I walk

June 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

I am that guy who walks with long strides and short, through cities big and small, towns with paddy field boundaries and villages with a cross road or two.

I am a small force of my own, an object small, determined to walk however far, I don’t know to what. I push through the heat, through the cold, through rain and sweat, drenched, past churches, temples, mosques and elsewhere where people go to seek the divine, but find a human in between instead.

I have no faith,

It just is.

I have hope,

It just is.

I see gorges, I see rivers free, I see the deep valley cut clean. There’s a whisper, there’s a flap, there’s a flurry, there’s maybe a prey or a predator, but all I see is a quietude, a slumber, an afternoon rain weathering away the rocks as if to measure life sans time, in a moment that lasts itself beyond reason or rime.

There are no boundaries, except those we draw on our own. And we draw, we carve, the lines that are roads, the way to homes we build in tiny geometric shapes plotted on plans and maps, surveyed and claimed as humanity’s own.

I walk under the sun, I walk under the street lights, I walk through firefly lit starry nights. I watch the match boxes come alive, at tea stalls and humongous complexes with tiny ants rushing in anxiety to fill another day with they know not what, but call a purpose.

I walk past the malls and the neon light boards that insist that the you can’t resist what is within- racks of the same, machine made and mould. There are no rats there, just spiders and cobwebs that escape pest control.

 

The five-o-clock sea breeze squeezes and chocks its way past the sepulchres of everyday life that form a maze with no end, either way. The crows scavenge and steal from the fortnight’s garbage. There’s a rot somewhere, and a nervous laughter all around, no one wants to stir the tea which is already too sweet.

I hear the music play, a coy bride on her wedding day, being apparently given away. I hear the songs of parvenu faith, blaring aloud, thumping chests to twirling moustaches, a goddess is demure when the nine-yards are draped.

I stride, and I leap, I run. There’s nothing in my mind, but the next step, and then another.

I believe in hope.

It remains alive through the dreary monsoon days, the harsh Madras sun and the opaque Himalayan cold that eats into your very bones. It lingers on, like the taste of your first lover, which you try to recount, to remember the day you were first together, young and silly, tangled limbs and messy sheets.

My strides strong and long, never weary. The feet yearn for more, a mile, or a furlong, you can call it whatever you want.

There is no corner they leave unthread on the dirty beaches in my city, with faded boats casting long shadows under which stray dogs rest, under which young lovers hope not to be repressed.

There’s no nook which they not pass by, the crevices in the jumble of rocks destined to become sand, the burrows of wild creatures which hide and prowl only at night.

I seek hope, for I believe in it.

Every road has a memory of love, of grief, of pain, of laughter and others’ memories. There are stories that speak through abandoned shoes and neglected rosaries, there’s always someone who has been here before- wanting to be set free, searching for faith in sand castles and abandoned temples. There are moonlit shadows that smell of cheap wine and rum, lovers in revelry, lost souls washed ashore who cannot burrow like crabs any more.

Some paths split, taking you afar, others which come together to bring worn shoes home, torn to be mended by hands varicose and alone. The streets cut each other at ninety degrees, but there’s always that cul-de-sac which lies forlorn.

I yearn for hope.

There’s a twilight which lingers on, like a long-lost memory. There’s a watch forever stuck at half-past three.

I walk.

I am that guy who walks with long strides and short, through cities big and small, towns with paddy field boundaries and villages with a cross road or two.

I have no faith,

It just is.

I have hope,

It just is.

 

 

Belum caves and Gandikota

February 14, 2016 § 1 Comment

The Andhra Pradesh border is about 50-60kms from my house. Yet, I have never really been anywhere in Andhra, except Tirupati and Pulicat lake. Aswath and I have been planning a trip to Gandikota for a couple of years now. And when both us finally found the time(Pongalo-Pongal) we decided to explore the unexplored, the mystical, the late-breakfast eating state of Andhra. We recruited Venkatadri to balance the weight in the car and as a handy bodyguard in case my hindi/telugu/pidgin ended up getting us in trouble. Truth be told, both Aswath and Venkat speak pretty good  passable Hindi, while I will tell you to go inside the bridge(as against under) because it will surely lead you onto the highway to Hogwarts. We didn’t really use much of our rudimentary Telugu- to our surprise almost everyone we encountered seem to know Hindi or generally understand what we were trying to say. Of course, I’m still not sure which language I spoke in- more of a mish-mash of everything I know- for all I know, I might have sung Malare to some unsuspecting cop.

