Friday, September 15, 2017

Sevagram - Exploring The Less Explored Historical Site

Neither am I a photographer  nor a traveler. But I do both. When I travel for pleasure, I share lots of pictures and then blog, because I am only a blogger. My travel experiences that I share here are my memoir. Now,  it's not everyday that I introduce myself in my posts. Am a simple town girl from Manipal and there are three things I love in this world. My blog, my blog and my blog.
Well, and so it happened, that one  morning not long ago we landed in this place called "Sevagram'. So getting to the point, Sevagram is a small village, renamed from originally "Segaon". Sevagram is about 5 km from Wardha town and 50 kilometers plus from Nagpur in the state of Maharashtra.

The picturesque roads with faint smell of dust and dung; Beautiful Prussian blue buffaloes that consume more space on the roads than your SUV; The vegetable vendor squatted by the roads sides with hand towels wet scrubbing the  sweat even in the monsoons; Driving in rural areas has its own bumpy charm.

Now, we had reviews about this place about being historically popular for M.K.Gandhi last resided here before his march to the strike for Independence. He had decided to make this his headquarters until his struggle for independence succeeded. Shortly after his untimely unfortunate demise, this place started turning into a historical place, a museum reflecting the aura of  activities of this freedom fighter. He had used this place as office too and the place was supposed to have spiritual vibe. That was not all, I was told about the finger licking food, the Maharashtra thali (meal)  that was served in the canteen of the museum in this place and the  exotic collection of hand-woven Khadi cloth.


"Punyadham Sevagram" reads the board at the entrance

You get to walk inside a path with no asphalt, covered on both side with gigantic trees, a few shops lined near the gate that sell the authentic Khadi cloth,  into a wide compound. The various "Kuti" or the Katcha houses  with hay thatch here and there mark the rural beauty, showcase the scenes of the great freedom fighter's habitats. The house that he lived in with his wife . Kasturba Gandhi with its uneven mud flooring, the bathtub that blended with luxury for that era; the office space with a now antique wooden table, the neatly kept glass shelf with few bits of paper clippings and an honest letter of love he wrote to his wife when she was ill;  and telegrams of those times are the main attraction here. One can definitely get the feeling of waiting at the door as if for an appointment with Gandhi himself.

This model Gandhi with shining scalp is my sonny, too excited, unable to understand if this was a house we wanted to buy and stay in!! Accordingly he inspected the bathrooms and other rooms and declared the place was nice.


It is beautifully constructed new concrete building that exhibits master pieces from life and habitats of  Bapu times. The display is well polished and well-kept. As for me, I felt like a revisit to the class 10 history lessons and as for my kids, older one was busy studying details of each and every exhibit. She was first introduced to Bapu by  "Lage raho Munna Bhai "and my little one hopping like a happy rabbit unknowing why the hell were we busy watching old tables, chairs, lamps and stuff like these while there was the smell of food and sight of ice cream right outside the building.

The most important thing to do is to visit the canteen with beautiful ambience , cane furniture, and the authentic Maharashtra food with the ghee smeared "Puranpolis," Kokam kadi"  and 14 other delicacies served in lovely steel  plates that come in "family size". A super example of best quality and most quantity at a time.
Any travel includes food and more food but this one includes food and rich and best food!
A historian or a would be historian would love to explore this place. Nevertheless any nature lover too will end up exiting the place with a happy smile.  Our Nagpur visit got a lovely touch touring the serene interiors of Sevagram village.
The favourite items of Gandhi that is a must in display

The famous "Salt Satygraha"

Prayer Ground In Sevagram
And then, it all ended there.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Converses With My Little Voices

PC - Anu. it began, when some silent whispers screamed,
 from my heart's secrets, unguarded by the  brain
which apparently showed up soon enough
when I fell in  the ecstatic company of the clouds

how many thousands of moments I have lived
each day, by the side of loved ones
how many errands accomplished
holding hands of those that matter

yet, why, scratches like instances of emptiness?
the fear, if I had lived those moments at all?
experiences of every fraction of second of past
that still rejuvenate my nervous make up

my interactions with sea of people, that left
the  bits of profound lessons, interesting marks
lovely images of life, in the album of my memory..
leaving me immersed in those moments again through these words

cuddled in among all these, was a poignant moment
like a bubble reflecting the rainbow colours
flying in the direction away from 'my' wind
adorable golden pearls of times, that I had lived only once

bubble formed by eternity of love
bonding of strength, love, life and laughter
I got to live it once and let go
leaving me elated in life

how, my experience, hard and lazy work, compromises,
all sculptured and craved out a prominent shape to my life
with beautiful, good or bad times of past, but,
I was yet to lead myself to the next

The future, the dreams that I am expected to live too,
got me a sweeter appointment with my deeper within
for a tete-a-tete , confabbing about gray zone of my heart
Conversing with my little voices, what they want to be....

