Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Chipmonk Fort Of Karnataka

Haunting stone fortress; Towering boulders; Vivid shaped screes ; Untamed splendor; Brown land with twisting Rockies; A land so much alive with heritage; Every stone and screes whispering tales of the brave Onake Obavva -The Pestle Lady;  Broken sculptures as if with scars from past; Chitradruaga -"Kallina Kote" surprised me with charming secrets from within; 




On today's date, as we enter the "KOTE" (Fort in kannada), we tend to run into local men with lose shirts hanging down the tummy, hands tied at the back, eyes expectantly anticipating an unique reaction from us. Why? It is thankfully due to unemployment. These local men, would want to be your guide. And what would we do by habit is to scoff and shoo them away saying, we have Wikipedia in hands and we do not want people to loot us.

This is worth pondering over. DON'T shoo them way. This occupation can be their bread and butter. We will neither empty our pot nor lose a battle of quiz, but definitely will make a home happy. Take time to think you are talking a new friend along and gifting him something. He will talk non stop. Narrating tales of what he heard from ancestors, what he saw, his growing up amongst these forts, the kind of visitors he sees. He can be a best guide and a company to walk with you and your photographer too.

Being my first visit, I entered the cave with my head swirling 180 degrees without my consent. Not sure which view to stick to, there were broken boulders, parts of the hills, old huge trees. Most of all, the sweet meek squeaks attracted me. Every other hollow in the fort, stone foundation was one of them.  They can be the cutest pets in the world. The squirrels are believed to be Blessed by Lord Rama.
The legend says, when Lord Rama was in the process of building the bridge to cross the Indian Ocean to fight back Sita from Sri Lanka who was kidnapped by Lord Ravan, it is believed that hundred of these squirrels became the crusaders and brought in little pebbles joining tiny hands on the job.  we may enjoy terming it mythology but we also enjoy the discovery channel where elephant saves  a lion cub or a some pet that saves a drowning human baby. Am I correct?
 How much ever we dread history lessons, we sure remember few names of freedom fighters, who fought against the british in the times that they ruled us. Or those names that safeguarded their territory in the times of kings and queens from their enemies. Now one of them is the brave lady called Obavva. 
 She was the wife of the security guard who guarded the seven hill stranded fort. When Hyder Ali another name from History books we tried to remember, attempted to attack the fort during reign of Madakari Nayaka with his soldiers, using a secret tunnel , it was Obavva who sensed human movement from within secret boulder gaps. She simply tucked her Saree up , took her weapon, Onake (pestle), and treacherously butchered head of every cunning soldier that crawled in from the tunnel. 
We were brought up singing some patriotic songs that mentioned her, we were brought up giving speeches in schools on independence day talking about few brave hearts like Onake Obavva. She was worshipped as inspirational figure. 

My guide, whom I hired at the entrance was a vibrant happy man. He talked non stop in his local accented Kannada. Most times neither of us communicated well. We nodded heads in a influencing notion saying I don't know what you say but it's ok. let's go ahead please. I wanted to cry with joy in the helm of the charity I had done by hiring this puppet. I hardly followed the stories in full. Few details in bits.
He sure was cute when he explained the big oil-churning cauldrons used in the past, with his full gestures. Or the strong soldiers and how they marched. his expressions and gestures were full of life. Much better than a few lousy heroes of our Kannada movies.
 Walking past several layers of fort that was generally flat ground and not hilly except for few spots, we come across numerous monuments with tales around them.  The two ponds "Akka Tangi Honda" named after wives of the king who committed self-immolation after Ali's conquering the Fort. Imagine an underground Treasury that's stone layered. The Swiss Bank of the royal families.

Few top hill breathtaking over views especially with the serene temple remains of the times reminded me of how the Bollywood crafted visuals of temples on top of the hills surrounded by boulders.

Apart from the numerous chipmunks, quite a few owls relaxed in the cool stone chambers and the monkeys loitered all around trolling very visitor and the kind of food they carried. They recognize nuts better. 

History revisited. We also tend to remember with vengeance why our history teacher glorified Chacha and baba while there was so much to enrich us with. Chitradurga and Onake Obavva are motivation. We can skip few TedX sessions once we learn about this place and her.

