From afar we see many couples taking a boat ride in the middle of the Kodai lake. And it seems so romantic. So to speak. We follow the crowd. And engage a boat too. For half an hour. A ‘pedal boat’ from TTDC (Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation). And we set off.

As we reach close to the middle of the lake, we realise that all the pedaling is energy draining. And that it isnt quite the ‘romantic experience’ that it seemed from the banks. We huff and puff. And pedal. To get to somewhere quiet. In the lake that is.

We are quick to realise that

a. Pedaling this contraption is not a walk in the woods.
b. ‘Quiet’ spaces are non existent in the lake. (Not that we have any dramatic things ‘to do’ in mind..Just saying. )

And whenever a boat passes by, we see similar drained out faces. And they peer into our boat. And we peer into theirs. Drawing energy from the fact that folks in the other boat are ‘suffering’ as well.

To keep the mind occupied, we strike conversation. Between us. For starters, we wonder why in Gods name, does this boat have to be in the ‘shape of a swan’ ! And that too in pink.

And look around to find ones in deep green, bright orange. et al. Yellow swans with blue beaks. Blue swans with black beaks.

And i quietly slip a prayer of thanks.

One such boat comes close. Another couple. The man is sweating. Huffing. Puffing. All at the same time.‘Tommy’ his shirt says. The lady is no different. She is on the ‘huff-puff ‘ mode too. Her T-shirt says ‘GAS’ or ‘GAP’. ( i am not sure )

They look at us. We look at them’. And the woman says, ‘look their boat has broken wings’. And i look around. To find that there are ‘wings’ to all boats. Wings of a swan. Ofcourse. Plastic. Coloured. Attachments with ‘artistic’ value.

And also find that in our boat, one wing is absent. Puffing and huffing, i wonder, how i missed seeing that we were one wing less. And seem to think that there is a distinct glee in the other couple now.

There we are. In the middle of the lake. The lovely weather above. Pedals beneath. Momentarily thinking of the wing that isnt there. On a boat that doesnt need it. The other couple pass us. They smile. And they keep staring at where the wing should have been.

And it seems to give them some topic for conversation. And some energy too. For their winged boat gathers new found speed. At least, i think so.

We are one wing less. We arent getting anywhere’ i say. And we stop.

We have a good laugh. We stop pedaling. We give our thigh muscles some rest. And soak in the lake and the weather. Boats with and without wings pass by. And we seem to think they are all giving us a ‘what a pity’ look.

While we just sit there with giggle and glee !

We decide to look for them. That couple. Who somehow lead us to a good time. We want to thank them.

I cant find them. They must have flown. They had wings, you see.

16 thoughts on “Wings

  1. ♥ Braja says:

    Oh I love these boats. We had them on our river when we were kids, the Torrens in Adelaide….so surreal to watch…seeing them now sends me to another time….

  2. Your post brought home some great memories, and an awareness of why you needed to have swans these days, as boat heads.

    Riding one of these, then swanless boats (named Smitha, possibly of Silk fame), about 25 years ago, in the same lake, with kids and nephews sitting on the remaining seats; you hit the middle of the lake, and someone wants to change places and do their own pedalling. The ensuing rocking of the boat as various impatient kids stand up gets a bit alarming.

    I think the swan head is a wonderful solution to weight one side against possible perturbations from the otherside, while changing seats .

    As far as the pink wings go, they are for the Tommy Gap types.

    You and your missus probably have your own wing and your own song :-)…

  3. Jeevan says:

    Hum… sometime what we see is illusion and only we know the truth by closer inspection. Its fun the noise comes from pedal boats along with huff puff. I spent all my evenings on the lake bank and it’s a nice amusement.

    Won’t it be nice while pedaling boat the wings flap along 🙂 but it could increase huff puff!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This post reminds me of good old memories. During college tour, I took a pedal boat with my friend and rest of the girls went in a steam boat. We both were pedaling slowly and we were about to turn near the danger zone, when the steam boat passed by in full spead. The waves generated, pushed us aside and rocked our boat. We started shouting. So loud and expressive that we could see pop-corn in each of our mouths.

  5. nice…was interesting..well observed n analysed!!

  6. Lou says:

    Cute post. We live on a lake and at first we bought a little paddle boat. I thought it would be fine to take the children out. But I quickly found it to be huff/puff also, and the children were not dong their part pedaling.

    Long story short, we got rid of it, and got a boat with “wings”, I mean a motor!

  7. that was really funny Kavi. it is true then?

    people actually derive strength from seeing other people have blemishes.. even if they are cosmetic ones.


    these pedal boats are sooooo misleading..


  8. sujata says:

    Romancing in itself is tiring to say the least..and if you have to pedal…God alone can come to aid!! But its so good that you tried..

  9. Swatantra says:

    Very well written!! Nice pictures!!

    I loved the last lines!! They must have flown!!

  10. manju says:

    Wonderful post, Kavi- I am laughing to myself here in front of my computer screen!

    So what if your swan-boat was lacking one wing? You both could soar on the wings of your imagination- and I am sure that you did!

  11. nazia says:

    oh…i hav heard abt d place…kodai kanal…its a b’ful place..luv 2 go for once..great place to spend vacations..

  12. Aparna says:

    The wingless bird did give you some moments of fun…I imagine the huffing and puffing did you some good after all that delicious south indian food which you must have eaten at some point.

  13. Kavi says:

    Braja : Really ? Did they have wings as well ! 🙂

    Ugich Konitari : Well, we have our own wings ! ( It sounds almost like an Ambani saying ‘get my jet’ !)

    And its hilarious to note that they had a boat named ‘smita’. I am 100 % sure that it was named after her ! 🙂

    And so, this swan head partially answered now.

    Jeevan : And yes..those creaky noises. And many times i didnt know if those came from the boat or from the bones ! 🙂

    And please Jeevan, dont give them some ‘wing flapping’ ideas 😀

    Anomymous : Pop corn in the mouths ! Phew. That should have been one heck of a scream !

    Thanks for sharing ! Fortunately there were no ‘steam’ boats here ! The people were letting out steam though ! 🙂

    Nazish Rehman : Thank you ! Indeed !

    Lou : LOL ! And yes, its called a paddle boat. And the wings that you bought are the real wings !

    And how nice would it be to live by a lake and own a boat ! That sounds so appealing!

    Sundar : Well, well, sitting in the middle of the lake, i couldnt read anything more from their grins and giggles ! 🙂

    And ofcourse, they are not only misleading, they cause the thigh muscles to complain for four days !

    Sujata : Romancing is tiring ! LOL !! Well, well, i am not sure about that.

    But about romance in a paddle boat…well, thats a different world altogether. That world is called the ‘illusory’ world !

    Swatantra : Thank you ! indeed !

    Manju : Oh yes we did that. The problem is : We do that all the time !!! 🙂

    Nazia : Its a lovely hill station. In the summers it can get crowded. But at other times its just superb !

    Aparna : Yes..yess.. The delicious south indian food, has stayed on the hips forever since then.

    Guess the huff / puff didnt help that much !!


  14. Babli says:

    I liked your blog very much.I appreciate for your wonderful post.You are welcome in my blogs.

  15. nsiyer says:

    Wings remind me of flight. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull.

  16. Rush says:

    lol..wings or without..u had some stressed out and stress free time….if this looks tiring..try canoeing for a change!!

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