A great many years of our lives have been painted against the backdrop of this magnificent vista. Countless evenings have been spent, especially Sunday evenings, in looking up at the mountains, imagining the dark forbidding forests, or in watching the periodic forest fires or in singing the song, “Go tell it on the mountains..” during the ChristmasSeason “Sunday Sing Songs”.
One-day picnics usually meant a meandering trek through the Tiger Reserve, with a bit of bathing in the streams or a spot of impatient fishing. The fishing began properly with hooks but ended up with the age-old towel method. And who can forget the periodic marathon runs, run right along the base of the mountains, stopping now and then to chew on some wild gooseberries. Or the Wild Sunday afternoon cycle rides to Waithuparai. Kids staying behind for Christmas were taken to stay at Naraikadu – an unforgettable experience of trekking through tiger grass or wading through mountain streams. The crystal clear waters of Thirukurungudi still run clear and clean through our minds.
Many of us have left school with a lingering love for the mountains and many periodically return to the mountains, where ever they are, for rejuvenation. Even now, when I close my eyes, I remember the towering grey mountains with the banana fronds waving gracefully in the foreground.
As the bible says, “I look up to the hills, from whence does my help come” (Psalm 121.1).