Life reflections

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #216 Hero&Coward


“Kings of long ago
Fighting to protect their land
From all invaders,
Had no mercy for cowards.
And honoured all the heroes.”

I am reading a book about Rajput rulers and warriors living in the first half of the 16th century  and these thoughts came to mind. The story is in Chittor in Rajasthan. We were there a few years ago. Those places came alive while reading the book.

Cuckold (novel) – Wikipedia

Cuckold is a 1997 book by Indian author Kiran Nagarkar and his third novel. It is a historical novel set in the Rajput kingdom of Mewar, India during the 16th century that follows the life of Maharaj Kumar, a fictional character based upon the real life Prince Bhoj Raj.

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #216 Hero&Coward

Life Song of the Road

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #8: COLORFUL

To some, each day brings a struggle to see beyond the darkness. For the rest of us, it is important to find moments of joy. We are surrounded by all of the colors of the rainbow, but it’s up to us to recognize and appreciate them. Remember, gratitude is recognized as one of the most important elements of a balanced, contented life.
So go ahead – find some colorful captures to make us smile.

A few weeks ago we were walking in one of our favourite grounds when I saw a colourful flower between the grass. It looked so beautiful. A friend said it is called ‘huli uguru’ in my language, Kannada. It means tiger’s claw. It is called flame lily or glory lily. The scientific name is ‘Gloriosa superba’.  My husband’s cousin is a botanist, he said it is a poisonous plant !!


SIBM 3rd (1)

Flowers are beautiful and colourful.



Photo Challenge? We do. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us for the new LENS-ARTISTS weekly photo challenge. Our goal is to continue our creative community on WordPress.
Each Saturday at noon EST we will publish a photo challenge similar in form to the now-defunct WPC. If you choose to participate, please make sure to tag your post with the name of our group LENS-ARTISTS so that all of Do you miss sharing your creative ideas and photos each week in the WordPress Weekly the responses can be found together in the WP Reader. Please also include a link to the challenge moderator’s post. One of our 4 moderators will host the challenge each week:
Week 1 – Patti of
Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of
Week 3 – Amy of
Week 4 – Tina of

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #8: COLORFUL

Life Song of the Road

Vacation in the hills- 10 (Slice of Life)


Dear Doddamma,
I am now writing about the last day of our trip. It seems like a dream now but a very nice dream. I had written to you that our last day had been a long one. We left Nainital in the morning. On our way to Haldwani where we had to catch the night bus to Delhi, we saw many lakes. The sight of so much water is very sartisfying.

On our way we saw Garud taal ( taal means lake). We  went on to a lake called Saathtaal. Long back there were seven lakes which merged to form this lake.

20180618_143647Boating is a prominent pastime in all the lakes. Near Saathtaal we had lunch in one of the lakeside hotels called Lucky restaurant. Sahil recommended this place because they serve vegetarian food. The food was very tasty. We saw rotis being baked in the tandoor. We decided to taste rice kheer which was very tasty.

20180618_150337Then we set off to the next lake. On the way purchased balmithai to take back with us. We reached Bhimtaal at 4.15. Here we enjoyed boating on the waters, which were surprisingly not cold at all. The boatman said he had been in this occupation for more than thirty years. There was a small island with a building which housed an aquarium. But we did not go there.

20180618_162725From there we went on and reached Naukuchia lake at 5.15. The word Naukuchia means nine corners. We sat by the side of the lake for half an hour watching people enjoying adventure activities on the lake.

20180618_145202At 6.30 we stopped to drink tea at roadside hotel. The tea was hot and very tasty. While waiting for the tea we watched with fascination water pouring out of a pipe on the other side of the road. It was from a natural spring. People were stopping to drink water, and others were cleaning their cars collecting water in their cans.

20180618_185117In cities there is shortage of water but here there is a surplus of the resource. People do not worry about this because they say it flows back into rivers.

