KOCHI: She had been excited about her first trip to Manali unbeknown about the danger that lay ahead. Thiruvananthapuram native Indira Kumari who traveled with her husband R S Pillai to Manali for a vacation recounted the appalling memories of the trip. They were among a number of Keralites who were stranded in Manali following a landslide last week.
“We started from Thiruvananthapuram on September 20 and reached Manali on 24 and took a hotel. On the second day, we went sightseeing, shopping and went for other recreational activities. The plan was to go back to the hotel to get some rest. But we were stopped in the middle of the road and informed that there was a landslide. This prevented us from going back to the hotel,” said Indira Kumari.
For Indira, it was disturbing. She was perturbed about all the belongings she left behind at the hotel they had stayed the night before. “Our luggage, money, clothes and other valuables were left at the hotel. We had no choice but to take a small hotel nearby,” she said.
Even though their hotel was just six kms away, they had no option but to stay in a tiny room with minimal facilities. “There was no electricity and drinking water. We were completely drenched in rain. That night was just a nightmare,” recollected R S Pillai.
The couple somehow managed to seek help from the officials. “We had to travel through a hanging bridge in an Innova for five to six hours and that was the scariest part,” R S Pillai added.
The group had received information through TV channels.
“With the help of actor Suresh Gopi who is a close friend of my husband and some officials from Kerala and Chandigarh, we reached Thiruvananthapuram on September 27,” said Indira Kumari.
Their traveling expenses were all taken care of. “Our flight expenses were covered. Air India arranged special staff to give us mental support,” she added.
Even though the trip turned out to be a nightmare, Indira is happy to back alive.