Err, excuse me, is it just me or anybody is actually hooked on to such tourist spots for long hours, basking in the grandeur of the stones , imagining the stories of the past. The stone splendor keeps me hooked on for ever. Just missed kissing one of the chipmunks. They are too fast for me.


1) Don't walk with fancy foot wear. Comfortable sportswear are better.
2) Beware of the monkeys. All they want is food.
4)There exists a small canteen that serves beverages, water, snacks and "chai" too.
5) Rock climbing can be disastrous. Security personnel are less. Our safety is our responsibility.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Defying Silence

While the dawn is sprawling up in the sky
sun ambitiously, delicately climbing up, to
decorate the horizon in multiple hues of red

while random small waves  authoritatively
guided the early birds to their prey,
tiny ripples hurriedly lapped at the shore

while winter wind found the boulders
for shelter, few sands and greens to fancy
most swimming ducks seemed peaceful

while the only cruises that moved far on
ferried the fishermen and their cast
few happy sea-gulls dived for food

while coyish sun cheated on much
foggy, frosty winter is a keeper
days were shrinking for dark long nights

while seated on the cold beach chair
in company of my thoughts
I listened to noisy silence of life 

apparent chaos in the routines
I seek silence from heart within
then wait, wait to reach a moment

while revering that moment
of silence and solitude
I attend to the noise inside me

while staring deep into a void
placing myself in the bosom of the cosmos
refilling mind with abundant of nature's love

while unwinding  for life-like
mammoth puzzling treasure
I embrace a tantalizing, Defying Silence

Friday, December 22, 2017

From The White Pages

PS - Google
One of life’s ironical philosophies is – “If we began believing and following all the philosophies, from the white pages, we would be scholars by age 18”. Certain things in life come by experience, either yours or another’s. I have mentioned this earlier in a piece posted in march 2017 on festival Holi.
Experience, in turn comes by our own intention and attitude towards hard work, learning and growing.  Somewhere the attitude towards life is a mistaken truth. And truth is a bitch too. This world is a perplexing imperfect piece of puzzle and life a biggest wonder. While we have millions of aims in our life, zillions of goals,  most of us begin our win and lose in life by competing!
Competing in life becomes healthy automatically when we realize the priorities of the goals.
We human species are the most intelligent species yet we seldom treat ourselves with most social niceties.

My last week's break fast at the south Indian restaurant was a big pain. I was appalled witnessing behavior of  well dressed man in the next table, give out rude instructions and loud criticizes to the waiter. Had been a while since I witnessed such a scene. But no, we ought to prove with time we are truly fit to be labelled bloody Indians. We know that the waiters are fools and in order to show how strong we are we ought to shower all our strength on them for no reason at times!

Plentiful folks out on the streets are still spitting on roads/walls, throw garbage on roads, having high-decibel mobile phone conversations but turn into model citizens when under scrutiny of known folks. The bloody soul inside me wakes up when I see orange peels and milk tetra packs in the play pen for kids, and I start picking them immediately.
Heard from a friend here in Doha, how a person was fined for spitting out of his car. Not just a fine!! He was showed videos  about cleanliness in the police station, stranded for hours, chided by police saying he was embarrassed to collect fine from such shameless person. Am sure it is impossible in the big India yet one Rajanikanth episode was what I could imagine in the police uniform playing out hefty hyperbolic dialogues.
We are always in tremendous hurry to get anywhere. Be it a shopping, a holiday, a dinner or any outing. Yet, seldom on time. We are the ones that are obsessive about queues. Folks love performing jigs with their elbows in the queue. Jostling, mumbling and shaking all over. Somewhere, we have engulfed our etiquette with traits to be called that bloody Indian though we have all capability to be proud Indians only.

The moment our plane touches down for landing, we spring out of our seats. yank down our baggage from overheard compartments and even before the aircraft can come to a halt, we have started stretching our neck towards the exit. Disembarking the plane is such a pain. We would love to jump down like Akshay Kumar if we were allowed to.
Waiting anywhere is not our cup of tea at all. Be it anywhere. At any air port, moment we have to wait we forget to zip our lips.
Why, we are in absolute rush to provoke verbal hassles with airline staff everywhere hoping they go apeshit in no time. And finally when they are induced with our verbal venom, we can happily post several videos of them misbehaving with ordinary passengers and accuse them of bullying like a bloody Indian. Or, if it was the case of cricketer Harbhajan Singh who reportedly accused a White pilot who physically abused a handicapped man on board, then we have called the pilot a crook for he used the term bloody Indian. (Now I do not intend to endorse the behavior of airline staff at all. Only a possible side of the coin perhaps is what I tried to look at).