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bored Of Boredom

She could have been me but this GIF source - Google Images

We are all addicted to something. Most of us addicted to our life and a few to the lie that life is too short. Also, today one is easily  addicted to boredom. We are habituated to repeatedly do the mundane jobs and end up with intolerable boredom.

The fact is that, life is too long than we could measure it with the number of hours we can count or the bank balance we managed to haul through our donkey routines. Now, I am just going off track to prove that for most of us boredom is the fastest addiction.

We can even get bored of boredom instantly.

When it's just two days for the weekend to begin, our tendency to start getting bored of our routine increases. Smack the alarm, rush down a hot shower, dress well, sprinkle the holy gas perfumes, sit in our posh cars go to work. And when the weekend is at our door step, the boredom again peeps in too. The long drives, parks, malls and movies all have turned old. We don't want to see people. We are seriously bored of god knows what. There is an endless list of activities to do including the vacation for next year! Yet we have time to crib, huh it's really getting boring ya.

The weather creeps up to be boring too. Be it winter summer or the rains. After some time everything is dull. It's in our minds. We just know when to hit boredom.

Boredom is the new opposite to happiness.
Happy X Sad = wrong
Happy X Bored = right

As for me, it's been four decades on earth and I sure get bored of eating the staple food two times a day, 7 days a week. Neither have I changed my choices in the past 15 years of married life nor have I changed my husband. And hence, by now I do get bored waiting for my husband  to return from work. I am not the type that will dress well, and sit across the window with elbows at perpendicular on the couch and as his car screeches to halt at the parking rush to the door with grin. Because, he is on his mobile and am on mine and both are bored of them too. 

But, you see we are addicted to boredom. 

I have a daughter. Shes turns thirteen next week. But years ago she mastered the term "boring amma". No it does not mean her mom(amma) is boring.  For my daughter the term amma is a suffix or a prefix with most nouns adjectives or even verbs. Hungry amma, play time amma, TV amma, shower amma, and in no time shes bored of everything. So it's boring amma. She's my prided plume. Always on her toes. But at least once in a day there's time for her to feel bored. Offer her any idea and she's the Nostradamus that knows it's going to be boring too.

Each generation of human species is a step ahead in the learning and so is my son 3 year old and this afternoon he declared to me "mama I am bored". I was in a state of shock with mixed feelings. He hardly knows what it is and hes hit by it. I quickly indulged into some funny chats with him and questioned "what are your favourite things?". Pat came the reply "egg, chicken and mamma". That was second googly for the day for me. Apparently understanding the addictive syndrome of the generation, I quietly  offered him to watch his favourite cartoon on television and tried to sip some coffee with my thinking cap on.

I know that I am happy today. Not because I must be the Ms perfect. Not that I don't have regrets when I look back. Not that there are no things I did not pick up to do and I repent them too. But over period of time I have learn't to put up with repents or hate. I have mused myself with the fact that I am doing a right thing today and will continue to do so tomorrow. When I took my break from my work, two years ago, I started slowly getting addicted to the cozy walls of the house and the hurricane routines. You will find me like a spider woman all around the house. Yet this gave me time to muse, whatever am doing is right or wrong? And then, I am filled with so many contradictions that I get bored thinking of all of them.

Again, I have no idea what boredom is. We are the busiest species on the earth and most intelligent. That's the very reason, we have so much to do that we end up piling up intolerable boredom on our shoulders.

I have decided to attain a nirvana. By being extremely selfish. Unless I am happy, I cant be the same super woman or the spider woman to paint the entire sky happy to keep my home happy. So take a chance to curb boredom, freak out with friends, watch a movie or vanish off to some sea side with a good friend. The list is just too big too and I might by soon by hit by boredom even choosing one of them.

Here we go. Don't stop feeling bored. It's a roller coaster phase.It's just a highly nuanced emotion especially highly credited in society today. Hitting boredom is just a speed pump for a change, isn't it?
 Is it?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mug Printing On The Sonny Day

You and I may have different experiences, but definitely the same jubilant emotions, very same euphoric moments.
Those few minutes of midnight that I spent in the  singing van with multicoloured lights called "Ambulance" brought a new light of life inside me; I did not know I was changing to be a new person in those few minutes.; I lost my voice for a minute; My closed eyes saw images of my mom and dad smiling; Only some tinkling noise of a glass bottle twined up with pipes to my arms, woke me up to catch a faint glimpse of the royal hospital exteriors; Yes the government hospital of Doha, Qatar, was nothing less than a royal palace. 

