Thursday, June 08, 2006

Kansas City

A trip to Kansas City was a must considering the number of guys who have fixed up their base there. But it was only after Yadu went there, we knew for sure we had to go and meet him. Rama wanted to go before the classes started and just as all trips are undertaken, we decided to go just a day prior to the actual departure. So, way to Kansas City on Friday afternoon. We hired the car from Denny and Ford Focus it was. Originally only the three of us were scheduled to travel (myself, Rama and Vimal), but at the last minute we had a surprise visitor in the form of KC (Karthik Chandramouli), who for no reason was later rechristened to KFC (just added a fraud for F). We left Rolla at about four in the evening, and found our way through Highway 63S.

We drove through the plush green of the state. As such, MO (Missouri) is known for its greenery and we weren't disappointed. Home made onion pakodas, french fries, and rava idlies were neatly packed and they were finding their way slowly and steadily into our stomach. In a way, it was like a neat Indian journey through the villages.

We reached Kansas City at 8 in the evening, and the daylight was seeping in without any problem. It was more like the four-ish Bangalore time. We met Yadu in his apartment front gate, and all of us went to KormaSutra, one of the three Indian restaurants we visited. The Garmin GPS system guided us from the apartment to the hotel. Ashwin did not join us for dinner as he had already made some plans to be away from us!! We had a great North Indian treat - pakodas, samosas, vegetable patties, paneer pakodas, naans, kulchas, parathas, vegetable korma, paneer dishes, bhaingan bartha and kulfis. We were well treated from Yadu's pocket, and the food was highly delicious. All of us then went to Ashwin's apartment, who as usual left us in the lurch. We were waiting for him in front of his apartment as he was still not back from dinner. After a brief wait, we were lucky to meet the great man himself. We chatted in his place for a long time, and we were very well entertained thanks to his friends, Paresh and Abhishek. We spent some quality time in Ashwin's place, and headed back to Yadu's place for the night. We made plans to go to The Worlds of Fun the next day. This is an amusement park with a lot of fun rides. All of them retired for the night except for myself and Karthik, as both of us ended up watching Meendum Kokilla upto 2:30 am.

The next day, all of us got up lethargically, even as Ashwin was frantically trying to wake us up by calling each one of us on our mobile phones. By the way, Ashwin did not sleep in Yadu's place for the night. We refreshed ourselves, and got ready to leave the house by about 10 am. We picked up Ashwin on the way and then headed to The Worlds of Fun. Yadu had two two free tickets sponsored by Garmin. We were joined by Yadu's colleague, Carl at the amusement park.

We first tried the Dragon ride (Not sure of its exact name though). It is a small cart that holds four people and goes in all trajectories at varying speeds. I still remember the expression on Yadu's face as he got on to the ride. He was like I am not getting into any more rides. Never!!! Karthik too joined suit to miss out on the other rides.

We came out of this spiral fun to try out The Patriot. This is a mini train, taking inverted turns at certain points, scurrying in dizzying fashion. Ashwin, Carl and I tried this out, as Vimal and Rama were getting ready for Bungee Jumping. This was the highlight of the day, as they were let off from a height of 200 feet, suspended by a thick cord. They waded through like a pendulum swinging to and fro. I wanted to try this out, but backed out in the last minute, as I felt my heart was not strong enough to carry out this pulsating exercise. I was happy with the joy rides. We then tried out The Mamba, the boomerang, detonator and the fury of Nile. All of them were thrilling in their own right. But the best part of the day was with The ThunderHawk. It was a boat supporting forty people, going up and down, inverting us at every other second. At one point, we felt we were about thirty feet above the ground before we realised that we were at ground level. After all the fun for the day, we left the place at about 6PM to India Cafe to help ourselves with chats - Bhel Puri, Papdi Chat, Dahi batata puri, Aloo tikki and idly sambar. We were planning to have curd rice back home but dropped the idea after we really filled our stomach to the brim. This was sponsored by Ashwin (Why?). We spent the evening in the bowling alley upto 1230 am and then hit the sack after what was really a tiring day.

The next day, all of us got up very late. We prepared to go to the last of the Indian Restaurants for the trip, Ruchi's. We went for a superb lunch buffet and we ate like as if we had never eaten for many days. The menu comprised of - idlies, masala vadas, crisp dosas, pooris, three different types of chutney, sambar, mango juice, vegetable biriyani, raitha, dal, kofta, palak paneer, pakoras, paysam. I am not sure whether I have missed out any and it had many to remember. There were a lot of non-vegetarian dishes too, which atleast many of us were not concerned of.

After all this, it was time for a little shopping in the Indian stores. We were then back on our way heading back to Rolla for the routine week to start. It was time for Yadu to stick back to his original schedule, and we could see the relief on his face when we had gone there for the weekend. But I guess, now it is a different ball game for Yadu, with new found "company".

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