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reflections

#SoCS Nov. 28/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “opt.” Use it as a word or find a word with “opt” in it and base your post on that. Have fun!

Life is filled with options . We have to choose. Some decisions are made consciously and others , we are not even aware that we are making decisions. We just act. At that moment we believe our decision to be the right one. It is only much later that we come to know whether they were right or not. Many a time we are given a second chance but some times we have to deal with what we have opted for. I believe we have only two options when life deals us a problem, either run away or face it. For me, running away is not at all an option and when there is no choice it is better to deal with problem positively. Life becomes easier.

Writing about options, I remember this incident which happened in 1965. My mother  recalled with a smile the scene very vividly, even after decades.  That year my parents decided to go to Darjeeling for a holiday with their two small children. My father was posted in Calcutta.

Long ago days, by the riverside, Calcutta 🙂

In those days there was no railway bridge across the river Ganga. When the river enters Bengal, it splits into two, the Hugli and the Padma. Just before the breakup, a barrage was constructed- Farakka barrage. The train stopped to the south of the barrage and the passengers  crossed the river in a steamer and then boarded a meter gauge train on the other side. That day they reached the place quite late in the evening.

Those were the days of trunks and holdalls, no suitcases 😊. The porter was rushing ahead with the luggage and my father rushed after him. My mother followed with two of us.  At one place, some people went to one side and others to another. My father was nowhere to be seen! There were two steamers by the bank. My mother was faced with two options, either to follow the ladies who been in their compartment or walk on. She opted to walk behind them and climbed up the waiting steamer.

To her dismay my father was not to be seen, she immediately climbed down. And there was my father coming towards them with an anxious face. The porter had not slowed down and he was worried about the luggage. Reaching the correct steamer my father turned around thinking his wife and children were behind him. Not seeing them he rushed back the way he had come and soon saw them. That was a happy reunion 😊.

The steamer on which my mother had gone left soon.

An exciting start to a trip 😊.

Farakka Barrage – Wikipedia

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reflections

#SoCS Nov. 7/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “jour.” Find a word containing “jour” or use it as is. Bonus points if you start or end your post with that word. Enjoy!

Jour’ puzzled me because I was reading it for the first time. It is fun to come across new words and look up their meaning. It comes from French and ultimately from Latin. It means daily or relating to one day. Its meaning is found in words like journey, journal and such words.

Journal brought to mind Slice of Life. I have been posting there since early 2017. Every Tuesday we have to post a slice of our life. End of that year I started writing letters to my Doddamma My Slice of life post was an edited version of my letters. It is a journal. We think that there is not much happening in life but they make us realize that every day is different. There is a sameness too which feels good.

In the late seventies, my paternal grandfather wrote his memoirs at the insistence of his elder daughter. He described so vividly all that had happened to him decades earlier. He wrote about life in the first half of the 20th century and his description brought those times alive for us. Anyone would have thought that he had kept journals through the years and had written his memoirs reading through them. But I remember all his worldly possessions filled a small trunk and a bag. He had a wonderful memory.

Every year he and his younger sister went with their mother to their maternal grandparents’ home about twelve miles from their home to attend the death anniversary rituals of their maternal grandfather. Those were the times when there were no buses or cars or bicycles. There were only mud roads for bullock carts. The enjoyed the journey and what a journey it was ! They had to cross flat lands, climb hills and come down, cross small streams and it was impossible not to play in the flowing water.

They left home early in the morning with two servants. Their mother carried tender coconuts, beaten rice and jaggery. They  reached ‘Kochchi Gudde’ ( gudde means hill in Kannada), about six to seven miles away at about 10 o’clock. They rested under a tree on top of the hill and ate what they had brought. By afternoon they reached my grandfather’s cousin’s home. After lunch they set off again. On the way they walked through a forest and crossed a river in a boat . A boatman was always present with his craft to ferry wayfarers. They reached their destination by sunset.

Their sojourn with their grandparents, maternal uncles, aunts and their families lasted for a month. They visited their relatives and had great fun with all their cousins. These visits took place during the closing years of 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century. Fast forward to the 1960s and 70s we journeyed to our maternal grandparents’ place by train and now in the 21st century our grandchildren who live in Germany come by aeroplanes to the nearest airport and from there by car to our home. 😊

The jours of three centuries! 😊

My grandfather and his sister

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reflections

#SoCS Oct. 31/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “trick.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The word ‘trick’ reminded me of those card-tricks which amazed us in our childhood. A relative would ask us to pick a card from the pack, we were not to show it to him. After a series of questions, he told us what card we had in our hand. It must have been a simple trick but we never figured it out. But it was fun.

