Sunday, August 28, 2011

wjo's that

“But amma, why can’t I come with you”, Kaushik was pestering his mom.

“We are going to get the groceries, in the scooter, and it will be difficult for all of us to come back on that. Anyway your sister will be at home with you. We will get you hot potato buns. Alright” Mom was convincing Kaushik.

He reluctantly agreed. The Potato buns did the magic.
After 15 mins, he went to his sister’s room. Since it was getting dark, she was closing the windows.

“Why are you closing the windows?” Kaushik asked innocently.
“You don’t want to know. Come lets go out of the room”
“But why did you close it?”
“You will get scared Kaushik, come lets go”
“Why will get scared. I am a big boy now”
“Fine, you won’t listen to me. Will you?”
“Naah. You tell me”
“Ok… do you see that white light out there? That’s Mohini”
“What? Who is Mohini? ”

“You dumbo, last week, do you remember, I was watching a horror movie, a lady was roaming around in white saree, in the dark, with her long hairs open, with no eyeballs”

“Yeah, I was scared and mom scolded you for watching it and switched off the TV”

“Excatly, since we switched it off, she has come here to meet us.” “Look, the white is nearing the window. Can you feel the chill air?”
Kaushik was extremely terrified now.

“Akka, will it come inside and take me away. I don’t want to leave you guys and go with her. She is very scary” Kaushik was on the verge of crying. She couldn’t control and started laughing.
This actually scared Kaushik even more. “Don’t worry idiot. There is nothing called Mohini. That was on TV, just a story. I was just trying to scare you” she said.

“What? now you are lying to me” Kaushik insisted.
“No re baba, see I was closing the windows, so that mosquitoes don’t come in. That was the right opportunity to fool you” she tried convincing him.

“So what’s thing white thing?” he questioned
“Tubelight” she shrugged her shoulders.
“You are calling me a tubelight?” He was angry with her now.

“Come here and see” she opened the window and the tubelight was right in front of the window.“Our window glass is translucent, so you cannot see clearly what’s on the other side. I just made up a story” She was happy that she convinced him.
“Mummy” he started crying.
“Oh my God, if mummy comes to know, I’ll be dead. You are my darling brother no… I will never scare you again. Please don’t tell mummy… Please Please Please” she pleaded him.
“Fine, but if you try to scare me again. I will tell her” He blackmailed her “Ok fine. I won’t”.

As they were about to close the window again, the bell rang and both jumped out of shock.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trip to Shivanasamudra

