It was on our way back after watching Fahadh Faasil's 'Maheshinte Prathikaram' a second time that my wife made a confession. She had never been to Idukki dam and its neighboring places. Even though I mocked her, the fact remained. I had not been to those parts of the state for a while myself. And it was then that we decided that we would make this trip to Idukki, even if it was just for a day.
When we spoke about it at home, more family members joined in and soon we were a group of about 10-14 people, including children who went on this expedition. For my wife and I, it would be a trip to see the places portrayed in the movie 'Maheshinte Prathikaram', for others, it was all about exploring Idukki.
We hit a roadblock as soon as we reached Idukki. We wanted to go to see the Idukki dam but realized then that it would be open to public only on the weekends. Do keep that in mind if you are planning to go that way.
We drove on. I am not sure who yelled stop when we saw the green meadows between the bus stop and Hotel Everest. The place where Mahesh and Jimson fight with the wall of the dam in the background. We did not see kids playing cricket like in the movie but we saw a couple of students taking the driving test there. After taking a couple of selfies, we were on our way.
We went straight to Calvery Mount. We took tickets from the same counter where Mahesh took the way of the cross and walked up the path He did. There is a scene where Mahesh, Baby Chettan, and Member Thahir relax up the hill. We found a good spot there and sat down. The view was marvelous. And then suddenly, it dawned on us that the picture perfect lake looks more spectacular from here than from near the dam.
We could no longer ignore Prakash City, the main venue for the movie. We had to see the place, which added the rustic charm to the movie. We drove down the Thankamany-Thopramkudy route. After Nellivayal and Kanam, we reached Prakash City.
We saw the building where Bhavana studio was put up, the waiting shed where Jimsi waits for Mahesh, the place where Mahesh gets beaten up, the small shop where Baby Chettan goes for recharging the phone; we could not help, but stare in awe.
We walked into the shop where Baby Chettan went to recharge his phone and ordered for eight fresh lime juice, but we had to wait because the smiling shopkeepers just had four glasses. The owners smiled when we struck up a conversation with them. “Did you come here after watching the movie,” he asked us. We answered in the affirmative and the curious shopkeeper couldn't just stop grinning.
Maybe we were the first bunch to travel to Prakash City to see the place after the movie hit the screen. Maybe many have followed our tracks after us. But when we were in Prakash City, I kept looking for Mahesh, Babychettan, Jimsi, member Thahir and others. My mind kept murmuring, 'I know that you exist, but you are just beyond my line of sight. I know that among the many people I have passed by, maybe one was Mahesh or Jimson or Jimsi. For, Prakash City did not exist without them."
And it was time to leave Prakash City. Like the movie, the trip to Prakash City is something we, my wife and I will never forget.