After having attended the posh & pomp celebrations at a house warming ceremony at the relative's we hit the road to get back to destination home sweet home. It was not the usual route we'd take, that's cos we had to hire an auto and the driver took the shortest path available.
Oh! what a pleasing sight it was passing through the roads that once were a common hangout . be it a local movie in those single screen theaters, shopping in the only famous center around then, snacks to much on in the hotels well known then ( much before the Italian, Mexican and Chinese cuisine dwelled into business here). nostalgia hit the passing soul as it crossed this familiar part of city..
This post is mainly aimed at those who know the Bangalore of 80's & 90's .. Hope you remember the roads of Majestic. Guess you know what it feels like.
Amulya was 24. Not very appealing from the outside, many
alliances had come and gone with a rejection. She gave up hopes of marriage and
forced Kaushik, her younger brother to get married and settle down. Soon a
bride was chosen and the wedding took place with all the posh and pomp.
Good at heart, Amulya treated the new bride as if Kruti was
her own sister. Kruti was beautiful and
the entire family was proud of their choice for Kaushik.
Kruti though beautiful had a stone heart. She found fault in
all that Amulya did. Soon she made all believe that Amulya had a boyfriend from
a different caste.
Amulya could not take in any more of these. Next morning the
door to her room was open. Amulya was lying in a pool of blood and had attained
Mittoo was more than a friend to Krish, the 8 old boy and a loyal
pet to his owner Rajat, the Magician. Krish lived in a fantasy world, a world
where everything was magical around him.
There comes an end to all living
beings, and Mittoo was not spared either. He breathed his last on the way to
the veterinary hospital. Krish did not understand that Mittoo had left them.Krish pestered his Magician dad and cried “Dad, use your magical powers and bring
back Mittoo to me". Rajat had no words to console his sons agony.
Its pleasant to be meeting people with varied tastes. That way you get to know about the diversity around
you, be it in terms of food, culture and religion.
While I begin the post with this note, its not what exactly that I intend to share. I may touch upon a couple of things but nothing intentional.
The creative juices flowing out of my brain in the past few weeks have not found a medium to be inscribed on. Its not that I got lazy, not complaining of time attack, just that I've been thinking and over thinking about various stuff. A lot on my radar - definitely not sure about the area to focus on, hence the over thinking to narrow down on the thoughts.
Sudha Murthy's "House of cards" was quick good read. It had to it the aspects of the life, a lovely story line
that kept me thinking for a long time even though I finished the 200 odd pages in a single read. Story is set in
different parts of Karnataka, talks more of the relationships and family ties. Life of a young girl Mridula, her
simple attitude towards life, the bonding she shares with every individual - Classically potrayed.
I have been travelling in public transport for the last few months. Its a fun ride both sides, the jam packed mornings and the tiring painful evenings - each day has its own stories to unfold.
A scene from the calm cold mornings - joggers in the park, the lazy dog still deciding to wake up, the birds chirping, steaming hot idlis and a cup of filter coffee from the vendor at the corner of the road, the half filled-half empty buses, kids in school uniforms neatly pressed, a newspaper boy stopping at each door throwing the newspaper to their respective owners...... and many more such beautiful stuff that my eyes watch out for.
The crowded buses in the evenings carrying all the tired souls back home to a place they can rest to start a next day fresh and full of life is a sight to watch. Every commuter has a story in them. I have started analyzing the pattern of people , their behaviour and by now I kind of judge the person within 5 minutes of looking at his/her actions. I can say my judgement is about 91.32434343453% accurate.Don't ask me how I arrived at the figure. :)
Amidst all this I managed to read a couple of Kannada Novels - "Priyathama" by Endumuri and "Hasivu" by MK Indira. These writers are truly inspiring. The stories are simple and talks about social strata, how one gets deceived in life, the real ups and downs an individual face in the social system created by man himself. The simple characters full of life takes it to an entirely different level.
The manager called him to inform about a conference meeting
to start in about 5 minutes. Karan was busy with code peer-review. He could not deny
his boss either. Jumped to the conference meeting only to realize he has been fired of policy
infringement. On demanding an elaborate meeting to discuss further, he was cut short
stating – “You consume alcohol during office hours. Have to take
this step for betterment of your team and the organization”.
Karan had promised his wife the night before to give up on
this habit of his, but it was late.
Ours being a travel freak family, the number of road trips
we do are plenty. This post brings in the details of a short two day escape
from the urban crawl. The destination was Dharmasthala via Coorg. Aah the story
begins thus - It was decided that we will be heading to Dharmasthala in start
of the year 2014. Making a plain back and forth bus trip to the abode of Lord
Manjunatha has been a normal routine so far. In order to spice up the journey
and make this event even more cheerful so that it lasts in the memories
forever, there were quite a few additions to the list of places we'd cover over
the 2 days marked for this cause.
Wrapping up work early on a Friday evening with an all
excited feeling is something I look forward to in the weekend trips. It was a
sturdy Innova this time that carried us along on the Bangalore-Mysore road and
through the Ghats of Madikeri. Raju, our
driver for the trip was an experienced fellow who made it to Madikeri Heritage
in mere 4.5 hours. An old guard escorted us to lounge where we collected our
keys from a sleepy receptionist and headed to room that was booked till the
break of dawn.