Most of the times, we plan a lot, and end up not going anywhere. Last Friday evening, as we were heading back home, I just said “Why don’t we go to Shivanasamudra tomorrow?”, “Not a bad idea” G said. I was already super excited. The last time I visited the place was a decade back. We decided to hit the bed early, but then there was a HP movie on TV, and I dint want to miss it. Anyway, we had decided, if we could wake up by 6 we will go, else cancel the plan.
5.00 AM: Alarm rang. I woke up G and asked him, if we are going. He said no. I was disappointed and slept again.
5.30 AM: G wakes me up and says, go and get ready. I was super happy. Initially we argued over who would go take bath first, that way other person could get around half an hr extra to sleep. Since, he is the designated driver, I accepted.
7.30 AM: We were out having breakfast in BTM Layout. Then we took the kanakpura road and headed towards the destination
Please have your breakfast, before you leave Bangalore. Unlike Mysore Road, there are not many hotels. There are only roadside tea shops, where you get bananas, biscuits, chips. There are no hotels in that road. But road is awesome. Not road bumps/humps, no potholes. It was smooth like butter. G had a gala time, driving on those roads. I am not sure about his average speed, you see I having my nap. But anytime I woke up, found him in 120 or 140. In between he would nudge me, to see the beautiful surroundings. Indeed, a pond and a small hill in the background would make such a pretty sight.
At one point there is dead end leaving you with 2 directions, you take right to head to Mysore, so we took the left which would take us to our destination. You will find directions to the place, every few kilometers; it’s a little hard to get lost on this road. Even if you do, the villagers are pretty helpful.
There are 2 falls, Gagana Chukki and Bara chukka , around 2 kms apart.
Finally, by 9.30, we reached the viewpoint of the Falls. This is probably a few kms before the falls; from here you get to see a beautiful view of the Gagana Chukki Falls. Since we had reached early, the crowd was less, hence enjoyed the view for quite some time. We sat there on a bench, sipping hot tea. It was such a beauty. Though I wonder, why is this place called Bluff?
We then left to go near the falls. It’s around 6kms from the view point. As we headed towards the falls, there is a deviation, one going towards Gagan Chukki and the other BaraChukki. Since we had seen the first one from far, we visited the latter this time. We parked the vehicle, and looked at the falls. The water looked so mesmerizing. In one view you feel, water from all the directions, merging into one waterfall. I like this better than the view of Gagana Chukki.
There are steps to go down till the river. After initial fun getting down, the steps become steeper. All along, I was wondering, how much effort would be required to come back up? But the view of the falls on the side, make you forget all this.
Once you are down there, there are coracle rides (in kannada: Theppa), which you can take. They take you for a round in the river, close to the falls. We din’t opt for that. There are multiple falls around. There is a point where, you can cross the stream, though it knee deep or more. A lot of people were crossing the stream to go under the falls. We sat there on the banks and were having fun, looking at people trying to cross the stream. A lot of them fell in water, due to the slippery rocks. One good thing which can be observed here, it doesn’t matter, who you are, where you are from, which gender you belong to, you could see people helping each other cross the river. If one was about to slip, you could see another person helping them avoid falling down. As I was sitting one of rocks, with legs in water, was passing mobiles, holding somebody when they were slipping. It’s such a great gesture, we could see there.
Just next to this, there was a small pathway. G and I headed there, we had to catch hold of the roots and climb a little bit. From there we could get a beautiful view of the falls. We took a couple of pictures and headed back. Not many people venture there, so there are some thorny plants which have just grown in the wild. We ought to be a little careful.
After this, the climb back to the parking began. Every time I was panting for breadth, I would sit on those steps and look at the view, which would probably fill me in with energy to finish the climb. Once we reached the parking lot, we had tender coconut and corn.
We headed towards the Darga, which is near Gagana Chukki. It seems people are not allowed near the falls, since its very dangerous. The rocks are too slippery. On that day, there was some kannada movie shooting going on, so we were not stopped from going near the falls. Ofcourse, the shooting area was still not accessible. We took a few pictures, but the fun part was going down those rocks and coming back up. There was too many monkeys in this area. I had given the camera to G, so that monkeys don’t come near me for the camera. They were least bothered anyway. We dint spend as much time here, since you can’t even touch the water here. Also, it was getting really hot in the afternoon.
There are 2 temples nearby, one is a famous Ranganatha swamy temple, it’s a part of the 3 Rangas. This is called the Madhya Ranga, other ones are in Sriranga and Srirangapatinam
We were thankful that it didn’t rain. We headed back to Bangalore. For a minute we thought we’ll visit Somnathpur. But then thought we’ll leave for another day. On the way we bought biscuits and then non-stop to Bangalore on the kanakpura road. Reached home around 4.30 and had lunch and had a nice satisfying short nap, and in the dreams, saw the falls, yet again.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Long Life!!!

