Restless

Generally feeling restless. This uncertainty is keeping my mind occupied all the time. Last year also life was full of uncertainties and again the same story repeating.  

But even if I go back, what would it be like? Off course, it would be lot better in so many ways. Would have familiar known people and surrounding around.  

Came across a very interesting person and I don’t want to discuss him here because I don’t want to discuss his personal life with others. All I can say in amazement is, people like this still exist. Wow! 

Rude friends, indifferent people, friends who turn out to be acquaintances, expectations wrongly expected, silly reasons, fear of intimacy, phobia of commitment, longing for companionship, going out of the way for nothing and then regretting, being misunderstood, being misused, being not understood, being fooled, being not been able to speak your mind…all because we have seen so much, learnt so much and complicated everything…simple words complicate things…complications keep us occupied…simplicity we long for… 

G-Talk status message to convey, to attract , to satiate aesthetic reasons…all this talk for feeling good. 

Pupils running here and there, cant concentrate cant be fixed. You can blame it on my restlessness.

All are the same

At the end of the day they are all the same. You talk to them nicely and would sit on your head to throw their tantrums.  They would call themselves your best friend and say whatever they want on the pretext that they can be themselves when they are in your company when the reality is you are just a punching bag for them which they can use to take out their frustration because that is all they can do. They do not have the courage to tackle their problem without throwing their weight around. 

 