Who won the game here? It's atrocious on mankind. There is no competition. Being polite is a curse! We are all smart now with smart phones in hand. Too smart to even think with our first and second sense or the most common form of sense. 

 Again, in sarcastic hush, we are the true spirited are we? Or at least with a hard-spine?  We are  pretty much short sighted in correcting our erroneous etiquette, yet in a competition to turn best in life. Whatsoever is the field. What on earth are competing for? We have lost an attitude in the course. 

Attitude is an inner voice. It is just another word in dictionary but a rulebook for life.
Things change when attitudes change. We ought to know, where we are heading. Are we competing actually against nothing?

Being a perfect social animal is not a myth. This comes by practicing life skills, gaining our experience , not by mere philosophy from the white pages!,
 – S0 says the white pages nevertheless!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Happy Seventh

To all my dismay, my blog too has taken up roles of a spoilt husband. It can follow me anywhere to everywhere. The moment I am done with cooking 4 dishes, set table, do the chores and put lights off that the husband's taste buds  crave for that very thing that's not on my table. And these days the blog has taken up similar traits. The moment the laptop is closed, lights off and I step out of study, my sensory treat my cerebrum with creative juices in full.  Then I have to treat the blog secretly like how I would treat my Ex.

There's a reason for this madness.

Have you heard of this myth where people believe, couples staying together for 7 years bind themselves in a "Common Law Marriage"?. This is not true yet supposedly believed in few states of the U.S. It's the evidence how and why we often bump into this  messages on social media which says, once a person is connected to you for 7 years then you are together forever. Well, I am apparently trying to connect and apply it to my blog. Because I am committed to my blog! 

Yes. Me and my blog complete 7 years of togetherness. If something called blog anniversary was a term more aptly applicable here.  Last few years I called it my Blog  birthday from time of it's conception. However, as we grow more number of years together, in full commitment, I found self-fascination for our mutual love and preferred to celebrate our 7th anniversary this month.

Now, how I end up taking kitchen-referring cases proves that we women are capable of  bringing out our culinary expertise and kitchen tales in any circumstances.

Because we women are possessively  obsessed with the kitchen.

Send us on a "ladies day out" and we  strike great conversations relating to  kitchen and food first, like offering prayers to our family deity.  Every time I train myself for marathon,  I wake up at 4AM on weekends and run up to 15 kilometers. Although, the main part of the brain is clogged with  strong signals warning me how I might reach my house with kitchen burnt down or flooded with spilled juice and sandwich remains. Now you see whey Ekta Kapoor fancied we women in silk sarees, seated on expensive couches grunting and smiling at family members, yet administering a full control over the kitchen.

There exists these traits why I announce ourselves  the Kitchen Queen. 
Damn the Kitchen King Masala. I protest, it should be renamed as "Kitchen Queen". Although the men can now treat the roosters with the right masala and devour it themselves, and even win master chef awards, we women,  have left no chance to actually give away the original supreme authority  of the kitchen. It is ours.  It belongs to we women of the homes.

Well, being my 7th blog anniversary, when I thought of kitchen tales to feed this post too, I was brainstormed by my self fancy for our kitchen awe.

In fact, what I must precisely be doing now is performing a thanksgiving day in my way. I must be thanking all my readers in my own way.

Yes, I began my journey of blogging 7 years ago in 2010 October-November  by writing little memoirs (Though most old posts are pulled off my blog, for a reason I shall announce early in 2018). I remember Satish and Seethakka's first  comments enjoying my first humour memoir. And there was Chowla Sir, who always showered praises saying I had a winners face and fueled  my attempts to stimulate my mind, creative skills to my fullest.

Soon I was introduced to blogger community called Indiblogger where more readers patiently survived all my writings. Not just that I went on to win a few blogging contests that further triggered  my desires to learn and do better with each piece I wrote.

