Outbound 2016

The Spirit of ‘Poru’


We started off precisely at 8.45 hrs just as the morning sun was shifting its gear for another sultry day. The excitement was on for us at ‘Navgathi’, probably a rare occasion where for once, the ultimate focus on ‘boats& vessels’ gave way to ‘water& wild’, the call of the wild beckoning us. Except for only one among us, no one else had been to the exotic locale, ‘The Paniyeli Poru’.

It took around one and a half hours to reach the gates of ‘Poru’ and had it not been for all the ‘hungama’ inside the bus, some of us would surely had felt the bumpy ride which stretches for half a mile leading to the entrance. But the antics led by Samson and the bits of melodies by Ratheesh made sure that we reached the gates without any complaints.

A round of snacks and tea and the journey to Poru started with a well intended, warned and fore-warned advice from Old George, the forest security guide. (Just couldn’t help thinking about the old sentry supposed to be at the gates of heaven!)

A stretch of around one and a half kilometers into the wild took us to Poru; at times dense, denser crevice of narrow alleys ridden with stone and roots, thick vegetation amidst sporadic clearings, wading through clear streams of water, off balanced on the slippery stones scattered through the entire path. Poru at the last point, exhibits the full glory of open wilderness; all with the foaming flow of cascading water, gaping holes sprinkled across the rocks and stones beneath you that entices with their deep, dark secrets, the hum of the roaring river, all the elements of nature collaborating together giving you the that ephemeral feeling of heightened vision, awareness on the fragility of mortal life!

It was hot all right, but the serenity brings in a calm coolness within you and one may not mind sitting on those lonely boulders up there for a while. A natural barricade at the final spot at Poru prevents further humane advancement across the rushing waters and to re-enforce the warnings of the  imposing, lurking dangers, ropes have been used to cordon off the shores for a quite a distance to prevent the relentless inquisitors from venturing on to the dangerous spots. Many have lost lives here, as some points it is as deep as sixty feet.

Sandith Sir, our CEO was determined to get into the water and so was his six year old son and as soon as they found a secure spot, they were in and within no time almost all the guys took the plunge, literally. While the ladies continued to explore the surroundings, we guys lay immersed in the water trying to beat the rising mercury.

A traditional lunch prepared by Sindhu was a delight after the strenuous first session. Sandith Sir walking down the shades of trees with the cricket bat was tempting enough for the guys to join for a session of five and seven over matches of Cricket, which saw the ball getting fielded mostly by the trees and the players scrambling among the dry leaves and twigs for the ball.

A couple of hours later it was another cooling session in the waters and later as we all hopped up back in the bus for our travel back home, everyone had a smile on their face, a look of content , unwinded, with some  fulfilling moments of togetherness.

And as we left, I turned to look back at the entrance of the Poru, thanked the heavens for a safe and memorable time. And as I bid adieu to the wilderness, just couldn’t help praying for the peace for all those unfortunate souls who perished in the depths of the dark currents of the river.

The derived name of  Poru meaning ‘fight ‘ in Malayalam is attributed to the struggle and fight that the rafts men had to undergo here with the rough water and unruly waves while they transported the bamboos to different destination. I wished and hoped the striving spirit of those ‘fights and struggles’, of the ‘Poru’ trickle into us and guide us all to face our own battles.

The enthralling beauty and serenity of the wild lingered with us on our way back, and another couple of hours of the journey that took us back home was again filled with the antics of Samson, Bithin, Sachin & others and the slice of melody by Ratheesh.

Ambulance Boat Launch in Leading Gujarat Media
A trip to ‘Paniyeli Poru’