Sribble pad

RD Burman songs and nostalgia go hand in hand. Its like those summer vacation days when I would come home sweating late in the morning from a quick “lets catch up” session with a friend then put on the fan and stretch on the bed for the sweat to dry. Make some coffee and listen to some good songs on the music system from my personal collection. Music systems were big deal those days. Music systems with big surround sound speaker and remote were all the more hep. Though they still played audio tapes and not CDs. Audio tapes used to cost just 25 bucks and the expensive ones would cost 45 bucks. Then Mel track 60 minutes and 90 minutes were a rage which we used to buy to record songs for friends who were not so well to do. We would also record from borrowed tapes on our music system to make our own collection which I used to play and dance to those songs every afternoon after coming back from school. Songs of Dr. Alban, Boney M, Michael Jackson or any other with foot tapping music. Lunch used to ready, and kept on the table. 1 pm we would help ourselves with meal and sit in front of the TV for some cable show. Summer vacation also used to be a time when my cousin used to visit us from Mumbai. The two of us made a great company. We would try out new home made face packs and would start getting all ready from 4 pm onwards for our dates at 5. Dates they were. Rebels with hormones running in our bodies made us grow up quickly. Nirulas at Chanakya used to be our favorite hang out place followed by Basant Lok market in Vasant Vihar. And while coming back we usually used to get stuck in dust storm which is a common phenomenon in Delhi during summers. I used to enjoy the storm a lot. I still enjoy hail storm and thunder storm. Its kinda wild. With faces covered in dust and heart filled with fear of getting a good scolding from mom for coming home late, we would continue to make the next day’s plan. Summers, Old Hindi songs, the smell of dust, the heat, the soft cotton sari of grand mother, the newspaper which dadu would read half lying on the bed near the door…the sudden rush to get all the clothes from the terrace because of sudden rains, the breezy evenings, dad’s special recipe of ruh-afza… How much I disliked Saturday and Sunday as mom and dad would stay at home dictating the entire 48 hours which I used to hate so much. I have always liked doing my own things but weekends always changed that equation. Though the Saturday evenings I really used to like because that would have meant catching up a good movie on HBO or Star movies with dad. When I was really small, when we did not have a color TV, phone, cable or sophisticated gadgets. When our prosperity meant a two-wheeler, a bi-cycle, a Beltek black and white TV with shutter , a small tape recorder and a Kelvinator 165 Litres fridge. I remember, the day the fridge had come to our house, it was all packed in a big cardboard box and I just could not wait for it to get unpacked. The first thing that mom and dad kept in the fridge were a sauce pan filled with milk, water bottles, ice tray. The first refrigerated fruit that I carried to my school was an orange and I so much wanted to flaunt our new fridge without being a big show off. I said, “The orange is really cold even after so many hours. Our fridge is really effective.” The Beltek TV, like any other contemporary TV, came with antenna which we fixed in our terrace and which frequently needed adjustments for fine signal tuning especially when there is an important programme coming on Doordarshan. My dad would run to the terrace and instruct me to stand below so that I could tell him if the adjustment is ok or not, in the mean while the big channel tuner also needed to be rotated several times to stop the picture from rolling. I don’t remember the exact time but those days Doordarshan never used to play for the entire day and there was a specific time when the programmes would start with a particular tune which till date is my favorite but funny part is, I don’t remember the tune because I don’t get time to watch TV let alone watch Doordarshan. As a matter of fact, no one sees Doordarshan these days. They aired programs like UGC, Krishi Darshan, SportsTime, Star Trek, Jimmy and the Magic torch, Giant Robot, Quiz Time, Yes Minister, Lucy, Saptahiki, Phool khile hai gulshan gulshan, Samachar, Chitrahaar and every Sunday some Hindi movie. When we did not have fridge my mom used to send me to the market or to our neighbors to get ice. For TV we used to go to some neighborhood aunty’s place and my mom used to get me Gur Roti Ghee for dinner which I never particularly liked. She would also feed me dal, butter and rice. But I liked those churans and ice creams which I could buy @ 10 paise. Orange stick would cost 1 rupee and Vanilla bar costed 2 rupees. Kwality chocobars were equal to having a party at 6 rupees a stick. Pastry and cakes were not easily available and non knew what is a pizza, noodles, pastas, hot dog, doughnut etc. Though my mom knew what a Ham Burger is since she had traveled to many countries as a child. This story does not seem to end, I mean I don’t know how do I end it. Right now staying in Bangalore and I miss everything about Delhi. Living alone teaches you many things however, since I am living with Sanjukta, my school time buddy, things have become a little comforting for both of us. Both of us are gifted with a rare talent of finding humor in everything. A typical day for us begins with 20 mins of Auto search and end with the same. 40 mins gone for ”Satya ki Khoj” everyday from our lives. The auto walas here just would not go anywhere you want them to take you. “MG Road” Nahhhhhhhh, Millers Road Nahhhhhhhhhhhh, UB City Nahhhhhhhhhhhh, Name any place and be ready to hear, “Naaaaaaaaaaaaa”. Wonder how do they make their ends meet? They would stand idle but just would not go. So we have drawn a conclusion that in Bangalore people have Autos and they drive Autos for hobby and not for business. People in other cities have bikes and cars and they go for long drives alone. Here, it is Auto. Each one owns one and they go on long drives in their Autos and we ignorant people stop them and ask them to take to xyz places. 2nd realization, here Auto wala’s pretend that they do not know Hindi or English so that they can fleece you. You would say something and they would take you to some other place pretending that did not understand which place you wanted to go. 3rd thing, from 8:30 pm onwards they would start asking for one and a half or double the amount of the meter because its night time. (Auto wala would tell you this, “Night Time madam. Late no.” 8:30 pm is night time. As if, ghar late aaoge to Biwi maaregi) Short distance, 10 bucks extra on meter. And when is comes to being abusive the so called non Hindi speakers here know the choicest “maa behan ki gali” in Hindi. NEWS Head lines on the day ASH-ABHI wedding, “Jhanvi’s son claims to be Jhanvi’s brother”. Abhishek promised marriage to Jhanvi. Friend says, she is a drug addict. Jhanvi gets bail for attempting suicide. Blah! Blah! Blah!…..interview continues…reporter,” Jhanvi aap pehle mujhe sun li jie fir aap jawab dijie. Aap ki shadi ho chuki hai aur 5 saal tak aap Lukhnow mein bator shadi shuda aurat ban ke rahi hai aur aapka 10 saal ka ladka bhi hai”. To this Jhanvi replies, “I want to open an NGO” (??##@@@ what crap) Channel change, another NEWS scrolling at the bottom, “Celebrity polar bear get anonymous threat on phone”. (Wow the bear has a phone also) and here we were told by a BSNL staff that it would take 2 months in Bangalore to get an internet connection (how thakela). Who ever said Bangalore is a great city, off course, did not have much exposure. Its all hyped like the Ash-Abhi wedding. Its like those bombs which you buy in Diwali and they turn out to be duds. Anyway, I have done enough complaining, and I just wanna go back. Go back to those blue line buses, where the conducters almost hang outside the buses and call out to people standing at the bus stops, “Munirka, Munirka, Moti Bagh, Moti Bagh, Roni, Roni.” Go back to those busy weekends, and lazy TV watching with family. Sheetal ke samose, Supreme Bakery ka pastry, Sarojini Shopping and baki ka Time Pass. RPM, Teasers, PVR, Dilli Haat and so many other places. The LetsGo and the LIS gang… If I happen to go back to Delhi there is nothing about Bangalore that I would miss. Not even the weather which so many people talk about and essentially not the night life because there isn’t any in Bangalore. Things that I liked about Bangalore is the literacy rate, the woman bus conducter and post (wo)man. This post has become too long so I guess I should stop here now. Written over many days that’s why chances are that similarities or rather continuation may be missing… Random thought, after all, are like that. All I want to hear is Jll saying, “come back”.