 

The ideal plan is to stay at Gandikota, catch the sunrise, go to Belum and return to Chennai. However, the only resort at Gandikota was full and we decided to stay at Kadapa instead. Not so bad, since Kadapa is about 250kms from Chennai and it was 6:30pm by the time we rolled into town- considering the condition of the road between Kadapa and Gandikota, it wouldn’t have been wise to drive there in the dark anyway. The drive from Chennai to Kadapa takes about 4-4:30hrs. The drive between Reinugunta and Kadapa in the evening was lovely. One thing though- throughout the trip we had to watch out for unmarked big speed-breakers on the highway. At one point Venk even considered buying an helmet. We found a lodging- hotel Ziara through Tripadvisor and after being given the runaround by Google navs through narrow market street, we found our way to it. A charming 8th grade kid, the brother of the owner(I’m guessing) showed us the way to dinner(a certain Meenakshi place) where we had humongous barottas.

 

Somewhere near Rajampetta

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The next day, being true Chennai boys, Aswath and Venk, decided we shall start early. Early being seven in the morning. Now, Tamil Nadu is a state which is notoriously early. You will find shops open at five and people generally getting on with their lives, like brushing their teeth while riding a bike, reading paper at the local tea stall or waiting for the first bus at four in the morning. Evidently not in Andhra. The hotel guys were sweet enough to make us some coffee before we left, and that’s all there was till about 8:30am in a random village where we had breakfast.  We changed our plan- there was no point in going to Gandikota first since we had anyway missed the sunrise. Instead we drove to Belum caves. You take the Kadapa-Kurnool four-lane highway for about 36 kms and then have to take a left(there’s a detour involved and google map’s navigation is correct), you drive past Jammalamadugu and take the Tadipatri-Jammalamadugu highway- the road here is mostly decent. There isn’t much of traffic and you pass through a few villages. A highway is under construction, so there are a few diversions along the road.  After 85kms on the road, take a right at Kolimigundla and in about 5kms you will reach Belum caves.

 

A village where we had breakfast on the way to Belum caves.

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Belum caves is the largest cave in the Indian plains, and has those pointy-pointy(Stalagmite and Stalactite) rock formations.  The caves are made of Kadapa stones(black limestone) and carved by random superpower which rules the universe, homo sculperus WATER. Considering we did not have to cross Silk board, TIDEL park or any of those awful signals, we made it in record time-9am- only to find that the place did not open till 10am. But being the bony (first sales) for the day has its advantages- by the time we left the caves, the place was infested filled with tourists. Add to this that the temperature inside is around 33C and humidity at Chennai-summer level, it could turn out to be not-so-pleasant trip. But it is fascinating. To think that water did this over millions of years, is mind-blowing and almost unimaginable( cue a few million years long movie with nothing but water flowing through the caves). Of course, some humans did feel the need to put their name on it and claim it as their work:-

writing on the wall

 

 

After the humbling experience of the caves, we headed out to Gandikota. You head back to Jammalamadugu, go into town and take the Muddanur road. Once you cross the Pennar river, take a right- the road ends at Gandikota. The trip is 60kms long and takes about an hour. The road up to Gandikota is  a winding road, which looked specially lovely in the evening. Having had only a sparse breakfast we dug into some Andhra meals at the Harita resort in Gandikota. The place was teeming with families, bikers and other sorts of humans who had all had the same idea as us. After napping for a while in the car, we finally walked up to the gorge. What a brilliant sight it was! For the second time in the day we were stunned by the power of water. And well, you just feel inconsequential in general- the world has been around for far too long, things have been happening anyway and the big bang happened so long ago, and the universe is still expanding- and just wait for the day we find out the quasars aren’t moving out any faster, but heading back in(okay, highly unlikely a) that will happen b) that will happen now, even if it were to happen).

