Joseph’s death was a blow for Achu. Everyone knows that It would happen. But when it happened, when he really left us, we didn’t know what to do. Achu was more close to him. And his death changed her a lot. All her charm was gone like someone took away her better part. She was in a great deal of shock. The days were difficult for me, but I’m her mom. I need to do something for her. Something that could make my kid cheerful again. That’s when one of my friends told me to go on a trip with her. Two women’s day out, to heal ourselves. It seemed fine for me. At least, I have to do it for my Achu. Vagamon would be nice, I thought. A place where nature can be experienced at its best.
“Try camping in Vagamon for the night. It would be nice. Achu will love it” told my friend. And on a fine Tuesday morning, 22 days after Joseph’s death, I and Achu started off for a trip to Vagamon.
OUT TO VAGAMON
We didn’t talk much on our way to Vagamon. Talking has turned out to be a ferocious task nowadays. The silence seemed peaceful.
We reached Kurishumala Base at Vagamon by around 6.45am. It was foggy and chilly. We warmed up having tea from the nearby local store and began to trek the Kurishumala. Some other people were also there climbing the hill. Some were the locals, while some were tourists, just like us. The chilly winds eased the trekking and refreshen us. As we reached the top, we rested for a while and went to the church. We talked nothing but simply held onto each other. The time spent at the church was so peaceful.
Back at the base, we went to have breakfast. The trip has started to do its job. I felt a lot reviled.
The Vagamon Meadows seemed so promising. The morning was fine with no harsh sun. After spending a lot of time at the serene rolling meadows, we head to the pine forest. That’s the best place to spent the noon time. We had our lunch from a local ‘vittil unnu’, a homely food establishment near the pine forest. The woods were still chilly. Occasional cold breeze made us shiver. Inside the pine forest, we simply walked, hanging hands. We don’t know how much time we spent inside the pine forest. A call brought us back to earth.
“Mam, this is Karun from Campper. Are you at Vagamon?”
‘A STAY OUTSIDE THE WALLS’
My friend has arranged our stay at Campper Eagle Point Camp at Vagamon. ‘A tent stay will be nice than staying in a resort. Try out sometime outside the walls’, he told. Sanju, the caretaker was there to welcome us. He took our luggage and take us to our tent. A well-laid tent with beds, pillows and blankets, I was convinced about the comfortability. Achu entered the tent and sat inside. Sanju came with some hot black tea and snacks.
Sanju took us for a walk through the camp. Surrounded by a bushy landscape and a rocky highlight on an edge, Eagle Point Camp is a perfect location to be at peace. The camp provides enough privacy, thus couples and families find it great to be here, told Sanju. He took us to two couples who were there camping that night. We introduced each other and had some small talks. While we ladies took a walk around the camp, the boys helped Sanju setting up the campfire. There was something different with Achu then. She was talking and smiling, and she seemed so relaxed. Back at the campfire, there were three more campers who joined lately. All of them sang, dance, laugh and had a great time. I saw my Achu happy after a long time and I felt proud as her mother.
The dinner was light and delicious. The fog cocooned us and brought much closer to the campfire. As I went to bed, Achu stayed out, gazing up at the starry sky.
“It was beautiful,” she said me the next day.
The morning was foggy. Sanju brought us some hot black tea. The other campers were also up by that time. We simply roamed around the camp. Eagle Point Camp is atop a hill. And it has got a vast area to which we could simply trek ourselves. We stood at the cliff, staring at the mist concealing our view of the valley below, breathing in the cold fresh air.
Puttu and steam brewing Kadala curry made the day great. Sanju’s special tea was beyond words.
“Hum… that’s trade secret” said Sanju smiling, when asked about tea’s recipe.
It’s time for home. Two women’s day out turned out to be great. Camping at Vagamon was the best thing on this trip. Riding back home, Achu seemed so relaxed. We talked about her school, her classmates, my boutique, about Joseph… and yeah, it was a great trip. It did its magic.
We will be back for another camping trip after Achu’s exams. Till then, bye- bye.