LetsGo Bangalore is back from its maiden trip to Humpi, instead of Kumbakonam, as was mentioned earlier. The maiden trip of Letsgo Bangalore, which was scheduled for a trip to Kumbakonam, the
temple city in Tamil Nadu, had to be cancelled at the 11th hour on 30th March due to the state wide strike called by the ruling party against the quota issue.
 

On Friday (30th) morning most of the let’s goers in
Bangalore had gone to their work places with their back packs all set because we were to leave right after the work by train. Soon after the NEWS of strike on www.ndtv.com was out people started advising us not to go there as we might get stuck in the station that too in a city where language is the biggest barrier.
 However, we were still in double mind as tickets were booked for 7 letsgoers and we did not want to give it up. I was adamant till 2 pm that no matter what, we will take a risk and would surely go but then had to let go the idea of Kumbakonam because it would have been a very unpredictable situation. So with a lot of disappointment we called up the rest of the wanderers and went ahead with the decision of canceling the Kumbakonam trip.  But rebels that we are with adrenalin running in the adventurous minds, we decided we are gonna travel for sure, no matter what, to some other place may be in Karnataka if not in Tamil Nadu.  And thus started our Google search at 4 pm Friday in search of a destination. Uncalled for suggestions started pouring in and we decided on 2 places-  Medikari in  Coorg or Hampi near Hospet. 

Since, Sanjukta and I both are from
Delhi so we chose Hampi over Hills of Medikeri and made our plan.
The plan was like this, we first decided to get the Kumbakonam tickets cancelled, come back to office, research on Hampi and then leave. After cancellation at 6 pm at Cantonment station, we reached office at 7 pm and researched, took printouts of Hampi, tried doing online booking of train tickets but in vain due to bad server of Indian railways. We then picked our bags and at 8:30 pm were at  the City Junction station waiting for our turns for current booking to Hospet, the  nearest station to Hampi.   Major rush at the counter was for cancellations due to the bandh. After standing for about 45 min we were told that there were no tickets available for “Hampi Express” not even in the general class,  hence, as pre-decided, we immediately rushed towards Majestic intercity bus stop, boarded the bus to Hospet at 10 pm and congratulated each other for our backpacking spirit as this was completely on spur. Just look at the scene, two women in the night traveling to a place which was unknown, whatever was known was through the last moment internet research (thanks to Google). 

The highways in Karnataka are quite good and it was a smooth ride.  The 120 km/ hr speed of the rickety state government’s bus ride was thrilling for me and chilling for Sanjukta as we munched chips and biscuits bought from the station before leaving for the bus stop. We reached Hospet at 5:30 a.m. A big board on the header of KSRTC bus stop “Maintained by “Shivananda Hotel” was our first clue to accommodation. We asked around where is this Sivananda, and check in there at 5.45. Hospet is a quite, industrial town. It has steel plants, sugar mills and other industries with a population of a little over 3 lacs (Source:- a local autowala and a co-passenger with whom we went to see, Tungabhadra Dam on Sunday, the 1st of April ). 