Happy Birth-days are not like the other 364 days. That's one day where we feel extremely special and want to pamper ourselves and celebrate the day we came into existence on this earth. The joys multiply when all our near and dear ones too join in to sing some notes.

We all have a perspective towards birthday celebrations. Quietly slip off to a gateway destination, make some noisy party in our residences, or a quiet dinner with family and friends. Well, we would have tried almost all types. 

This month my little fellow turned 3. We decided to simply celebrate it in his Nursery with his buddies. The enthusiasm was not allowing us to fade it out into a simple one. And hence the preparation began. Goodies to all little children, the grand pink rose cake from Opera House (pink is my son's favourite colour) his new pink attire and a coat. Ah, now this idea of the mug printing for his loving teachers. When all preparations were at our finger tips, finally the mugs were done too and  arrived to be placed in the middle of a table in our drawing-room.

That night, as I finished my chores and duties, and was about to put off the last pole of lamp light, I took a glance at those mugs shining on the table. The time of night triggered me to dive into some time capsule, reach out to those moments again. Those, of exact three years ago when he was born. 

One night three years ago, he was just expected yet. With a heavy baby bump when I had just pushed myself into a slumber did I wake up abruptly at witching hour of 2 AM. I knew, I just knew it was that time for him to arrive. I acted as quickly as like any chemical reaction,  pinched my better half that was snoring softly on the other side of the bed. The ambulance arrived in like an instant "abracadabra". 7th minute I was inside the big multicoloured van with a singing siren,  huffing, puffing and managing myself onto the smell of the liquids and other medicated stuff inside. Immediately I took to admiring the interiors of the ambulance. It was my first time. The nurse beside me asked several questions, took notes and offered some additional oxygen too. 

Those 12 minutes I spent inside the ambulance were a characteristic fair bit of an experience what I term as a perfect mixed feel times. The royal palatial hospital had a neatly manicured lawn and five-star facility. I was overwhelmed to see an Indian doctor on duty and gleefully sat up on the stretcher till the lady doctor sweetly ushered me back on stretcher and to a beautiful room but covered with huge heavy curtain from all sides of the bed. 

After an entire 18 hours of monitoring and my toiling up and down the hospital corridors with labour, finally the hard work paid off. I reminded the nurse with full confidence when it was time to rush to maternity ward and get the baby out. It was a first experience again to be on a bed completely surrounded by heavy curtains as is custom in Doha. 
The arrival of the bundle of joy lasted for few minutes till he was taken away for his wash and I lay staring at the ceiling and the tubes and pipes twined onto my arms. Just as I waited to ask the next staff when would the baby arrive to me, I witnessed it was almost 12 midnight and the mark of first day of holy month of Ramadan, and everybody got busy hugging each other and wishing "Ramadan Kareem". 

It was then, I took a chance to look at my coffee coloured maternity gown the hospital gave me. Intoxicated by the smell of medicine and the ticks of the big dirty wall clock, angrily I turned my face towards those heavy monstrous curtain, when I heard Usha Auntie run in like a happy puppy with a bundle in her hands. Look he looks just like his dad.. 
Enough, after all this labour and wait, and now at least I deserved to be told see how he resembles me. But too sweet that auntie was, I nodded a positive with her.

Now as I arrived in to my private room, it was midnight and exactly a day after I had left home in the multicoloured singing van. And world had changed for us. There was an additional birth certificate added onto our family documents and one more passport to be done.

Isn't birth of a human a joyful miracle coupled with emotions, changes and lots of memories for a lifetime's treasury?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Two Best Beaches Of Udupi - Bengre The Silent Estuary And The Swarming Malpe

Enjoying the company of camera in Bengre beach
I just can't stop my own rhythm  of an endless fathom for the mystery of a SEA. 
There is always something about "Sea", I always say this. And there is a secret I must tell you regarding the beaches of Udupi. Without sketching big agendas, just let yourself there and get carried away by them. Udupi is otherwise the flavoured "cuisine" town and also the "Temple town" situated few kilometers away from the sea coast.

I recommend you to reach out to these two beaches for two contrasting reasons. Find complete peace and silence in one and absolute noise food and crowd in the other. 

1 - BENGRE / DELTA / KODI BEACH - The silent paradise, hosting the confluence of "RIVER SUVARNA" meeting the Arabian Sea. 

We do reach out to beaches for various reasons. And this is a perfect place to rejuvenate yourself from a hectic routine in the serene noiseless aura. There is absolutely less  number of  visitors frequenting this beach. Also it is way easy on your wallet.  The drive from Udupi city would be about 10 kilometers or little more that will take you past the randomly laid coconut palms that whisper cool winds in your ears. 

