I never do anything for my best friends on their birthdays. Laziness, lack of enthusiasm about birthdays, forgetfulness, can’t think of a gift in time-ness – my list of excuses is endless. Yes, the people who love me deserve an award.
This year, when my best friend turned 26, I decided it was time I did something for her. I had a week’s time to plan. So obviously I waited till the middle of the week to do anything about it. Add ace procrastinator to that list above please.
Anyway, since she was turning 26, my “master plan” was to give her 26 gifts (so original, I know). Considering my time constraints, you’d think I’d come up with a more doable idea. But no, why make things easy? Where’s the fun in that?
The good news is that we (Her sister and work buddy were my accomplices) made it. The better news is that the day took an impromptu turn and we ended up with a few extra “gifts” – for all of us. I’m good at taking away the spotlight.
For months, I’d been wanting to visit the Manchanabele Dam which is on the outskirts of Bangalore. On the way to the lake, you pass the Dodda Aladha Mara aka The Big Banyan Tree. Both these spots are just about short road trip away from the city. Yet, for a million unknown reasons, I never got around to doing it.
Now, spontaneously, I was heading right towards it. And with great company in tow, no less. Birthday celebrations where you get to take home a little something are the best kind, right? I’ll take a party favour like this over cake any day. Or maybe, as long as I’m dreaming, with cake. And buttercream frosting.
Pictures of the day that ensued below:
Bangalore traffic can be pretty terrible but once you’ve wriggled your way out of the main city, the roads can be pretty awesome. I can only imagine how much nicer it would be to travel on these roads when the weather isn’t scorching like it was that day, like it has been for the past month and a half.
Doddha Aladha Mara is the Kannada (the native language of the state of Karnataka) for Big Banyan Tree. But “big” is such an understatement. It is actually enormous and these pictures don’t even come close to doing justice.
You can’t see it in the pictures but there are monkeys all over the place, especially outside the gate. These are the kind that are after anything edible you might have in your hands. We had to surrender a bottle of Sprite to a persistent monkey. But not all was lost. I gulped down my sugarcane juice in record time.
And finally, the river Arkavathy, over which the Manchanabele dam is built.
Now for most, including us, this was it. A little ahead, is the entrance to the narrow road that leads to the dam, which is restricted. The security guard offered to let us can drive down further and get up close to the dam, for a small price of course. I believe you can’t drive up the whole way though. There is a fair bit of ground to be covered by foot too. But I can’t vouch for this because we didn’t take up the guards offer. So correct me if I’m wrong!
I was more than happy to just stand there and soak in the view. Doesn’t it look serene? This was around 5 PM, just before the sun was about to make it’s way down. So the heat was finally receding, allowing us to enjoy the light breeze that the river brought on.
As for the best friend, I can say with much confidence that she loved every bit of the day. When the expectations have been set so low, how could she not.