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Life Song of the Road

Vacation in the hills-8 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

12-08-2018
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.

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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‚Äôs 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 !!

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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.

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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.

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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,
Lakshmi

Vacation in the hills-8 (Slice of Life)