Todupuzha was a regular spot of congregation for all of us when Mammen Philip was posted there. So it was only natural that when it was time for us to bid Mammen good bye from our organisation, it should happen here.
The gang… all ready for the action.
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
As usual, we planned it on a weekend. The usual place for our get-togethers was the huge mansion that Mammen had rented. But this time we requested him to look for a different place. After all, it was a farewell that he himself was planning and sponsoring, as we were not ready to put in any money for him. So, Mammen used his high-end contacts and told us that he had picked up a spot at the Idukki dam.
We all dropped in at the branch in the evening as usual. Not sure what he had planned for us, we were expecting to be put up in some home stay or any house or a friend of Mammen. We started the drive from Todupuzha town, first to Cheruthoni. Spending some time there, we moved on our journey, cutting across hairpins, Mammen in his typical driving style, towards Idukki dam.
The guest house.
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
It was almost an hour’s drive. We were led to the sprawling premises of the Guest House of the Public Works Department. The time we reached there was well after dusk, so the natural beauty all around was not accessible to our eyes. Despite this the chill and cold all round gave us an idea of the panorama around.
The night was one of the regular rock and roll parties that we had – with Chivas Regal as the gracious host. All memoirs and slam-bang experiences of the last few years shared and had off pat over the best Scotch Whiskey. Deep into the night, we were off into deep slumber, the sprawling government bungalow the perfect setting to have forty winks.
There is a hitch with drinking too much. It makes me wake up too early in the morning. And this was the case here too. An early wakeup, at a dawn set in a cucumber cool atmosphere was a perfect awakening for the day.
This was when I moved into the balcony and set my eyes towards the east. There, the Idukki dam was there in its bursting grandeur, the golden rays of the rising sun, providing the perfect trinkets to the stunning locale.
View from the balcony.
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
This treat to the eye had magnetism around it. I could not stay there for a moment longer. I pulled up Dennis and James and soon set off onto the ruthless path downhill towards the dam. It was a well laid out conduit across the woodland, with tree houses set up as watch posts for the staff of forest department. We could not find any of the officers around, it was desolate. So the distance from the guest house to the dam bank was spent taking photos in various poses.
The tree houses
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
Once down there, the beauty of the early morning sight had not gone down yet. And it did not take long to find ourselves in the waters. After all, it is not every day that we get an opportunity to whirl and spin in one of the most prominent and important dams in this part of the world.
The waters were chill…. and mixed with this was the slight warmth of the sunlight that gave a hot and cold feel to the entire swimming experience, a totally different Alive and Awesome feeling.
James’s photogenic moment
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
For the next few hours, until the sun was right above our head, we were in the waters. There are no words to describe the feelings… the perfect blend of nature into man’s engineering art, which created the perfect awesome setting that is the Idukki dam.
Lighter moments in the waters…
Me and James.
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
James and Dennis in the waters
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan

The awesome swim…
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
The best moments in our lives are enjoyed with friends. And there is no better place in the world to enliven those moments. Thanks to Mammen, he provided the perfect setting.
The captain…
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
Nowhere in the world, except in God’s own Country, there are places, one better than the other, that is ever ready to provide the Alive is Awesome feeling. The whole world may compete, but what is there here is a million times better than anything in any other part of the world. Absolutely priceless!!! Absolutely Alive!!! Absolutely Awesome!!!
The trek back uphill…
Photo © Nidheesh Narayanan
This post is written for Cinthol’s new Alive is Awesome marketing campaign.