Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Closer home

The route from Goa to Pune was awesome, rain and mist playing havoc with the hills and cascades of the grand Western Ghats, whipping up a stunningly beautiful landscape. The pictures would say it all I guess. Monsoon again, though was on the wane, so got to feast on some steaming hot corns and delicious vada paavs, enroute.

Meeting old friends with lots of catching up to do (both for us and kids), visiting our usual haunts, observing the growing changes, were all part of the short trip. Getting back to your old friends is such a lovely experience, its like getting back to your own self; where one’s thoughts, aspirations, fears and triumphs are voiced out, only to be totally understood and empathised with, and the huge gap of time and distance becomes, as good as non-existent. I would think maintaining and keeping alive old friendships, is such an important and special chore, in one’s life, that gives such a fulfilling and an enriching dimension to our otherwise routine life.

My train trip from Pune was like experiencing a slice of India indeed, in its true sense and spirit. Be it the change in terrain, the shades of the soil, the flora and fauna, the village scenes - they are all so different, as you cross the so called borders (of states); but each one of them be it the brightly painted yellow ‘lorries’, or the ambling, rattling six-seaters, the eclectic crowd thronging the countless stations strewn all over the country, the language or the dialect, each bursting with its individual identity and pride. The entire experience offers such a diverse, exciting adventure of sorts, to say the least. And this being the scene outside the metal windows, what one can expect on the inside is your own guess! Never a dull moment, nothing like a train ride, as it whistles and rattles past, the much worn tracks traversing huge sections of our homeland. Was constantly reminded of the lovely lovely, 'From a railway carriage’ by RLStevenson. This was an interesting link on the net - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jCoigg77Y4

Trichy, my dear home town, where we had a family meet, was a memorable experience. And so was left with not much time to do our usual shopping, restaurant and cinema hall hunts! There was this slight and sometime not so slight showers that played spoil sport too. Anyhow family did get to visit the famous ‘Ucchi pillayar koil’ the Rockfort Temple as its called, sans me. So have some lovely pictures of Trichy/Tiruchirapalli from atop, not a bird's view, more like a goat's view!! The splendid Cauvery weaving its way in the background, the imposing structure of Srirangam (temple), and a portion of the Pillayar koil where there is a small connection with the inroads.

Looking back,it was a terrific trip, and now loaded with pictures and memories to last for a while, frozen and preserved.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gorgeous Goa

It was a wonderful memorable trip, though it included constant packing and unpacking, living outside suitcases. Felt good stowing away all those huge cases, which will have some respite, after their hectic run, this season!

Shall touch upon Goa, where I got to spend time leisurely, without any agenda. It has never been a tourist visit, it’s always more of a family trip, and we get to stay at home, with our extended family. So the bonus being, you get to view the place in all its shades and manifestations. And the longer you stay in the place the general air, the character of the place seems to linger and sort of pervade your senses. And so it is, addictive, to millions of tourists thronging this place from, across the globe.

It was monsoon, and so one can imagine how lovely it would have been. I, after my stint in an arid desert zone, my mind went berserk. The flora, the greenery, the swaying palms, the ferns, the fresh dew laden grass, the squelchy mud, and ofcourse the thundering showers! Walking through swirling waters hoping there isn’t a manhole, along the way, giving way to blaring cars with swishing wipers, and two-wheelers trying to juggle their way off potholes, all the while, trying to huddle inside an umbrella, which does more to hinder your view than protect (the already wet) you. Was all in good fun!

Loved those brightly (read orange, red, ochre, dark blue) painted stately houses, that stand tall and proud on terraced slopes. And lovelier gardens so well maintained, looking all pretty and bright. One doesn’t need green fingers out here I think, the foliage seems to have a vibrant life of its own, and seems to pulsate with vitality. And it is so heartening to observe that, Goa has managed to stay and retain much of its large expanses of natural terrain, in the midst of which you happen to see buildings sprouting up, or roads swerving down, almost merging with the landscape.

The seas being too rough and wild in monsoon, the beaches ofcourse were out of bound. But did get to watch, this beautiful myriad of colours, shifting and mesmerising us with a backdrop, which was breathtakingly stunning. It was a great way to end our trip, filled with a sense of subdued calm and tranquillity inter-mingled with joy.