Anyway, after being humbled beyond origins and meaning of life and what not, we clicked pictures with our fancy-ass camera and mobile, grumbled about the litter, got into the car drove back. (not before I shot this pic) –

On the way back from Gandikota. #gandikota #travel #andhrapradesh #india #eveninglight #evening #sunlight

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The 90kms drive from Gandikota to Kadapa is bad. The road till Yerraguntla is terrible- a highway is under construction and majority of the paving was removed. Yerraguntla to Kadapa wasn’t so bad, except for the fact that there are unmarked speed-breakers which you have to wary of and there is a lot of lorry traffic with big blinding headlights. After getting suitable lost in trying to find the place we had dinner the previous night, we found another place to eat. If you are going to stay at Kadapa, I would recommend you stay near the bus stand, although the hotel we stayed at(Hotel Ziara) was good. The city does have KFC, dominos etc for those you who need your does of vapid fast food.

The next day, we found out again that Andhra just isn’t the place for early breakfast- this time at 8am, inside Kadapa city. After a quick grab at a small tea-stall-esque place, we headed back to Chennai. On the way we stopped at Kodandarama temple in Vontimitta- while I managed to get away with it, they don’t allow you to enter the temple if you are wearing shorts. We were also stopped at checkpoints to see if were smuggling red sanders. We weren’t.

Gandikota- click on photo to open album

Tigers? How about people or books or roads ??

June 5, 2009 § 15 Comments

So after a week of travelling and staying in a super hot hill station which is about 2.2 Kms above sea level am back 😀 😀 😀

And as the title suggests I have found 0 tigers . Too bad that none was brave enough to show up . I wanted one to scare the monsters away 😉

 

I have discovered many things in this trip , including the fact that Tamil Nadu has developed a lot and places which I thought were villages have CCD ( ya a bad measuring unit but still) and traffic jams and star hotels and pretty well furnished with humans 😛  

Of all the books mentioned in the previous post only one has been done with and that is the book on google ( not to mention my study material being weights to make sure that the balance in the car is maintained and I have a test on Sunday!!) .

Have taken a lot of photos and for the first time took more than 3 photos of people 😛 (too lazy to upload now 😛 shall post them soon 😀 ) . Also am planning to write a travel log( been a while and have got lots to say about the roads).

My google reader showed me about 240 unread posts and well the number won’t make me the majority in the parliment so just pressed mark all as read( I have a test on Sunday!! ) .

And though it is just a mock test on Sunday , I am supposed to do well ( ya people think I am someone from the nether world where the glow of the lava helped me study better 😛 ) so well the post may have to wait for another 40 hours or so ( me and my love for measuring , damn it 1/ 0 my toe! ) .

Finally the voting shall follow soon , once we judges are done with picking the fattest tiger to shoot 😀 

 

On the fast lane…(story?)

September 25, 2008 § 10 Comments

Before we get started,let me make onething clear.I can do without saying this,but i can’t resist it can i?

Question :Recent studies have shown blah blah……that youth of today don’t show interest in “teaching,services” blah blah blah…Express your views in an article highlighting  blah blah blah blah lack of sensitivity to the nation issue.” 

An extract: I and T ,two letter take all the youth away from the country,who is going to address the remaning 24 letters? 


😛 yup i wrote something similar to that in my English paper 😀 I want to look at my English teacher’s reaction to this one 😀 This is surely going to be a test ,to see if she really is broad minded 😀 

 

Now to the post 😀 

From misc3

 