We  were impressed by the rooms in Hotel Shivananda which was nicely decorated at a price of INR 500.00 for 24 hours but were more impressed by the staff’s kindness and hospitality. 31st March, the next day Saturday, 10:30 a.m., we boarded a local bus instead of taxi or auto unlike the other travelers as we wanted to travel in the true back packing ishtyle. It took us 30 minutes to reach Hampi; the city of Vijayanagar empire of king Krishna Dev Raya which is now in ruins and has been taken over by ASI.  

We hired an auto for 5 hours at INR 250.00  for a city tour but we recommend that one should hire bi-cycles or Scooty which are available in plenty in the city. One can easily cycle around the 60 kms radius in winters or take lazy strolls in the evening along the bouldered hillocks.  We were mesmerized completely with the sheer grandeur of the 3mts high Shiv Linga in water. The chambered
Krishna temple looked so haunting with 3 “Garbha Griha” covered in darkness and inhabited by bats. The basementShiva
Temple, which has its top at the ground level and the base submerged in under ground water with fishes in it.

The dilapidated ‘Krishna Bazar” took us in the past when a busy market was once held.  The heat, the dust, the hillocks, the banana farms, the sugar cane juice, the coconut trees, abandoned architecture, the adopted creations, we were completely into it till about 4 pm when our tour came to an end and we decided to have our lunch followed by a trip to Kishkinda, which has a resort, Pumpuhar and a temple dedicated to Hanuman’s Mother. 

The lunch was at a local restaurant which, like Pushkar, claims to serve cuisine of the world but we stuck to coconut porota,  toasts and eggs.  After a not so great lunch, we went to Tungabhadra Ghat to take the boat which is the shortest way to reach Kishkinda (though the auto wala said that there are buses from Hospet to Kishkinda). It was already 5:30 pm and the last boat is at 6 pm so we were apprehensive of going to Kishkinda jungles in the evening lest we get stuck there. 

Also, we had to get down from the boat in the river to reach the ground as there are no Ghats on the other side of Tunga Bhadra hence it is advisable that one wears Bermudas and not jeans like we did. We recommend that one should stay at lodges in Humpi instead of  Hospet, spend 1 and a half day in Humpi and around 11 a.m. the next day leave for Kishkinda, spend about 2 hours there then take a bus for Hospet or come back to Humpi for a bus or auto to Hospet. (there are plenty of buses and autos plying to and from Hospet and Humpi (bus would cost you INR7.00 and a shared auto INR10.00).  It takes about 20 minutes to reach  Hospet from where you can negotiate with an autowala at INR30.00 for a trip to TungaBhadra Dam and while coming back, say about 6 p.m. pay a visit to the TungaBhadra Garden, for its lighting and Musical Fountains. 

Though we came back the same day to Hospet after a failed attempt to Kishkinda. Partied in our hotel room after a tiring but eventful day.  Next day 01st April, we started for Tungabhadra Dam. We were left speechless by the vastness of the river span where the water is being collected. Sanjukta slept under a tree while I wrote this post. Later, I decided to visit the garden, the deer park, the aquarium (you can also climb up to see the watch tower to view the entire Locale) and Sanjukta went down to the exit gate. She was later joined in by me. I had taken a lift from a biker (only private vehicles allowed) to reach the exit gate which is about 1.5 kms away from the dam.  On the main road, there was a tamil festival going on. You can see the pictures always as we don’t know what is that festival called where people stick long iron rods to there skin and pull boulders and autos.  

After reaching Hospet, our auto wala shook hands and in broken English said, “You need auto, I come”. “Auto 2-in-1, gas and petrol both. When gas not possible then petrol”. “ You know Kanada?” To which I replied, “Salpa salpa Kanada. Kanada gothilla”. And we all smiled. 

The trip came to an end at 11:00 pm after reaching
Bangalore by state bus. And the entire trip costed us INR1000.00 per pax.
 

At the end of it the maiden trip was Adventorously exciting, Spiritually enriching, Mentally stimulating, Emotionally fulfilling. Click the link below for photos. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/93368044@N00/http://www.flickr.com/photos/7431039@N03/