RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #212 Sates&Fuels

 

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Last week we were returning home when we saw a small truck in front of us. It was an open truck with baskets stacked with fish. They were being taken to the market. I saw a crow flying above the truck. It suddenly swooped down, grabbed a fish in its beak and flew away. I was fascinated and amused.

“Baskets of fresh fish

Stacked high in the open truck,

Fuel for the crow.

It swooped down to grab one fish

Enough to sate its hunger.”

crow (2)

( I was busy watching the crow, I did not even think of taking a photo and I don’t think I would have been fast enough 🙂  )

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #212 Sates&Fuels

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Neglected

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO SHOT OF NEGLECTED THINGS

Last month we had been to a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. Early one morning we went for a walk. On our way back we saw this wall of a house. There was just this wall. The other parts of the house had fallen down long ago. I wondered why this wall had been neglected. Why had it not been removed ? Actually it looked so much a part of the place. There must be a story behind this one wall.

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Letter from Home- 21 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

23-07-18
Dear doddamma,
We went to Khandige (my father-in-law’s elder brother’s house, it is the ancestral house of my husband’s family) yesterday morning to take part in Trikala puje. [Trikala means three times. Goddess Durga in her different forms is worshipped. In our community certain pujas (prayers with certain rituals) are performed in the ancestral house of the family or in the family home. All members of the family and extended family gather for the function]

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( this house was built in the early 1930s by my father-in-law’s father. There had been a small house in its place. My father-in-law’s grandfather and family lived there  from the turn of the 20th century. Changes were made over the years.)

Due to various reasons trikala puje could not be performed for the last three years. We left at home 6.45 and were in my father-in-law’s place by 8.45. During his younger days and for many years after his wedding he and his family lived in this ancestral house. In the early seventies he built a separate home not far away and shifted there. An areca and cocoa garden separates the two houses. I wanted to go through the garden but it was raining and it becomes slippery.

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In the morning puja the leaves of the bel tree (Bilva patre) are offered along with other flowers. In the afternoon basil leaves (tulasi) and other flowers. In the night ixora flowers (kiskaara) . Members of the family and extended families had come. The flowers and the leaves to be offered during the puja were brought by the family members. Everyone sat together to sort the flowers and leaves. It is nice to be together. These days we cannot meet each other in person.

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( My father-in-law lived in this house from the day it was built till 1979 when he built a house on one end of the areca garden from the old house. He is 93 and remembers the this house being built.)

It was a good get together. Amma had come with us and she enjoyed meeting so many people. She knew my father-in-law’s cousin’s wife from her childhood days. After lunch , we went back to Maikuri to leave mava there. He was little tired and wanted to rest. We left at 3 o’clock for Manipal. For night we had boiled rice conjee with curds and mango pickles. It is very refreshing and wholesome.
We are all fine here doddamma. I will write about our trip to Uttarakhand in my next letter.
Advaith and Kavya are fine. Kavya has started going on all fours and she loves to stand holding the sofa. Advaith is having two weeks holiday from next week. On Sunday Gayatri invited six of his friends for his birthday. His birthday was on the 16th but Sunday was convenient for everyone. We are having a small break from the rains. Today evening we were getting ready to go for a walk and it started raining !
With love,
Lakshmi

[My mails are to my father’s elder brother’s wife. I call her doddamma which literally means elder mother. She is my favourite relative. From her I have learnt to take life as it comes. She is 87 now and due to her health condition she has not been able to go out from her home for many years. I started writing to her in October. Her son or daughter-in-law read it out to her and she enjoys the photos. When posting to Slice of Life I have edited and added little more to what I have written as it will be difficult to understand the situation without knowing the context. The internet has really changed our lives. It has helped us to keep in contact with our friends and relatives.]

Bilva Tree | Aegle Marmelos – itslife.in
http://www.itslife.in/gardening/trees/bilva-tree

Ocimum tenuiflorum – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocimum_tenuiflorum

Ixora – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixora

Letter from Home- 21 (Slice of Life)

A Photo a Week Challenge: From Above

Last month we had been to three hill-stations in the foothills of the Himalayas. Travelling from one place to the next, crossing valleys and hills gave us an exciting glimpse into the lives of the people living there. At times we looked up towards the peaks and at other times looked down into the valleys to see a mountain stream flowing gently by.

From above we got to see this huge boulder, looking a giant frog in the river bed.

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The lake far below.

A Photo a Week Challenge: From Above

 

 

Vacation in the hills -5 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual                                                              16-07-18

Dear Doddamma,
We had been to Maikuri on the 10th afternoon. Amma stayed behind in my sister-in-law’s parents’ house in Mangalore. In Maikuri the toilets and bathrooms are outside the house, ( in our villages it has always been so, but things have changed now) amma would have found it difficult at night. Mava is fine, though he does not go out much. On the 11th morning we got up early. We cut all the vegetables for the different dishes. Mava helped too. He is 93 and still interested to help.

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By 7 o’clock the cook, Raja, came. He comes to cook for any function in our house. Before him his father used to come. He has two daughters, they are teachers and are married. He, his wife and son are into catering business. They have some land too. He said catering has become very popular now. Two priests come for the rites to be performed. Today we finished a little late.

Atte's tithi 11th (6)I helped the couple who live in the home to cook and help to clean up. We left at 4.15, stopped at Mangalore to pick amma. My sister-in-law’s mother made tea. We reached Manipal at 7.15.

To continue with our trip doddamma.