The time is 12,midnight.All in alone in a huge car,you are on a very very dark highway.your only source of comfort is the headlight of your car.You see that the road is empty and you start going faster and faster.You dream of that pretty girl and wish that she was with you.But you know,she hates you .You then try to think of something else.You think about those people,in those old times,when there were no cars,you think how peaceful they were and then you think about you great,great ,great,great,great,great,great,great grand father,whose grand father might have been Adam or Kuppusami or Sri Sri Bigthondiyananda(thondi=stomach) or some Ramarangarajaraja thiru Nayana Srinivasa chari and the fact that he had about 2 dozen kids,who further went on to enhance the population by another dozen or so each.You then think,where all those people might be.If they still had the traditional value,of saying vango,pongo or bingo or if they still found veshti confortable or if they ever knew Sandyavanam(your version being-To whom so ever it concers,my name is this,my father name is this,if you don’t know me get lost,if you know me,you know the rest already,so spare me the trouble,i can’t remember that between intergration and all that stuff) .You then think,how much you have evolved.You don’t sport the big stomach,you don’t have 3 kids,infact you still haven’t even found a girl(that great to the power whatever had about 5 kids when he was your age!) ,you are supposedly broad minded and you aren’t a hypocrite.Then you consider the fact,that you might get married to only one girl and not to well 2 or 3,like your greats did.You then see some old rocks,which the head light throws light upon and you think of those child hood stories,when big Rakshashas lifted those things and went about destorying stuff,you draw an anology to the present and realize the fact,that even today we had those people,the only thing we lack is the presence of Lord Vishnu(might be garuda is on a vaction,in planet #47437545324 in The universe SDJO4543.) and the other Gods,to save us,they have retired or we haven’t provided them with good infrastructure or they are just holidaying in some other planet,getting tan.Then you see the outline of the a mountain and another story comes to your mind,about Indra cutting the mountains’ wings,you realize that nuclear weapons have the power to destory countries and the world,what an improvement you conclude.You drive on further,still alone.Something walks across the road-another childhood story passes across,ghosts,which stops you and ask you for a ride and then kill you,but your mind refuses to indulge in such stuff and quickly moves on the fact,it was some Idiot,who lacked any sense, walking across,but feeling bored and searching for some comfort you propose to yourself that it might been one of those Rishies who are still alive,walking across.At that your mind returns to thier love life.You push that away,when the thought of Krishna strikes you.The guy with, GOD(he) knows how many wives.You wonder,how he managed to keep so many girls,when you can’t find one.He must have been some guy,with a lot of strength.He was addicted to butter,might be that was the secret(you make a mental note,that you better contact your friend in some weird orgainsation like Sundown Indian Culture Limited,whose findings if published,would put bollywood to shame and for that reason you decide against it).And you think of Rama,funny,that rama preceded krishna,he was the one who saw only one girl,he must be the dream guy,not Krishna,surely? But well you figure,out that even those men in those weird times,couldn’t but help like the idea of going behind so many girls at the same time,that is why they made Krishna come after Rama.And going on to complete the series,you jump to Buddha.He had a kingdom and a wife and a kid,before,going in search of peace.So we are to become like his then?But then that was his purpose.then you question the very existence of everything,what is fiction,what is reality? You are stunned at the fact that life is so complicated.But at least people 50 years back,had the time to grow beards and grow hair and think about such stuff.They lacked motivation? No,they didn’t they always moved on the next level,never staying in one thing.And then you think of your immideate past gen.What have they done,you question? They were once who know how sad wars are,they know the meaning of struggle,but what did they do? They left the country in the hands of sad politicans.You swear it off,you don’t want to think about that now,something fun…something fun..

Suddenly,Something does happen.You lose sense of your self,the wheels move on their own,you lose control,you hear a laughter and you turn to that mantra which gives you comfort and as you resign to fate and faith,you see the sense it all can make,but the force is too great and you just let go.You are awake but don’t know,what is happening.Panic,comfort,security,fear all at the same time.You hear a voice telling,”I am here now” Over come,you let go.Blank.

From misc3

What do you think hit you?

Down the stairs

September 12, 2008 § 16 Comments

 

From 1st

Where do you think the stairs lead to?

 

Picture taken in Ellora.

smuged rush!

August 2, 2008 § 11 Comments

I took this picture while going in the car.What do you think?Is our life too like this? What do you see?

P.S: voting on the previous post is on till tomorrow evening.

the never ending road

June 18, 2008 § 8 Comments



winding roads,
endless.
a few scenery,
a few machinery,
a little bit of humanity.
in the past ,
the road carried many,
in the future,it
will lead many more.
go on you road,
go on.At least remember me.
for the sake of the sake
that i took you,not just
now,but in the past as well.
live on,keep on going.

p.s.: the pictures were taken on my way back from kodai to chennai

well this one is the starting of the ghat section(on the way to kodai)

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