My acknowledgments will be longish list though (excluding my lovely family), after the first few names mentioned above. Chandrika, Swetee, Manu, Rajesh Kamat, Sahana Madhyastha, Chaitra, Anupama Rao, Archna, Avinash, and ALL-Indiblogger peeps. There are more that I cant thank enough for their constant spirits of liking my writing and also congratulate them in return on surviving my every master piece, be it a poetry, travel memoir or humour posts.  Also, I thank the ones who have extended wishes for my continued journey too.

However there is one person, to whom I would dedicate my writing journey to. My Ajju. Grand -dad. He was indeed a GRANDeur of living, discipline, culture, values, so much full of life with his subtle humour.
He now resides across the rainbow bridge, right near the brightest cloud after the last ray of sun. There are no precise words to exclaim how he was  the first person to take my poetry seriously. Even when I laughed at myself while in my high school,  upon his comments "Baribeku magu (you must write child) " I did not attempt any writing even with he inspired me while being right on this earth.

However, returning promptly to my kitchen before I sign off. For that's our production shop. We produce cuisines, thoughts, blog posts, art work, gardening ideas, complete office projects and more.

If you need me anytime, you know where to find me.

All picture source- Our own google.

Friday, November 10, 2017

From Toon Times To Teen Times

An amazing cake, courtesy Just Bake Mangalore

And again, aren't we are all parasites of nostalgia? 

I was perturbed, recollecting how and when it was that, SHE outgrew my lap to be a owner of laptop,
from cartoon watching to reading books on politics and history, from world of barbies and Disney Land to a teenager with a guitar, from mamma papa girl to a new little own world with her own vision for her future.
My daughter turned 13 this year and please stop guessing my age.

Thirteen, is awesome? Troublesome? 
Whatever, it is, dear moms reading this,
You have a statutory warning,
Never ever prowl and sneak into your teenage daughter's room and flick those branded creams. And if you have, please don't try applying them immediately in sheer hurry without a proper glance into the mirror or the tube in your hands. You might end up smearing some meswak toothpaste instead of vicco-turmeric cream on your cheeks.

With age comes wisdom I heard. Never let it go whenever it comes. Hold it tight to cash it up. For you would face crisis of emotional bankruptcy at times.  You need it the most with the teen aged pair of eyes that keeps track your footsteps, analyzes your overall decibels,  masters the apprehensions how you will react or not before even you know about it. THEY know it better than you. Now this is the age, they understand parenting better than us. Mind it. Remember when we were in  high school and we were damn sure amma was actually wrong when she warned us not to wander alone with friends on the streets. 
Bingo. It's your turn. Now your teenage child knows how you could be a better mom or a better dad.

Mine had a sound advice for her dad in the Birthday card she presented him last week. My husband laughed his heart and then came running to me like a kindergarten child requesting me to actually explain all the words that were dancing in the card given to him. I advised him to take off from work and work on the advice given by his daughter. Why should I apprehend ideologies of a teenager and fall prey in the dad- daughter drama when I had more tasks in my basket.

Verbal combats with teenager and nuclear wars have one things in common. Destruction. Being wiser is to remain a smiling silent puppet till they return promptly to you once all cranky tantrums are thrown off. I recommend a new Nobel Prize being introduced for the moms of teenagers. It is for the best service in "Teenager handling, coping mechanism". And this reminded me of some funny meme a friend once posted on FaceBook. It said " It is sometimes better to keep a dog as company at home when you have a teenager".

Often, on several occasions we bump into discussions on how kids are faring at their academics and how many medals and trophies they have brought home. It is seldom that a discussion revolves around life skills. While a few of us are intellectually stubborn about raising children or culturally bound, we can still make room for some pampering, some luxury and those extra hours of fun. While most are busy arranging a book shelf to the kid, a few are happy with a new WhatsApp story telling App. Our world is changing. We grew up under granny's watchful eyes of how many television hours we got. Currently the trend is pretty much the same. Just the pair of eyes are changed. We are still under watchful eyes of teen aged children scrutinizing how many television hours we take while they can hog on that many number of hours on their gadgets too. Equality is the motto.

