahul told me to join their team. They came by taking a Volkswagen polo for rent with a big risk. Finally, we left the Kodaikanal town and reached the Ghats. I thought traveling through the Ghats will be a real pleasure and adventurous, but things went wrong. It will shake our body a lot and will get bored after sometime.

We reached Moonjikkal, the situation was very bad. We were blocked by some local people out there. I saw a person started pouring petrol in his body. Suddenly a police jeep entered into that scene and police officers announced that Jayalalitha is fine now and requested the crowd to clear the traffic. Finally, we moved from Moonjikal safely.

We all thought of having some food. On the way, the situation is becoming worse. Most of the local people out there couldn’t find the situation now for their thalaivi. This shows the Love and affection of Tamil Nadu people to their Amma Jayalalitha.

We reached near Palani and Vipul is driving the Car in about more than 95km/hr. There was no traffic or any other vehicle in that area. We thought. We are safe here. Once we reached a junction, we saw more than hundreds of people blocking the road by lying down. They saw us and one of them holding a hammer coming to us.

We are really in a frightening situation !!!

I asked the approximate cost of the Front glass of Volkswagen polo to Vipul and he said it will cost around 30 thousand. 😟😟 After hearing this, I just came out of the car and walked toward that guy. The guy was full of anger. They all came around our vehicle and started calling some of the worst words in Tamil. I know some Tamil and tried to reply to them in that language and one guy from that crowd asked me about how I learned Tamil. I told him that I'm a great fan of the ultimate star Thala Ajith Kumar and they were surprised when they heard that. I showed my fan ID card to them. Then one of the Thala fans from that crowd talked to them and allowed us to move from there.

By 7 pm, we reached Palakkad and the team dropped me at Palakkad KSRTC Bus station.I found a direct Bus to Kannur, [My home town]. I can’t feel me what my mood, feels like frightened, feel like I enjoyed the magic mushroom and felt a new experience. Totally a mixed experienced and I can't say, what’s my feeling was.

If there was one piece of advice I have for people today to experience more happiness in life, it is to travel more. I don’t mean taking long vacations or going on pre-planning trips, I mean making the trip out to somewhere you’ve never gone before with an open schedule, to let life show you what opportunities were waiting for you that you couldn’t have even imagined before. Traveling gives a wonderful experience. It captures us with a sense of desire to travel and has us longing for more destinations, cultures, food, and People.

No matter what sort of challenges you're facing, Finally it will give a happy ending to the chapter. Never trust on drugs to change your mind. This is just my experience on my worst situation what I have undergone, and i never try you to experience the feel of unwanted drugs to drop your emotions and to taste the happiness.