So near, yet so far

world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
When this qote inspired me for the first time, I decided to explore. Explore the fastest growing and the third largest city in Tamilnadu, known as the Manchester of South India, but now thickly packed with architectural extravaganza in graduation giving, convocation day oriented buildings. But my crazy mind demanded me to search “information G od-Google” for some radiant place in and around.

“Vaidehi Falls is situated at Narasipuram in the outskirts of Coimbatore. It is at a distance of about 30 km from Coimbatore. The main attraction here is a perennial waterfall. It is a fine picnic spot for trekkers, ”was the first my eyes picked up. I also found an alternate way of reaching their in comparative cheetah speed by boarding a bus from Kalveerampalayam to Thondamputhur and then to Narasipuram.

The voyage makes one feel overwhelmingly nostalgic and fascinated juxtaposed. A village after village scene where people try hard to make the both ends meet, people who consider the cattle as their best friend, whose bullocks are far better than the in-trend-NANO, who dry their turmeric in Uninor posters, whose house walls are painted  yellow and written in deep red “The Chennai Silks”. A sign board in Narasipuram says another 5kms to our destination, but fortunately no bus service. When the goal is prime nothing else matters. But the reason behind the word fortunately comes up when I got a lift in a bullock cart. What an experience sirji!!!

Palanisami a farmer and the cart’s owner described all about Narasipuram which comes under Vellimalai Panchayath. It is a village where people adopt cultivation as their complete occupation. We see fields of coconut, onion, gooseberry, gingelly, corn, tomato, turmeric, cauliflower and more, where the whole family including the smallest kid is out in the field helping the parents. Though the place is dry, the effiicient irrigation system shows sufficient greenery on both sides of the road. Unresistingly I asked about the government’s involvement to help the farmers and understood that it was a loud “NO”. The channelised irrigation system with water flowing lavishly into their sweat mixed fields from the bore wells imprints Gandhiji’s golden words in our mind that “India lives in its villages”.

Another half an hour walk from his house took me to the entrance to the Vaidehi waterfalls, a favourite place for trekkers. A small board was kept their on which some fading Tamil words said “Vaidehi neerveezhchi sella anumathi illai”. What a bad day! But I was only one among the unlucky lots. Even people from Chennai drive into this guarded sign board where a lousy forest guard says “please go back before the elephants come”. On further enquiry I found that elephants come in a group of 5 to 9 from the forest and eat whatever they want from the well grown fields of the villagers and go back. The camera hung on my neck sent me an immediate reflex asking me to stay back till the elephants came. But the power of press did not work there. I had to come back forcibly by just dipping my feet in a small river originating from my destination.

What can a simpleton do if one of their holidays was dedicated for a wasted journey? The answer is look for somebody else with the same gloom and just share. Right then I found a family from Vadavalli who thought they could spend their rare holiday in a beautiful place because their daughter came from States. They had just one opinion to make tourists know that Vaidehi has not become a tourist spot yet and it is only a reserve and nobody is allowed to go inside. An elderly couple who spent their 35yrs near the forest said that entry was restricted even before two years in fear of wild animals. But guess the number of people coming their everyday just to see the green board and reverse their vehicles saying, “What a bad day!” Should the people keep themselves ‘mum’ till the government release their lips open from the all pervading ‘mum’???

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