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.
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.
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.