After a boring breakfast, we started our journey to Bhagamandala
where resides the Lord “Bhagandeshwara". It is at Bhagamandala that the two tributaries
Kannike and Sujyoti join Kaveri to form a Sangama. There is no historical
evidence of when this temple came into existence. According to Skanda Purana,
Bhagamandala was known in ancient times as Bhaganda Kshetra. Long ago one great
sage namely Sri Bhaganda Maharshi was living here in his ashrama with his
disciples. Therefore, the place was named after the great rishi Sri Bhaganda as
Bhagamandala. The shrines of Subramanya, Ganapathi, and Mahavishnu are also
installed in the temple along with Bhangandeswara. This place was amidst greenery
and we were so close to nature. That meant the most to me.
After having offered our prayers at Bhagamandala we were set
to visit Talakaveri (That’s where they say Kaveri River originates from). Talakaveri
is located by Brahmagiri hills near Bhaagamandala, Kodagu district, Karnataka. This
place is frequented by pilgrims and has a small temple (dedicated to Kaveramma)
in the area. A tank or kundike has been erected on a hillside, at the place
that is said to be the origin. The river originates as a spring feeding this
tank. The opening of the tank is through the mouth of a holy cow. Pilgrims
throw coin here and make a wish. I tried my luck too and I succeeded in
throwing it right. Hurrays to dear me! Let me wait for the wish to come true
before I scream more.
There is a small hike up the hill from where you could see
the surrounding mountain ranges. These activities are that spikes me up to a
full charge. The wind was strong on the top and we had some shutterbugs
clicking nature's beauty. I did click a few of them too :)
Down the hill we come, hungry and exhausted. The vegetarian
restaurant (I guess the name was Athithi) had south Indian meals to fulfill us
hungry souls. Our next stop was at Dubare - for a quick water ride in a boat.
Nothing great but to just soak into that feeling of being in the middle of the
river is what we craved for. Elephants had gone deep into the forest for the
afternoon nap. So we continued our journey to Kaveri Nisargadhama - to walk on
the hanging bridge and to walk in the woods. Bamboo to be precise!!
Yes that's all we did. Hush hush! And I did add on some
calories with the cotton candies I had. But that equates the calories I burnt in
the morning hike. I have my reasons ready.
Did I forget to mention about the pit stop at the spice and
wine stall? The fresh spice straight from the estate and the home made wines (varied
from flavors of sugarcane to rose, amla to eucalyptus and more). We bring home
the finest of Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, dry mango pickle - sealed and packed.
On the way to Kushalnagar we sighted Orange groves on both
the sides of the road. We noticed a few local sellers on the roadside selling
freshly picked oranges from their farms. They had piled the citrus fruit so
well to flaunt the passers-by. They were so fresh and welcoming that none could
resist. Khader graciously agreed for a click.
A visit to Madikeri and not having gone to the Tibetan
settlement. How can that be done? So after the walk and a further drive of
about 20 min crossing the twin town Kushalnagar we reached the gates of
Bylakuppe. Home to the Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery, Bylakuppe is the largest
teaching center of Nyingmapa - a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. There are over a
5000 lamas (both nuns and monks) residing here.
The Golden temple (Padmasambhava Buddhist Vihara) is the
main attraction and calls for attention. The Guinea fowls walking in the lawns
was the cherry on the top. Loved the serenity.
Three beautiful larger than life
gold plated statues (Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha and Amitayush) look down at
visitors above the altar. The beautiful paintings on the walls of the golden
temple depict the Gods and demons from the Tibetan Buddhist mythology.
The day had got us debilitated. We just wanted to hit the
beds, but the journey had to continue to Dharmasthala. Raju managed to drive us
through those windings and horrible stretch from Madikeri to Puttur. We reached
Puttur a little later than our anticipated schedule, so dreading the fact of
not getting dinner at Dharmasthala we opted to fill ourselves with some snacks
in a small restaurant on the main road. The famous Mangalore buns with veg gassi were the best deal.
The plate size rotis also was remarkable. After about an hour’s journey in the
woods we finally reached Dharmasthala at 11PM.
I do have faint memories of my childhood visit to the temple.
I was visiting this place after a really really long time. We had not booked
any accomodation in advance thinking they will be available in plenty as it was
no season of pilgrim visits. But to our dismay it was not. The response was
negative on inquiry at all possible places. "No Rooms
Available"/"Rooms Full" Boards were up on each of the hotel's
reception desk. We thought we'd try our luck in a nearby town Ujjire for some
space to rest for the night. On the way to Ujjire, about 5 km from Dharmasthala
we sighted a lodge that we had looked up on the internet. Luck was not that bad
on us. We got 2 rooms for a decent budget. Anticipating the high numbers in the
queue for darshan, we woke up early and rushed to the temple. The devotees were
already standing in that crazy serpentine queue. We joined them at 7 AM and
after a slow snail paced walk to the lord Shiva's Darshan at 10:45 AM. After a
delicious meal offered at the temple we head back to the hotel to start our
return journey to Bangalore. This was the only capture from Dharmasthala kshetra. I believe this statue has been recently installed outside the temple.
One pit stop at Sakleshpur - that is where we had
akki and ragi rotti. Do you remember the pepsi ice we used to enjoy during the school
days, I relished on them after a very long time. A short nap and a Telugu
cinema for entertainment brings us back home by 7 in the evening.