Arun Tejasvi Chaganty about articles blog thoughts research

Paper Soap Pulicat

This weekend, CocoD and I embarked on an adventurous trail deep into the Tam heartland to India’s second largest lagoon, Pulicat Lake. Soaking in the sights, sounds (and smells - good god we wish we didn’t), the two of us boldly proved our manliness by cycling the whole of the 62.8 km (ref. Google Maps), on the ultimate chick magnet, the Tam Cycle. The two of us also boldly proved our idiocy, carrying only our bags, some grub, spare change, a video camera and some paper soap. What follows are the chronicles of our tripiocity.

Having decided to go on the trip only about 8 hours before actually leaving, we didn’t do much of that “planning” business. We just bought some grub, and took a map of the route there (courtesy Google Maps of course), and got out Coco’s trusty (yet dusty) ’ol video camera. Our famed “BBz” was sadly reduced to the less prolific BBz-2 (for the record, one of the BBz ditched us, and the other chickened out. For those who know who we are, which one did which is rather obvious).

We set out at 4:50 (am - yes we can get up that early), only 50 minutes from when we actually planned, and spent a good hour cycling in the wrong direction (my fault entirely). Post some course-correction, and about 2 hours, we had explored all of the Chennai coast and had vented our anger at it’s utter lack of drainage systems. After another 3 hours on the highway, we rode into town.

Few words can describe Pulicat. Not to throw you off, this is simply because there is very little to be described about. It has neither a lodge, nor a restaurant. But since we were riding Tam cycles, and spoke “Tam”, we blended right in, and made ourselves a deal for a place to take a bath (thank god for that), some grub, a boat ride across the lake, and a tent to crash on the beach with. Of course, being “Tam” doesn’t mean you don’t get scammed.

Probably the only “thing” to see there is the Dutch Cemetery, which is singularly boring as well. We began our video diary there (so as to scar future generations), took a couple of videos along the way, and for the rest of the trip. I got to steer the boat for a short while (ooh - caught on tape), and we setup tent on the beach. Let it be known that there is nothing more awesome than crashing on the beach, what with that blissful sound of beating waves, fresh breeze, and constant fear of being sucked in by the tide. I don’t think I’ve ever crashed that well before - it made the whole trip worth it.

Next morning we set out at 6, and made it back to the city by 9 or earlier (that’s 45km folks). Unfortunately, we got stuck in the city and it’s horrid traffic - swore in public (loudly), experienced road rage on a whole new dimension, got harassed by a cop, and finally made it back to insti. In summary, we put infinite fight to cycle 60 km to the middle of nowhere, crash there, and come back. There are somethings that you just can’t change; we just had to maintain the time-honoured principle of the BBz - Veni, Vidi, Dormi.