The faint lines where the river greets the sea tide

It's something to rest your back on sands watching a river and a sea on either side

The calmer looks of the river makes it obvious why one could hide away from the chaotic routines and settle in here. Listening to the whispers of the winds, watching the variety of birds or the boats. The local fisheries are quite a popular thing in here. A big mass of the coastal residents depend on sea food too. The "crow watching" a term I coin here was sheer fun from childhood times. They generally are seen pecking at stuff from trash cans or dried remains of fishes and sometimes get aggressive and give you a chase if you bite your snack in the open. One of us would find it amusing to run after a flock of them settled around the trash, in our childhood days.

Calmer Looks
The Three Idiots 

A local fisherman busy casting his blue fishing net in the river waters.

There is a pattern in chasing the sunset colours or the flights of the birds here. I adore how the birds love to settle on river bank rocks or smaller trees however fly away over sea tides only when the sun starts fading away. There is a way how we watch the boats that wander away in the river and return back by dusk and side by side you could see a random  ship that makes it move past the bigger waves away from the shore. 

The sands untouched by huge human crowd poses a varying fresh look. The crawling grumpy crabs are seen scampering at the dusk looking for their homes deep in the sands.  They are the lucky ones to see no traffic jams but only fear of monstrous humans waiting to devour them.

With so much nature, so much of time to rejuvenate your minds, and when eyes are feasting on the myriad colours from the earth till the sky, our fingers automatically make irregular patterns in the sands. Sometimes the pattern could be non- concentric circles or our names. 

One of my favourite sun set view here

When you are not good at making sand castles with your children this is what you  could carve our in the sands

2 - MALPE the popular port, crowned best beach of Udupi.

Probably, most interesting thing about this beach is it the FIRST beach in the country to supposedly get free Wi-Fi as a result of Digital Drive by our government.

After touring the Bengre, one can easily roll up sleeves and get set on mark for the rapid activity based beach. Human sea, street vendors selling variety of food specially the fried sea food in open, water sports, para gliding or the giant wheels on the run.  There is not much time to romance the sea or the waves unless you are determined to ignore the food or the other happening rides. You get to witness the majestic feel of a fair here.

Also you can rejoice the distant view of the St. Mary's Island. One can visit the island, picking up a boat ride from the port end. They generally close in the monsoon. And also is safer to trip in bigger groups. 

And here's a local vendor offering the "CHURMURI" 

Catch me if you can said the red ball and I tried in vain

A distant view of the St. Mary Island

Myself - In the process of vanquishing fear of heights 

Tempt yourselves to feel lost in the vast Konkan beaches. The nearest airport is "Mangaluru" and best five star stay would be available in Manipal. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Summer Sum Up Of Times Past

How much ever we crib about the scorching heat of the sultry summer days, the hot crisp air some times strikes a beaming smile on your face as you remember those school time summer holidays. There was so much life that brought me close to nature. I did not grow up with android, WiFi or IOS but had trees. Today it is the other way round. 

And the summers of  times past, school days,
were  absolute blissful vacation of gala ways.
Pranks on prowl, jumping rope, swinging high, unending fun,
skinning knees, skipping fast, reading books, with WiFi none!

Those haunting escapades onto the streets,
tree climbing event with buddies, were treats.
Shouting our lungs out, whip our hair and dance,
playing pranks on passers by, leaving no chance.

Flower hours,  were my choicest few,
rejoicing the summer bloom galore each day new.
Neatly aligned rows of May Flower trees, shining with the sun,
were our air conditioners for the day in the open.

The placid  and alluring Champa I chose for my hair,
while Jasmine stayed on with it's aroma diffused in the air.
Parijatak, untruly the tree of sorrows, was a favourite of mine,
bushy shrub by the gate, fragrant and so divine.

And then there were times, creeping down to kitchen store and peep,
in dark corners, steal granny's pickle bottles from shelves high and deep.
Pinching some of her jarred green mangoes, meant a ritual of feast,
the huge green  pickle jars were targets of life! simple at least.

And again, flicking granny's  "Vicco Turmeric", to look like a queen
tiptoe to her high window shelf, stealthily waiting to preen.
Reaching out to the yellow tube, randomly smack the skin with a layer,
and smile onto that silver framed small wall mirror.

Wearing those  sleeveless floral frocks, laundered neat and clean,
Amma paddled away  on her brown "Singer" sewing machine.
Special material that it was made  from, the "Only Vimal "  
fresh and soft for summers, that was our brand to feel royal!

Quenching down the thirst with  Rasna drink,

that Amma readied and filled fridge with, in colours yellow green and pink.
Gulping down liters of it, and hold serious debates,
on colour of your tongue with friends, was madly cute.

Summing up those times, going down memory lane,
of spirit in heart, spring on our feet, and barefooted run!
Summers though were times, boundless, to chill
Hot rays of sun and waves of the sea, polishing moments to heart's fill.