Around Kausani  on 16th June
It was raining heavily when we got up on the 16th morning. At 7.30 we called Devender, the taxi driver. He said he had already come to the market and would come to the hotel as soon as the rain stopped. We had tea and left at 8.30. We had breakfast in a small hillside eatery. It was managed by a Pahadi family. ( Pahad in Hindi means hill, Pahadi means people of the hills). The Pahadi gentleman cooked the parathas on a wood burning stove. I asked him whether I could take his photo, he agreed with a smile. His wife and children helped him. The pickles served with parathas are very tasty.

16th morning (1)

We first stopped at Pingalkot shawl factory. The handlooms were in the basement. Mohan Prajapati showed us the working of the loom. He explained to Aravind very nicely. In the show room above, Aravind made some purchases.

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On the way we saw the cultivation of paddy going on. Here it is mostly terrace cultivation and we saw ladies hard at work in the small fields. Our next destination was Baijnath temples. The temples here are just like the ones in Jageshwar. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There is a huge lake in front of the temple and there are lot of fishes in it. Our driver was telling us a story about this lake. Long back some army officials caught fish in this lake, they are not allowed to. When they decided to leave, their vehicle would not start. Only after they put the fish back in the lake, could they leave.

Baijnath temple (10)

We then stopped at Kausani Tea garden. We walked among the tea bushes. We drank green tree in a small kiosk. There were many tourists. In north India people drink a lot of tea so it must be an interesting experience to see the place where tea grows. Our next halt was a place from where we had to walk to Rudradhari temple and falls. An experience which we shall remember for a long time.

Doddamma, on the 4th, appa’s cousin had come to see amma. She lives in Sringeri. Her life has been a tough one. She lives in an old age home.
On the 7th evening my brother’s daughter came. She and her husband live in Mumbai. She had come to see the grandparents. On the 8th she left for Mangalore after breakfast. Due to the rains our garden was overgrown with grass. Two workers came and cleaned the garden in front and back. We always call them. They are paid daily wages.

Aravind’s college reopened on the 12th, he had a month’s vacation.
Advith and Kavya are fine. Today is Advaith’s 5th birthday. Yesterday they invited two of his friends and their parents for lunch. Next Sunday his kindergarten friends are coming home for a birthday party.
We are all fine.
With love,
Lakshmi

“Stone temples,
Built ages ago,
People still worship.
The positive energy,
Draws people again and again.”

Vacation in the hills -5 (Slice of Life)

 

Vacation in the Hills-4 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

10-07-18
Dear Doddamma,
We are going to Maikuri (where may father-in-law lives) today afternoon. Tomorrow is my mother-in-law’s death anniversary. There are certain rituals performed by my husband and his brother. The date of the death anniversary is calculated according to the Hindu calendar.We will return tomorrow evening.
To continue with our trip doddamma,
On the 15th we reached Kausani at 12.30 after an interesting bus ride. We have always enjoyed traveling by local buses. We get to see people of the region going about their daily lives. Our hotel was just ten minutes away. We ordered lunch, here too they ask for time as the food has to be cooked. We liked the idea, the food is fresh and hot.

16th morning (11)

We were told there is Sarla Behn museum and Gandhi Ashram nearby. After resting we walked up the hill nearby. There were eucalyptus trees all around us, we sat on a seat and enjoyed the quietness. A black coloured dog came an sat a little away from our seat. I think this is his home, he sat quietly, without moving.

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Sarla Behn was an English lady who lived from 1901 to 1981. She lived here and was a freedom fighter. She worked for the betterment of the people of the region. It was a small museum with photos showing us her life at different stages.
The Gandhi ashram also called Anashakti Ashram is a quiet and serene place on top of the hill. There were many people like us. There is a meditation hall and a small shop selling woollen and khadi materials. We sat there for some time watching people, there were grandparents, parents and small children. It is really interesting. There are statues of the three monkeys and people were enjoying taking photos there. We had tea in a small canteen nearby. We walked down, on the way we ate ice cream 😊 and it started pouring, we waited in the shop. There were others who were drinking tea. After the rain stopped we walked down to the ‘chouraha’. There were taxis there and we talked to some of them about sightseeing tomorrow. Some of them seemed like agents and we did not like their way of functioning. We walked back when a person came running towards us. He was a taxi driver, his name Devender, he said he would take us around the next day from morning to evening. He asked for Rs 1500. We agreed, he said he would come at 8 o’clock. We had dinner in the hotel, There were four youngsters who did most of the work. They were very efficient. Our order for food was taken at seven. We were told it would be ready at eight. The food was very tasty. The hotel is located on a terrace on a mountainside. On clear days we can see the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas. But there was mist covering them and we could not see the peaks during our stay there. There were other people and all of them were enjoying the quietness and fresh air of the place. We walked about before retiring for the day.

On the 5th evening we went round Manipal lake for a walk. We had a break from the rains for a few days.

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The weather was becoming hot. Amma walked a little distance and sat in one of the seats watching many ladies playing throw ball in the adjacent ground. They come regularly. From the 6th we are getting very good rains. Sometimes we feel it would be nice to have a break. We are reading in the newspapers about the heavy rains in Mumbai and how roads are getting blocked. It is happening every year. We put out chapati pieces for the birds every morning. The tree pies and babblers are coming daily in the morning and mid morning. They come to eat the chapati pieces. There was one crow trying to come in, it came once but fortunately found its way out. The tree pies were eating everything. I put some chapati pieces outside, but by the time the crow realised it the tree pies had taken them away. The babblers came a little later. It is nice to see them talking to each other and carry away the pieces to their nests. The nests are far away.

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We are all fine here doddamma.
With love,
Lakshmi

Vacation in the Hills-4 (Slice of Life)