Archive for the ‘ Domestic ’ Category

An Empire indeed!

Though the twelve months or rather, a year commencing from January to December is common to all, we can not ignore the years which are based on certain languages or regions.

Of course, the Jan – Dec period has established itself as an empire and the people all over the world are dependent on it for the purpose of celebrating birthdays or independence days or such important dates. Anyway, the regional years and dates are celebrated in many countries and do serve as a New year’s Day or Birthdays. But what is important is the annual festivals in temples as far as India is concerned.

In several states, most of the people have two birthdays! Those who visit India from other Countries may get some ideas about the importance of regional dates!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

When the weather is unfavorable, one is reluctant to go out for walk. Even a short distance appears to be a Herculean task! But, the other day we managed to overcome the reluctance mainly because it was a trip to a temple and the short distance was not by walking but in a taxi cab!

But, soon I overcame the dull moments mainly because the ‘scenes’ unfolded on both sides of the road reminded me of the good old days when the villages we lived in were encircled by rivers and channels and palm trees.

On top of all these wonders, the atmosphere in the beautiful temple was a serene and inspiring!

A trap indeed!

During the rush hour, if you are lucky enough, you may manage to get a seat in a bus or in the general compartment of a passenger train but a window seat will just be a dream.
The other day, while I found myself in such a situation, I was reminded of a similar occasion when I managed to get a seat in a crowded bus. Two seats ahead of mine were occupied by two young ladies who seemed to be in a happy mood and naturally, I was tempted to listen to their conversation. One of them was lean and tall and the other one was a lean but short.
The tall one kept on talking and the short one just made “Hm, Hm” responses at regular intervals. The subject of their conversation was about Ragini who could be one of their colleagues or the tall one’s relative. “She is such a bore… She had a plan to visit our house in the evening. Apart from petty talks I will have to prepare foods and supper… the purpose of this short journey is to avoid her.” Meanwhile, the bus reached one of the main bus stands and when they were getting ready to alight from the bus, one lady who moved forward and patted on the shoulders of the tall one and said, “Don’t worry… I won’t visit your house… never in my life…” much to the shock of the two dames.

Breathtaking indeed!

To our pleasant surprise, there was enough space in one of the compartments to sit and enjoy our journey from Ooty to Coonoor in the small train (Nilgiris Mountain Train) which was to move on shortly along the narrow gauge.

When the train was crossing the first tunnel, I was getting ready to mentally recite those favorite poems of Wordsworth, Shelly, Keats and the ones written by the native poets of yore. Thank god, Urbanisation has not removed those breathtaking scenes which I used to enjoy in the good old days.

Trees, plants and those tiny water falls began to capture my attention even as the train moved on rhythmically. The songs of the birds and their presence here and there seemed to tell me, “Have a nice journey – you’ll soon experience the ‘heaven on earth’ feeling”

Yeah, we did have such a feeling but it was time for us to get down. The destination was fast approaching!

Thus far and no further, please!

When trees and plants disappear and new buildings appear in large numbers, we call it urbanization and asset than it is a welcome change or rather a sure indication that the poor are becoming richer and educated.
But, as far as the disappearance of trees and plants are concerned, it is time to say “thus far and no further”.
Beautiful hill stations which were heaven on earth and attracted tourists from all over the country are slowly losing their charm with the disappearance of greeneries. Of course when the world around us is growing rapidly the appearance of huge and small buildings in large number are unavoidable, be it the plains or the hills.
But we have to bear in mind that the strength and glory of the hill stations lie in their capacity to attract tourists in large numbers annually by being beautiful and serene.
Not long ago Ooty and the nearby hill stations were very attractive mainly because buildings were few and far between and we used to witness a steady flow of tourists.
Anyway, at a time when all around the hill areas or rather the plains, buildings crop up in every nook and corner, hill stations too had to bear the brunt but not to the extent of making them buildings, buildings all the way, thereby robbing the hills of those enchanting greeneries.