At 7.30 we reach Haldwani . Our driver dropped us near the bus station. He would be driving back to Nainital the same evening. Forty two kms but 1 ½ hours on the road. We had to wait till 10.15 for our bus. It is fascinating to watch people. Next to us a girl and her grandmother were waiting for their bus which would leave at 8. They had come from near Kausani. One man was lying on the floor a little away. He was drunk and lost to this world. It is very sad to see such people. Our bus came on time and it was a relief to see a brand new coach. Remember all the trouble we had while coming to Haldwani from Delhi. Before boarding the bus we purchased some lychees and mangoes.

We reached Anand vihar bus station in Delhi before six on the 19th morning. We walked to the metro station. It was crowded that early in the morning. We went to New Delhi metro station and from there to the airport. We avoided travelling inside the city because the heat and pollution would have been too much after the fresh air of the hills. Somehow we did not feel like going inside Delhi again. Our flight to Bangalore was at 3.25. It was a long wait but we were not bored. We ate the lychees for breakfast, a healthy breakfast. 😊. We ate pav bhaji in the airport food court for lunch too after checking in. The flight was uneventful. We had been waiting long for our vacation to the hills, and now we were already back home after a wonderful time with good and bad moments. We reached Bangalore at 6.10 and went to our cousin’s house.

20180619_184414After dinner we caught our bus to Manipal at 10.45. We reached home at 8.30 on the 20th morning. Fortunately the bus driver stopped very near our home. It was raining. Fortunately it was a two minute walk to our home. It was good to be back.

Yesterday we had been to Maikuri ( where my father-in-law lives) He is 93. Due to rains everyday he had not been able to leave home. So we all went to my husband’s maternal uncle’s home in the village. They have now installed solar panels in their yard and use solar energy for all their requirements. My father-in-law was happy to learn more about it. It was a good change for him.  We left at 3.45 for home. There was lot of traffic and we reached home only at 6.45. I made boiled rice conjee and rasam for dinner.
I will write again soon. Aravind is busy with German certificate classes in the evening. Most of his students are from the Engineering college.
With lots of love,

From the aeroplane
“A strange world
The land of white clouds
They look soft and quite solid
But they are floating in the vast sky
A blue and white world far above mother Earth.”

To home
Good and bad moments
Seeing old temples
Trekking through mountain valleys
Soaking feet in cold water
Many full lakes in this land of hills
Tasting local food made the days more fun.”


Bal Mithai – Wikipedia


Life reflections

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #215 Rebel&Change



“To change the system

Fighting for their rights, always.

They become rebels

But few try to understand

They are treated as outcasts.”


RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #215 Rebel&Change

Life Song of the Road

Vacation in the hills-9 (Slice of Life)


Dear doddamma,
Since yesterday we have been having a break from continuous rains. They are causing devastation in Coorg and many places in Karnataka and in Kerala. On Saturday, Kuvara’s old student had come to see him. She lives in Pondicherry but she is from Kerala. She said her home in her native place has been filled with water, her maternal uncle was missing but fortunately he returned. She said after the waters recede it will take people a long time to return to normal life. Such devastating rains came more than eighty years ago. It is really tragic. There will be so much suffering.

Two weeks ago we ate the last of the jackfruits from our tree. I have kept the raw jackfruit arils in the freezer to make dosa when Gayatri comes. I have also cooked ripe arils and have kept it in the freezer. Gayatri and children are coming here on November 8th. She will go to Banglaore when Vinay comes to stay with his parents. They will come here again and returning to Walldorf December end. Kavya and Advaith are fine. Advaith is having summer vacations. Kavya is sitting and also walking with support. She likes everything that Advaith does and is always laughing at his antics. They have a good time together.

1st uppinalli hakudu (5)

On the 10th Aravind’s friend came as examiner to a MA student. He also had to give a talk to first year MA students. He stayed with us. I made some of our dishes from ashgourd, horsegram, ridge gourd, boiled rice conjee and a dessert from mangoes. He enjoyed the food. He left Sunday afternoon. Morning he, Aravinda and Kuvara went to Udupi Sri Krishna temple. It was raining lightly. But they decided to go. He was happy that he could see the temple. His flight to Mumbai was at 6, he left home at 3.30 by taxi.