“Rao saab, Mirza sahib is waiting for you”, the driver came and gave a shout at the door. The 70 year old, Gangadhar Rao, got up from the rocking chair. He called his wife, for a cup of coffee for the driver, and went to his room to get his coat, turban and the walking stick. The driver did a namaskar and showed him to the car. He opened the back door as usual, but Rao saab insisted he sit in the front that day. The driver was confused, but it was master’s order, never to disobey Rao saab. He opened the door of the famous “Fiat Padmini” and Rao saab sat, in the front seat, after a decade.
The driver started off to Mirza sahib’s house, which was 50kms from Rao’s house. He never understood, the relationship between, Gangadhar Rao and Ali Mirza. He only knew that every 3 months, Mirza sahib would send him to pick up Rao saab. They would spend 2-3 hours at Mirza’s house and then he would be dropped back. This had been the same since 25 years, his dad had done this, and now, he was doing it for the last 10 years.
Ali Mirza was one of the greatest script writers in the film industry. Almost all the movies he was a part of were blockbusters. It had made careers of a lot of actors/directors. People would become desperate to work in the film, if they knew it was Mirza’s script, they knew something good was in store for them. For the past 30 years, Mirza had not failed to attend any award function, and his mansion had a room which adored all his awards.
Gangadhar Rao, was from a humble background. His father was the temple priest. He never like Gangadhar mingling with Ali. Despite punishments, he always found Gangadhar and Ali playing together. Ali’s father was in the british army, hence gaining the wrath of the villagers. It was not his will to serve the army, some past experiences forced him in. Nobody dared to question him, not even Ali. After independence, Ali’s father decided they would move to Pakistan, and packed their bags to leave. The partition was not kind to them, and due to religious fueds, Ali’s father was no longer there to protect him. Ali was left alone, he dint know what to do, so he ran back to Rao’s house. He was a teenager, scared and shivering. Gangadhar’s eyes did the pleading, and so Ali was then, for the first time, welcomed in the Rao household.
Ali was not allowed to continue in school. Even though he was given shelter, he was not given the same status as Gangadhar or other siblings. He had to take care of the farm, while all the kids of the Rao household went ahead to get education. This saddened both the friends deeply, but Ali had no grudge against the old man, afterall, when the country was burning, he gave him shelter and life.
Gangadhar, would hide from his father and teach Ali, anything he learnt in school. Infact, Ali was so good at things that, he would do Gangadhar’s school work and let him have the credit of all the good work too.
As they grew, Rao wanted his eldest son to become a doctor, but Gangadhar’s interest was not in medicine, he loved nature, he loved poetry, paintings. There was no way out for him, he had to take up what his father wished for. He was sent off to Delhi to study medicine. Ali was still working at the farms. The friends would write letters to each other. Gangadhar would send his paintings  and poetry to Ali, and the latter would spend lot of time, safeguarding his friend’s possessions. During the final year of medicine, he wrote a story to Ali. It was his love story. How he liked one lady at an orphanage, in Delhi, how he met her, how he had proposed to her. But now, he was scared. How would he communicate this to his father? Ali suggested he just marry her and come to the village, this way his father couldn’t do anything. Gangadhar thought this would be the best solution and got married to her. He then came back to the village with her.
That night Gangadhar saw his father’s eyes filled with pride. He was happy that Gangadhar was married. He gave the orphan a life. When both of them bowed, to seek his blessings, he gave her one of the jewels, which his wife had left behind.
“What’s your name child?” he asked.
Scared of what might happen next, Gangadhar said “You know baba, she cooks very well. Come dear, I will show you the kitchen”.
“Chutki, come and help your sister-in-law here”, he called for his younger sister.
Days went by, Gangadhar opened his clinic in the village. Everybody was grateful, they had a doctor in their village. Ali was quite busy those days, he had gone to the city for some personal work, nobody knew what it was.
One evening Gangadhar picked up the evening paper, Ali stopped him, and gave him a book.
“what’s this? I don’t have time to read books now. You know that” Gangadhar was staring at the bound book.
“I know my friend. Just read this once, and tell me what you feel” Ali forced him to sit with the book.
After 2 hours, Gangadhar closed the book, sighed and addressed Ali “How did you know?”
“This is not what I expected. Your reaction is totally different from what I thought it would be” Ali was completely taken aback. “And what did you mean by how did you know? What am I not supposed to know?”
“How did you know she is not a Hindu? I have been trying to hide it from Baba, you know what will happen if he knows she is not a Hindu? Look at yourself, I have seen how my friend is ill-treated, how can I let my wife be treated in the same way” Gangadhar was in tears now.
“I didn’t think it that way, Ganga. Please forgive me” Ali was apologetic. As he was about to leave, Gangadhar stopped him “Baba doesn’t need to know it’s my story. It will make a good movie, you know”.
“What? What did you say just now?” Ali was excited.
“Yes, my friend. It’s my story, but the way you have written this, is wonderful” Gangadhar hugged Ali.
“You know what let’s have a deal. I will tell you a story and you make it as beautiful as this.” Gangadhar held his hand. Ali took it in his, and exclaimed “Deal, my friend, It’s a deal”
“Rao Saab, the house is here” driver opened the door of the car. Rao took out his walking stick and got down the car, looked at the mansion, smiled and went in. the maid, bowed and ran into the study. Mirza sahib was adjusting his spectacles and reading, with a cup of tea on his chair.
“Sahib, Rao Saab is here” the maid informed.
“Get the old man a cup of tea and something to eat”
“Who is the old man here, you are the one who needs constant monitoring, who needs to see a doctor” Gangadhar entered the study.
“Come in my dear story, oops I mean Doctor. Now, I have everything ready, are you ready with the next part of the story” Ali took his laptop to note down what his friend had to tell.
“I sat in the front seat today” Gangadhar said with tears in eyes.
Ali was shocked “You did? That’s really brave of you. I am glad you have moved on. Baba would have wanted you to do this. He loved that seat dint he. He even took his last breadth in that seat”
“Will you write about him?” Gangadhar looked at Ali. His eyes were filled with tears.
“Yes, I will write about Baba. But on 1 condition” Ali smiled. “You will have to take Padmini forever”
“Ofcourse, it’s always been mine” both of them laughed their hearts out. For the first time in a decade, the mansion was filled with this laughter.

