Vacation in the Hills- 3 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

(To Kausani on the 15th morning)

3-07-18
Dear Doddamma,
Amma and I were happy to talk to you the other day. We re all fine here. On Sunday
Kuvara plucked two raw jackfruits. He cut the them, amma and I removed the seeds from the arils. Amma cut them into two. I put them in the glass jar along with salt to preserve them. We use them later in some dishes.

1st uppinalli hakudu

1st uppinalli hakudu (11)

In our villages jackfruit  arils have always been preserved. In those days not many vegetables were available during the monsoon season. So raw mangoes and jackfruits were preserved in large earthen jars. It was a joint effort. There are some more jackfruits. We have to pluck them soon because they are splitting open. We are distributing them among our friends and neighbours.

Kuvara has gone to a place called Uppinangadi about three hours from here. His cousin Gopala passed away on the 22nd. He had a brain haemorrhage in February and suffered for four months. He was only 66. Close relatives were attending the rituals concerning the last rites performed by Gopala’s son.

Yesterday evening we went for a walk to EndPoint. We went there after a long time because of the rains. There is no shelter there. We have had less rains since the 30th of June .

End point 2nd (1)

I will continue about our trip doddamma. We had to leave for Kausani from Almora on the 15th morning. The strike by taxi drivers continued on that day too. We decided to leave at about 8 in the morning. When we came down to the reception we learnt about the taxi strike. Someone said there were no buses too. We talked to Kailash. He said he would talk to someone who would arrange a private car for us. We waited for quite some time but there was no reply from that person. We called Kailash again and said we would go to the bus stand and see whether the buses were available. He said he would come to help us. Fortunately it was not raining as we walked down to the stand. A bus to Bageshwari was there but it was too crowded and we had our luggage too. Kailash said the next bus was to Kausani. There were a lot of people waiting and we were worried whether we would get seats. The bus arrived at 10.25. Kailash went to keep the luggage in the dickie, I climbed in and reserved three seats 😊 just behind the driver. Kuvara and Aravnda followed. Due to the strike all buses were going full. The conductor said to the driver that local people traveling short distances should not be allowed on the bus because there was crowding. The driver got very angry and said whoever wanted to travel should be allowed in. The bus left Almora at 10.30. We bid Kailash Kandpal goodbye because he had gone out of his way to help us.

Bus to kausani 15th (6)

We enjoyed the bus journey through the winding roads. A woman sitting near me explained that people usually travel by share taxi (each passenger has to pay a certain amount of money). But because of the strike, the buses were running full. Some buses were not stopping for local passengers. At one point a very old lady and her elderly daughter got into the bus. People immediately made place for the mother. At 12’o clock we reached a place called Someshwar, about 16kms from Kausani. The driver stopped for tea and tiffin. That is a place where drivers stop for a break. It helps everyone to stretch their legs .

To Kausani (1)

Many passengers got down but no one else tried to take their places. Just before setting off again the conductor found one of the tyres was punctured. He and the driver quickly changed the tyre and we proceeded. I was sitting behind the driver, and listening to him was a fascinating experience. One very old man wanted to get down at ‘number 4’, I was wondering what that was. I asked a boy sitting nearby. He too did not and he asked the driver. Number 4 means the kilometre stone at 400 metres from Someshwar. Every 200 meters there is a kilometre stone. So there are five stones for a kilometre. An interesting concept. We reached Kausani at 1 o’clock. and our hotel was walking distance from the circle or as the driver said ‘chouraha’ (where four roads meet).

I enjoy writing to you about our trip, it makes me remember the days more clearly.
Advaith and Kavya are fine. Kavya is trying to balance herself on her palms and kn. Asees I am writing this amma is doing yoga. The sun is shining brightly outside and Aravinda is reading.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi

“Winding roads,
Connecting people
Living far from each other
The roads snaking between tall old trees
White mist floating between green trees.”  ( Sidlak poetry)

“An eventful trip,
With strikes and tyre punctures.
Interesting days,
A regular holiday,
Different in a nice way. (Tanka)

Vacation in the Hills- 3 (Slice of Life)

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I used to go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. Covid-19 has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. Hopefully I will be able to go there again. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

13 comments

  1. You wrote: “I enjoy writing to you about our trip” and I enjoyed being your reader! My life in Virginia is so very different. As I go through my day today, traveling using my own car, I will be more aware of what I easily take for granted. I especially liked how you describe the bus driver. He is so fair, letting all on. Yet, he is human, needs to eat and has a whole bus wait for him as we stops to eat. Love the photo showing this that you added. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Life moves at a slower pace in the mountains. More time is taken to cover distances because of winding roads. We were told the bus stops in that place for a break for the passengers to have tea or something to eat. Thank you.

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  2. Traveling is always an experience and delays and strikes only add to the anxiety. It is true that nothing can be done about them but just accept what is happening and look for alternative means. I have found that being stuck in this kind of situation usually brings out the best in people. Glad you were able to get a bus and get a seat on that bus. I have sat behind drivers on several occasions and it is always interesting to carry on a conversation with them.

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  3. I am very impressed with the manners of the people traveling together in such crowded circumstances. They respected the elderly woman. They didn’t take one another’s seats. They respected the need for the driver to eat. Admirable behavior and a real contrast to our country at the moment.

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