It’s been a long long time since I went home. Ten months to be exact. And I will be going back finally in April. Green grass, forested hills, pretty streams, flowers bursting with life, tea estates, cold misty mornings, acres of gardens. These are the images that Ooty typically conjures up.
Ooty to me is home. A small town where most of the people know each other. Where I am always assured of hot tea and warm genuine people, wherever I go. Where the postman sees my father’s name on a letter and delivers it straight, without looking at the address. Where I can leave the keys in the scooter while going into a shop and be assured that it will still be there when I come back.
A sleepy town that really only wakes up during the season and gets really dirty when the hordes of tourists descend upon it. Tourists complain that it gets dirtier with the year and still come back the next. A town where the only sure fire way to make money is to open a bakery. But the best chocolates are still from KingStar.
A town where the primary mode of transportation is walking because there are only two town buses (there are more now) which never go where you want to. Most of the roads are either narrow or too crowded which makes driving a pain. There are too many slopes, making cycling impossible. I only learned to cycle in the eighth standard in
This is the
Some of the most eccentric and erudite people live here. A dentist who is a renowned naturalist and studies the toda tribe in his spare time, being the only non-toda to speak the language. A supreme court lawyer who is also an environmentalist and runs a school based on the principles of J.Krishnamoorthy. A scientist who was the former head of the Atomic Commission. One of India's most famous photographers who has opened an institute there now. All of them are stalwarts of the town.
It's the people who make a place what they are. And Ooty has some of the nicest people i have ever known. The Ooty i know is not visible through a tourist's eye. It's the place i love and wouldn't want to ever change.