Monday, August 01, 2011


“Hey Look look Dravid” they would tell each other, everytime Manju and Kavya went past the corner poster shop. Both the girls loved Rahul Dravid, the cricketer. It was a craze at one time, for some it was Ajay Jadeja, Kumble for some, but for these two inseparables it was Dravid.

“Aww.. he is so cute”

“Yeah, wish I could have life size poster of his. But that costs Rs.100, mom will kill me if I ask her for that”, they would giggle and move on from the shop.

“Amma, the small poster is Rs.15, can I atleast have that” Kavya was trying to strike a deal with her mom.
“No dear, why do you want to spend so much on a poster. Instead get yourself a nice comic book” her mom suggested and left the room.

“Amma, its Kavya’s birthday 2 months later. I want to get her a gift, which she would love. I will collect the money you give me and get her a gift” Manju was discussing with her mom. Her mom nodded her head and said “As long as you can save in your money and get her something, its fine. Don’t ask me for hundreds of rupees”

Kavya’s birthday was nearing, and Manju had bought the life size poster for her. Manju was so excited, about kavya’s birthday.


Years later, Manju was getting ready to attend Kavya’s wedding. Her husband asked her, what was the gift they were planning to give. Manju smiled and took out a roll.

When her husband opened it, he saw, Dravid’s poster. “Have you gone crazy? Will you give this as her wedding gift?” he asked her.

“Yeah. It was her dream once. Before I could give it to her, due to some family emergency, they moved to their village. We couldn’t meet for years after that. With so much of struggle, I met her when she came to invite for her wedding. This is an old gift and I am sure, she will be happy with this”, smiling Manju packed the poster in a golden roll.


Kavya was opening up all her wedding gifts, when her eyes fell on the golden roll. She opened it and was amused to see the poster.
She flipped the poster to see something written in a beautiful handwriting.

“Happy 16th Birthday Kavya” (Year - 2000)
Lots of Love

Kavya’s eyes filled with tears, she had got her best wedding gift “Friendship”