Manipal lake 13th (2)

Continuing about the last day of our trip. It is more than two months since we returned home. I am reliving those days as I am writing to you.Our stay in Nainital was very short, but interesting. Why is a place so popular with tourists? Our taxi driver, Sahil came at 11 o’clock and we started our return journey.
First, we stopped at View Point. We could see Nainital lake from there, it is about 1km long and ½ a km wide, in the shape of a mango. There are natural springs which prevent the lake from drying up. Fishing is not allowed, but boating is very popular. Sahil told us China Top and Tiffin Top are the highest peaks there. He said the Great wall of China was once visible from China top. There was a devastating landslide and the height of the peak was reduced. It was then renamed Naina Peak.

From there we proceeded to a place called Lovers point and also suicide point. I really do not understand such places attract people. How can a place be lover’s point and a suicide point at the same time? Such a cynical pairing.
Our next stop was at a point from where we could see a lake called Khurpataal. Khurpa means cow’s hoof. The lake is in that shape. It looked very beautiful.


We next stopped near Nainital lake. There was so much traffic on the main road and taxis were not allowed to halt for long. Our driver stopped for a minute by the side and asked us to get off the vehicle quickly. Near the lake there is a Masjid, a Gurudwara and a temple. There were people everywhere.


I was reminded strongly of Istanbul, where there were tourists from all over the world. Here too the place was teeming with tourists. We first went to the Gurudwara, it was serene inside. We sat there for some time. We then walked on to Naina Devi temple.


Usually near our temples there are many small shops selling all sorts of things and whatever is needed for puja in the temple. Here too it was the same. There were many shops selling trinkets, dresses, shawls, shoes and so on which attracted tourists. The temple had a good feel about it. Swami Vivekananda had been here. The number of tourists kept surprising us. At 1.30 we called Sahil and he told us to come by the side of the main road. We were talking about the number of tourists, the driver told us 80% of the people in Nainital depend upon tourism, 10% are in government jobs and 10% in other works. Our last day was a long one, so I will continue in my next mail.
With love,

Vacation in the hills-9 (Slice of Life)

Life Song of the Road

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #7: Everyday Moments

Everyday moments are the small building blocks that lay the foundation of our lives. They make us what we are. I have just come across this photo challenge and loved the idea. Every evening we go for a walk. My mother is with us for some time. My father passed away in September 2016. My mother lives with my elder brother and family and comes to our place for a change.  Her walking friend who is 80 plus and walks regularly.

SIBM (14)

End point (2)

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #7: Everyday Moments

Do you miss sharing your creative ideas and photos each week in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge? We do. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us for the new LENS-ARTISTS weekly photo challenge. Our goal is to continue our creative community on WordPress.
Each Saturday at noon EST we will publish a photo challenge similar in form to the now-defunct WPC. If you choose to participate, please make sure to tag your post with the name of our group LENS-ARTISTS so that all of the responses can be found together in the WP Reader. Please also include a link to the challenge moderator’s post. One of our 4 moderators will host the challenge each week:
Week 1 – Patti of
Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of
Week 3 – Amy of
Week 4 – Tina of

Life reflections

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #214 Lack&Fool



“Lack of good prices
Made the farmers throw away
Their yearly harvest.
This act showed what fools they were,
Not to value their hard work.”

In April this year we read about many farmers throwing away the vegetables and other crops they had grown as they were not getting good prices.  It hurt to see so much waste. It must have hurt them a lot too. So much hard work and no returns. But seeing them dumping the produce and wasting so much food,  I  just wished they had given it to poorer people . They would have been blessed by so many.  Why do they act that way, who makes them follow such actions ?