Please excuse me. I am such a dolt. But, I would love celebrating my child's birthdays with a handful of Orphanage kids where she would be monkeying around with them. I would not hesitate to take the teenager to a psychiatric ward visiting a relative where in she faces life's realities and not confine her to the pink and purple painted walls of her room decorated with stuff from Ikea. Life's education begins here and ends in books. It can not start and end with books alone.

Huh. Raising a teenager requires life skills indeed. But truly they are the real pets. Best companion for a parent. You bestow your gifts of values on them an you shall be surprised receiving some most unexpected return gifts from them. There is a child in them you  want to pamper. There is a adult in them that accompanies your thought process. You can dance with them, play with them or even quarrel with them.

And among all the hustle bustle, stomping, banging doors, the headphones plugged in the ears, our constant counselling and verbal lectures, agreeing to disagreeing, we grow together into our better selves. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Murughavana - Of Chitradurga

The mention of Chitradurga in  Karnataka state, reminds us of the sprawling fortress straddled with seven hills. It became popular by the name of "Onake Obavva" who single handedly killed the soldiers from Hyder Ali's troop who broke into the fort from secret tunnel in the year 1779.

Chitradurga is a place about 200kilometers from Bangalore and the theme park is about a kilometer away from the Fort.
The best place to relax after wandering in the fort is the "Murughavana Park".  A theme park quiet well planned, well maintained in the rural locale, with stone statues of different taste. Absolutely serene; dotted with huge trees randomly for ample shade; uniquely built stone statues of various freedom fighters, common people, scenes of rural areas and plenty of extinct dinosaurs.  A pleasant park to cool your nerves even on a warmer afternoon. 

This is only a photo based post and all pictures are i-Phone clicks!


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Key To Happiness

PS - Beloved friend- Google.
It  was yet another normal day. A compulsorily ordinary coffee-less morning for me. I came across this topic called Key To Happiness. 

The morning was already lazier and the topic that is nothing but a illusionary truth called irony that casts spells in our minds. Saying you are happy and if you want to be this and do that. To top it up we have social media full of philosophy and gyaan that makes you supposedly happy. Some even have pictures of pretty dogs preforming jigs with catchy captions reading, like this if you want the puppy to be happy. Happiness these days is  available at the amazon festival too.  eh? Or the Flip Kart big festival. Find your dreams here, find your happiness here, is what they lure you with.

In order to possess more gyaan for myself I started meditating. What an profound discovery I started making. Take deep breath, think of you, your family, your actions. And I could see all were happy. Only I was looking for it somewhere in  closed room with eyes closed. My husband an workaholic is happy by himself. My kids were too happy with schools, play, painting, joining puzzles and book reading. And here I was, researching what is happiness? How does it look like. Is it resembling the big box from the Amazon bonanza festival. Does it have a key then?

Seriously seeing, we are so addictive as well as bored of our life and being our full self that at times in despair we fail to notice that the new green patch in our garden or the first bloom of marigold in the spring itself is such happier moment. 

We are always in dire need of things. Anything that pleases us. The new book in the market , or the new white Lingerie the lady wanted or the extra TV in the house, the man wants . And once we possess it we forget the euphoria too soon and aim at the next set of stuff we are supposed to want. The few breaths that we huffed in between went unnoticed by our scowl. And for God's sake, happiness is not confusion. The illusion of a fake rainbow in your backyard after the sunset is actually what you have to paint it yourself.  The need of material things are like the same. Luxury is a requirement not a happiness criteria. There is a key to the new refrigerator that made you happy. But if you are actually happy and content then please secure the keys in your pocket till the next model of refrigerator is introduced in the market.

Happiness lies in the most under utilized tense- the Present Tense. Rather it's searched in the past tense or chased in the future tense. Pity we are like the asphalt roller, that rolls back and forth and repeat on the same spread. We fail to insist upon ourselves, that happiness is not a milestone.  It is endless. How dreadfully or how enjoyably you take your journey there makes you happy.

And if there's ever  a key to it, then it is you. Do what pleases you. But for gods sake don't ridicule your neighbor if he is laughing to himself. He may be seeing things you don't. 

If at all there is a key to happiness, we are experts in misplacing the sets. Because we are too busy fixing the nuts bolts and the screws of life.