Peaceful Co-existence

‘Old order changeth, yielding place to new…” The poet who wrote these lines would have taken into account the rapid changes that were taking place ever since stone age and the human capacity to bring about such changes but it is doubtful whether he would have foreseen the rapid unbelievable changes during the past 10 to 30 years. What seems to be wonders to elders are just ordinary day-to-day affairs even to kids.

But we must be thankful to certain no-changers who are of great help to average men and women. And the credit goes to those who manage the petty shops where things are available in small sachets even to the poor people. [You won’t find such shops in rich countries and their big cities] But such petty shops could be seen even in big cities in Asia. This is what we call peaceful co-existence.

YUMMY!

At long last, we were at the ‘Big city’ and soon our taxi cab became a part of hundreds of slow moving cars and buses. Here and there, a few motor bikes and auto rikshaws were struggling to squeeze through narrow gaps.

All through the morning, it was a pleasant journey, right from the hill station and through the breath taking forest area. Though we were on the look out for some tuskers, we did not come across any of them but there were monkeys and deers and a couple of peacocks. As soon as we crossed over to the neighboring state, our stomachs seemed to growl, “Enough, Enough; over to that Udupi Hotel … Quick”. We had our breakfast and the journey continued.

With so many streets and buildings all over the big city, it was difficult to locate the hotel we were to stay. So we focused on the purpose of our visit and got it done much earlier than we expected.

Now, we were as free as mountain winds and spotted the hotel in fifteen minutes or so and rested in our room for an hour.
The city is so big and crowded and expensive too. But, to our pleasant surprise, there were vegetarian restaurants here and there. Though small and crowded most of the time, the food items supplied by them were delicious and tempting (Be it idly or set dosai they were tasty and we were more than satisfied)

Of course, the city is so big and ultra modern but we never expected that there would such restaurants which supplied those yummy stuffs at reasonable rates.

Hats off to them!

Nature’s canvases!

Man has this fascination for colors and it is reflected in his clothes, vehicles, the walls of his houses and what not. The artist in a man finds an outlet through his attempt to reproduce pieces of those colors which he sees in this huge canvases of nature.

During day time, especially in summer blue reigns supreme and you see the ‘true color’ of hills and valleys and those man-made things…small and big. Come sunrise or sunset, it is a different world altogether. A larger than life man or woman, deep asleep or elephants crossing some points or a lady in her bath tub against the background of orange, red or any color of vibgyor family!

Looking at these canvases of nature, you will realize how the great artists learnt the trick of producing such wonders!

An exciting sight-seeing trip…

Even before one reaches the starting point of the sight-seeing journey, one gets an idea about what is in store for those who are eagerly looking forward to a memorable trip.
And, there you are!…in a world which gives a “far away and long ago” impression. The railway station, the train and the staff reminded the elderly travelers of the good old days. And, to some of us, it closely resembled the Ooty-Mettupalayam mountain train which chug along the narrow rail route, making every moment of the journey exciting.
Yet this 3 hour journey in “Rocky Mountaineer” was a unique and mesmerizing experience. Rocky mountains and gurgling waters were vying with each other as they appeared and disappeared at regular intervals. The entire route across mountains, rivers, waterfalls is an engineering marvel. The gentleman who described the importance of certain spots appeared before the passengers now and then to offer coffee and snacks to them.
The train at last stopped at the place called ‘whistler village’ which was one of the venues of the winter Olympics. One enjoyed walking around the village for a couple of hours or rather, till the return journey by the same train and it was exciting indeed!

Breathtaking and Serene

A thing of beauty is a joy forever! That was my immediate reaction when we arrived at the mesmerizing spot…call it a beach or a harbor or an aerodrome! The history and geography of that place was none of my concern at that time when nature outdid everything that resembled a megacity.
Of course, I did watch a couple of airplanes land on the sea waters and one taking off. A few steps away there were a few cargo ships…
Well and good. Here is a ‘sea’ of breathtaking views…the sea itself and the distant hills and a clear sky…a serene atmosphere which impels you to sit and watch.
Time was ticking away and reluctantly I said bye, bye…we must be on the move to catch the sky train. By the way, the beach was somewhere near the Stanley park.