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Showing posts from March, 2012

A drive up the hill

The district of Coorg, in Karnataka is one of my favorite places on earth. Madikeri, the headquarters of this charming coffee growing district is the answer to Mussorie and numerous other hill stations that adorn the crown of our country. The ones up north are much younger though. Lying nestled in the Himalayas, they retain their own charm. However, winding roads, misty valleys and cheerful locals are much the same across all hilly regions of our country. The nature has a calming effect on the most violent of tempers. So it is hard to believe that Coorg is home to one of the fiercest warrior clans of India. The Kodavas. History reminds us that no ruler could ever conquer this land as the Kodavas were brave fighters and hence their culture till date remains intact.

About two years ago, during the month of May we decided to seek shelter in the cool environs of this town, to escape the heat of our city. The evenings were chilly and we generally spent them over good food, some drinks an…

The Evening Drill

I have no clue how my day will begin tomorrow. I do not know what time I will be waking up. I only have a vague idea about what I need to do tomorrow and whom I might be meeting. But more likely I will surprise myself by doing something entirely different from what I had intended to. do. However, what I do know is how my day will come to an end. I know this for sure because I have developed a routine that I don't seem to mind very much. Now I am not a stickler for routines. I don't like them a lot. But for one reason or the other, my day ends in a similar fashion and I don't do anything about it.

It all begins when the Rajabai clock tower starts to chime as her two hands form a right angle. The second quadrant to be specific. The tower, of course is female. She was named after Premchand Roychand's mother - Rajabai. Roychand not only funded the building of this magnificent structure but he also founded the Bombay Stock Exchange. The evening bell of the tower would rem…

When the Pyre Burnt All Night

I do not have a native place. A village. A place in the country if you may. Some old house amidst lush fields and a well nearby. I have been born in this city. And I have lived here since then. Just like my Father and his Father. We don't know much about my Grandfather's father. So when someone asks me where my native place is, I simply say Bombay. However, if you ride down on the NH-17 towards the Taluka of Mangaon, and turn left and ride another few miles, you would come across a quaint place called Kadapa. And here on a small elevation lies a temple. This temple houses the shrine of Kadapkarin Devi. Or simply Devi as she is known in our family. As a child, going to Devi was an adventure in itself. My folks would offer our prayers and return the same day or at times stay over.

On one such trip, when I was 10, three families descended upon the temple. Most of us kids decided to explore the small hillock that rose behind the temple. There was a winding road going up to the vi…