Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Charlie and I had originally intended to go to Pondicherry this past weekend, but with our lackadaisical approach to weekend travel we found ourselves without accommodations. Lesson learned: do a little planning next time! Instead of exploring Pondi, we decided to explore our own backyard from a different perspective. We climbed College Hill.

College Hill is a small hill on CMC property that offers lovely views of the surrounding landscape. Alok, being an avid trekker, agreed to take a few of us to the top of the hill for breakfast on Sunday morning. I wanted to see the sunrise from the peak. ‘Twas a little selfish of me, but I think most would agree that trekking in the cool morning air is far better than catching a few more zzz’s and trekking in the muggy hot temperatures.

Charlie and I met Alok, Neeraj, and Donna and the CHAD gates close to 5:30 in the morning to start our day. We picked up Ashish, a third year occupational therapy student, at the men’s hostel on our way to the trail head. In the dark, we scrambled our way to the top of the hill following the well-worn paths of the students of yester-year. AS we walked, Alok and Neeraj reminisced about how they would climb that hill as students and barbecue at the top with their friends. When we got to the top, they discussed between themselves if they should take us to “the kitchen” or “the roof.” I felt like I was being led into some sort of secret clubhouse. It was an honor.

A view from the top.
From the top, looking east.
A view towards the prison. 
Once at the top, we were oriented to the sights and breakfast was unpacked. Alok and Neeraj had provided a wonderful spread of both Western and Indian morsels. It was at this breakfast I discovered that Neeraj detests bananas with Nutella, and much prefers bread and butter with a bread to butter ratio of about 1:50 (butter being the larger portion). Seriously?!?! I’ve determined there is something seriously wrong with his gustatory system. We ate our breakfast in the cool breeze of the morning while sharing life stories with one another and learning more about Indian history, culture and customs. It was calm, peaceful, comfortable, and intellectually stimulating.
This is Ashish. I have had the great pleasure of working alongside him in the out-patient unit of the hospital the past few days. His happy attitude, willingness to learn, and eager to please spirit make him enjoyable to work with. 
Donna looked like she was out for a modeling shoot, rather that out climbing a hill at some unearthly hour of the day.
I know she is thinking, "You woke me up for this?" (Not really.)
Alok, our fearless leader.
L to R: Charlie, Neeraj, Alok, myself, Donna, Ashish
Ashish nearly lost his life at the hands of Donna. Can't say that he didn't have it coming. He was teasing her a bit. 
Alok unpacking breakfast
The breakfast spread.
Mmmm... Nutella! Charlie and I cleaned out the container. (Note: it was not full when we brought it up there...)
Neeraj's philosophy on bread and butter: "The bread is only the vehicle to get the butter to my mouth."

After breakfast we played a rousing game of “dumb charades.”  It was guys vs. girls, with no one keeping score. I do believe we won.

The trip back down the hill was swift and easy. We were home by 8:30am, enough time for me to do a load of laundry and get ready for church while Charlie took her first morning nap. It should be noted that despite NOT being a morning person, Charlie was a good sport in getting up so early to go climb a hill.

This is how I found Charlie not even fifteen minutes after we arrived home. 

It was a lovely morning and we were promised that one day they would take us to the top for an evening barbeque. I’m looking forward to that day. 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I'm with neerajs philosophy! ! -Cathy :)