( photo from the internet)

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #214 Lack&Fool


Life Song of the Road

Vacation in the hills-8 (Slice of Life)


Dear Doddamma,
It is raining heavily as I am writing to you. We are all fine here. Last Sunday we went to Maikuri ( where my father-in-law and brother-in-law live in the village) to see mava. He is fine. When it is bright he goes around the front yard looking at all the trees and plants.

Maikuri5th (2).jpg

There is one old mango tree. Till a few years ago we used to get plenty of mangoes. But it is covered by the parasite plant now and the branches have become weak too. Some time ago two big branches broke, fortunately no one was under the tree. This year due to heavy rains some trees have fallen down in the yard and in the areca garden. too. We returned home before dark. I am stitching blouses for two saris. I have finished the machine work, hemming I do in the evening. Amma repaired some of her blouses by doing back stitch. I posted a letter she wrote to you on the 9th. Hope you have received it.

I go to Asare, Home for the mentally challenged thrice a week in the afternoons. Kuvara and I start together. He goes to the main library to read dental journals. I go on to Asare. We come back together.
We go for our evening walks regularly but sometimes it starts raining and we have to cancel our walk. Near the lake and in training college grounds amma meets other ladies. She enjoys talking to them or listening to their talk. The other day we saw a beautiful wild flower in the training college grounds. It was red and cream in colour and the plant was small. In Kannada the flower is called huliuguru (tiger’s claw) because it looks like one. I asked Kuvara’s cousin, Dr Goplalkrishna Bhat who is a botanist. This flower is called Gloriosa superba. The plant is a poisonous one. And the flower is so beautiful !!

SIBM 3rd (1).jpg

To continue with our trip,
We reached our hotel called View Point at 2.45 on the 17th. It had been a long day. We had left Kausani at 6.45 that morning. From the hotel we could see the surrounding hills and Naintal lake far below. We rested for a while and decided to take a walk. We were told there was an amusement park nearby, a market called Gole market and a small temple. It was fascinating to see so many tourists in a place. If we want a quiet holiday, Naintal is definitely not the place. At the park an old man was roasting corn cob over an open fire. We bought one. It was very tasty.

17th park (1)

We walked around watching people enjoy themselves. In Gole market Aravind purchased some things made out of the sheesham wood, which is known as Indian mahogany. He had been searching for in the places we had visited so far. We enjoyed Amul ice cream cones. It is good to see Amul products everywhere. We returned to the hotel.
We had to leave the next morning. Mr Jitendra told us we could hire a taxi, and the driver would show us many places of interest in and around Nainital. He would then take us to Haldwani showing us the different lakes on the way. We had to catch the bus to Delhi from Haldwani on the 18th night. We thought it was a good idea. After dinner we retired for the day.
18th July. We had been informed that breakfast would be served from 8 am to 10am. We decided to go for a walk before breakfast. It was good to just walk along the road. At one point we could see the lake far below and the hills on all sides. A very old lady walked out of one of the houses, she was carrying some leftover food in a small bucket. We wished her and she nodded in return.


At one place Aravind found a very sharp stone which reminded him of the stone weapons of early man. It took us back to those long-ago days.
On our way back I saw jackfruit being sold in one of the shops. We met a man walking by and started talking to him. He worked in the police force and knew about the politics of Karnataka. He told us they made pickles from jackfruit. We too make from tender jackfruit.

20180618_080059.jpgWe had breakfast in the eating room of the hotel. There were other families too. They were from Rajasthan. We talked about travelling around the country.. After breakfast we packed and were ready by 11.
I will write about our last day in the foothills of the Himalayas in the next letter.
With love,

Vacation in the hills-8 (Slice of Life)

Life reflections

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #213 Time&Movement


“The movement of time
Is always into future.
But the past beckons,
We go down memory lane,
The clock cannot be turned back.”


RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #213 Time&Movement

Life Song of the Road

Vacation in the hills-7 (Slice of Life)


Dear Doddamma,
On the 1st I posted a letter amma had written to you. I have sent three old photos as well. We are all fine here. On the 1st, 2nd and 3rd we had heavy rains in the night and the days were pleasantly sunny. We went to Endpoint for our evening walks. Amma and I walk till the cricket grounds, Kuvara and Aravinda walk till the end. There are two grounds on the way to Endpoint for students to play cricket, football or anything else. I must have told you earlier, Endpoint is one end of the hill that is Manipal. From the road to Endpoint we can see the Arabian sea in the distance and sun setting over it is beautiful.

End point 2nd (1)To continue with our trip, it is more than a month since we returned from our vacation and thos days seem like a dream.

On the 17th we planned to leave early in the morning to Nainital. The previous day we had asked our driver about going to Nainital. He said taxis could go only till a place called Bhawali. We would have to go by bus from there. This being the peak tourist season there is a lot of traffic in Nainital. All vehicles are stopped some distance away from the hill station. Five vehicles are allowed to proceed every hour, the others have to wait. He said we could go by bus to Bhawali and from there take another bus to Nainital. He promised to come at 6.30 as there was a bus at 7. But he came a little earlier saying there was bus waiting. We were not yet ready and by the time we reached the bus stop the bus had already departed. The next bus was at 7 and we wondered what to do. A taxi driver was waiting in his car on the side of the road. Devender spoke to him and arranged the trip for us. This driver had come there the previous night from Kathgodham and was looking for passengers for his return drive.
We left Kausani at 6.40.

20180617_071118We enjoyed speaking to the driver, Diwan Singh. He told us a lot about the life in the hills. He said there is plenty of water here, there are many natural springs and people do not have wells near their homes. They build tanks to collect water. Excess water flows back to the rivers. On the way we saw people busy working in their paddy fields on terraces on the slopes of the hills. Oxen are used to plough the land. People cultivate rice and wheat. They grow dals, potatoes and onions too. He said people eat rice for lunch and rotis for breakfast and dinner. Rotis are made not only from wheat flour but also from jowar. We reached Almora at 8.25. We bought Bal mithai and Singodi, the famous sweets of the region. They are made from milk and cane sugar. We had tasted them when we stayed in Almora.

The pine trees on the mountain slopes look majestic. The road leapt from one mountain to the next, with valleys sometimes on our left and sometimes to our right. At certain points we were very near the mountain streams flowing by and then we were far above them. At all times we were very near to nature.

At 9.15 we stopped for breakfast at a small hotel by the side of a river. We sat in the balcony looking up at the mountain and down at the river. We ate aloo parathas, chole, curds and pickles. The vegetable pickles here are very tasty. As we came out a man was selling plums grown in his garden. We bought some.

We reached Bhawali at 11o’clock. We paid the fare and waited at the bus station. The bus turned up, and a young man helped us with the luggage. We reached Naintal at 11.40. A very crowded place. There was a lot of confusion about reaching our hotel. This was because of the mad traffic in that little town. It is as bad as the traffic situation in our big cities. Hotel Viewpoint was about 3kms away and at a much higher level. We called the proprietor, Mr Jitendra Rawat and told that it was almost impossible to find local transport. Some taxi drivers were charging exorbitant fares. He said he would send a taxi. But due to traffic problems it did not arrive. We had to wait for about 2 ½ hours. Taxi drivers face a lot of problem here. Then Jitendra sent a private car. We were waiting by the roadside near Naintal lake  watching people. It is quite fascinating but at the same time we just wanted to reach our hotel.

20180617_142159It was almost 2.45 when we reached the hotel. Nainital is crowded and full of tourists. But tourism is the main source of income for most of residents of the place. Just one more day and time for us to return home.

With love,


Singodi – the most famous sweet of Kumaon Region – Nav … › Lifestyle › Recipes
Bal Mithai – Wikipedia

“Untouched by humans,
God’s gift and nature’s bounty
Pure, fresh mountain air.”

Vacation in the hills-7 (Slice of Life)