Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sunday Outing

"You dont know Kannada?" He asked suddenly In English.
I fought hard to restrain from showing any signs of amazement. Only a smile and a sideways shake of head.

"Ok. Send this picture to my address". He removed his wallet and showed his address:

D.Mahadevayya (Community Health Guide/ Boat Man)
s/o. Devarasanayaka
Kaliyur, Narasipur Taluk
Mysore Dist.

I guess everybody here knows English, given the fact its a tourist spot. The place is Talakadu, about 140 Km. from bangalore. We had just taken a ride in his "theppa" (a disc shaped boat) across to the opposite bank of Kavery and back. I also made him pose for a photograph.

The plan was to go to a place called "Shivanasamudra", a place with scenic beauty and some water falls on saturday Feb 25th 2006 so that I can attend a concert on Sunday eve (Shivaratri). But the trip got deferred to Sunday. We started off in a qualis, and after having our breakfast at a town called "Bididhi", famous for its huge idli called "thatte idli", we reached there after nearly 3 hours, not to mention the absence of a tar-road. Yet it was surreal sight watching people on top of private busses going to almost unreachable place of the same country of which Bangalore was once a part.

While travelling, I happened to see a hill to my left and a temple gopuram appeared on top of it. The driver informed us that its a nice Shiva temple. We took a detour and he parked near the base of the hill. On top of this hill called Somashaila presides Lord Mallikarjuna. Seemingly very old architecture, we had a nice bit of climb, given the fact that "Bangaloreans" tire easily.

After that, we went to the Kavery river bank, and driver made it a point to repeat that all this water goes to Tamil Nadu. Perhaps he was expecting some comment from us... Anyway, we found a lot more sand than we were expecting. One can see how Kavery's course changed over the millenia. Someone told us about a few ancient recently discovered monuments and temples here. No time was lost-- up we went to the other side of the undulating land with sand top. The first monument we sighted was the Pataleshwara temple.

Further on, we came across a huge circular valley with a very ancient construction amidst. A guide was heard telling some interested telugu people that this was one of the pancha Narayanas established by Ramanuja. This was recently discovered and was in a bad shape before they dis-assembled it and put it back. A bigger temple also exists here, still in the dis-assembled state. Efforts are on to number the stone-blocks used and arrange them back.

Very close by is the Vaidyeshwara temple. If the other two were old, this must be much older. With that amazing architecture in sight and no one to stop us from capturing it on camera, we cut loose with our weapons. The statue of the deity had an imposing and commanding presence, given the rather large and relatively dark hall, giving it an hoary appeal.

One of the places in that temple that caught my attention was the five lingas in the rooms at the back of the temple. The Linga shown here is the centre most and most imposing one. It reminds me of Egyptian Architecture. And inside lives, verily, Pharaoh of the Worlds! From here on, we went to the Kavery bank. After Swimming (I cant, so I didnt), Theppa rides and water melons , we came back here for lunch. There is a very small mess just in front of the temple declaring that it is a "brahmin tiffin and mess". What more to be needed from life?? We had our fill there alright!

All said and done, this was my best Shivaratri ever when I visited three Temples of Shiva-- one on top of a hill, one below ground and one on level ground. Lord of the Three Worlds! Icing on the cake: I cannot forget the coincidence that the boat man's name was Mahadevayya, who helped us cross the river (of our life?) on that holy day. Alas! A symbolist's predicament! Looking too much into everything!

Then we went to the water falls about an hour from there( which might need another post...)


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Thought process

I: O look! See the amount of cement being spent in the city. I bet, in a few years, we will run out of cement reserves.

Me: Stupid ass! Long before the reserves run out, cement will become so costly that only a few will be able to afford it.

Myself: Idiots! Long before that happens, there will be no land to build on, in the first place!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A plea to save natural habitat

Long ago, I had a minor revelation about bangalore. Now, lets look at a different scene.

Magrath Road is supposed to be a posh locality. It is home to a couple of very high-class hotels in the hub of the city--in close proximity of Brigade Road, Residency Road and MG Road (every city has one, if you dont know the rule). Other than the everlasting road construction work and narrow one-way street, a very curious phenomenon is the presence of a pack of a species called "Stray dogs".

My own meditations on the presence of this species in this area told me that this is not very surprising-- a one-way street (did I mention "narrow"?) with a dead-end has very low traffic. If that street has a restaurant, then naturally it will have a lot of trash. This is a perfect place for dogs. If someone asks me what is Magrath Road most useful for, my answer will be-- to breed Stray dogs.

The only problem is a species called "Homo sapiens". What if someday, the road opens to free-flowing traffic? Or what if the authorities decide to clean-up the road? Or what if some American guy (a species very close to Indian guy, but is higher up the heirarchical ladder of economy-chain-- while he makes or breaks the economy of the world, his Indian counterpart can only get chained) finally decides to take action against stray-dogs, given the fact that there is a heavy interspecies competetion between the species of American guy and Stray dog, both competing for the same resources.

Given the jeopardy Stray dog is in, will someone not come to the aid of this mute being?