When I think about cards, I remember those wonderful vacations we spent in our maternal grandparents’ home every summer. We all played a game called ‘Donkey’ and enjoyed ourselves. Our grandfather looked at us with indulgence.  Later on, in another place and time, we played ‘Canasta’ with cousins from my father’s side. My father taught us the game and we were crazy about it. We played it for hours in my aunt’s house. Now, I do not remember anything about the game except its name 😊. My father loved playing ‘Patience’ and his father, ‘Bridge’.

My grandmother passed away when my father was only twelve. They lived in small town where my grandfather was the head master in the Municipal Highschool. My father and his friends enjoyed themselves and had many tricks up their sleeves. I had asked him to write his memories and he did write them down. They opened a window to those long ago days.

In the 1940s there was a very popular Kannada magazine called ‘Koravanji’. My father and his friends waited for it with great excitement but its cost was four annas. In those days it was a big amount. None had the courage to ask their parents that money. My father found a method which never failed. My grandfather played Bridge with his friends in the club, in the evenings. On the day the magazine came to the book store, my father went to the club. He waited patiently and his presence disturbed my grandfather. When asked why he had come there, my father said just one word, ‘Koravanji’. My grandfather wanting him to leave the place, gave him the money immediately. With a big smile my father and his friends rushed to buy the magazine.  I told him that was a good trick indeed 😊.

Another incident in his childhood which always made him smile was about a Banni tree and the trick he played on his sisters. In those days, people worshipped the tree. Maybe they worship it now too. My father was in 5th std. All children walked to school from their homes.  There was a tall, old Banni tree not far from school.  During the time of examinations my aunts and their friends prayed and kept some eatables at the foot of the tree as their offerings to God. My father and his friends coming behind ate with relish what was kept there. They thought the girls would think that the God of the tree had accepted their offerings. But I am sure the girls were never fooled by the tricks played by mischievous boys 😊.

Banni Tree – Auspicious during Dasara festival

My father with his mother. He must have been seven or eight years. My grandmother passed away in 1943 at the age of 38. My father was 12.

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reflections

#SoCS Aug. 15/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “pro/con.” Talk about the pros and cons of anything. Enjoy!

I believe we think about the pros and cons of something or the other at different stages of our lives. Making decisions depends on many issues, we think about the advantages and disadvantages of taking a step before taking a decision. Of course at that moment we do what we think is right and it is only later that we come to know whether we have taken the right decision.

Talking about decisions my thoughts go back to 1979. My father worked in the Indian Railways. In that year about five hundred employees under many officers were sent on deputation to Nigeria. My father was the Controller of Stores.  I remember my parents discussing the pro and cons of going to Nigeria. The money would be welcome. But at that time my doddappa and doddamma were in Liberia and my parents were thinking about my grandfather. How could both sons be far away from him? Then my grandfather went to stay with his daughter. My parents were in Nigeria from 1979 to 1982. In one way it was a good decision because they were able to purchase two acres of land and a house in the town where my maternal grandparents lived. My parents lived there for more than thirty years after my father retired.

But my grandfather passed away in 1980 in his cousin’s house. He was 87 ,mentally and physically active till the end. Both his sons were far away from him. That is life.

I spent my summer vacations in Nigeria. The campus was good. One summer, my parents, my younger brother and myself went round many countries in Europe. As my father was in the Indian Railways, we went by train to all those countries. I loved Rome. I had been dreaming of going to Rome after seeing Roman Holiday. I remember throwing a coin over my shoulder into Trevi fountain. I had read that I would return to Rome if I did that.

And, coincidence or not, I did return to Rome in 1988, with my husband 😊 and loved seeing all those places again, specially the fountain. But that time I did not throw any coins into the fountain. It was not because I weighed the pros and cons of that action, I just did not.

As a last thought, I think pro et contra sounds better than pros and cons 😊.

Trevi Fountain | fountain, Rome, Italy | Britannica https://www.britannica.com/topic/Trevi-Fountain

Categories
Life reflections

Of Food

A few days ago I was looking out of the window at our star-apple tree. There were flowers and fruits. These fruits are very juicy and refreshing. It is indeed a marvel of nature that we get these fruits when our weather becomes hot. As I was looking I saw a bunch of fruits shaking, there was no wind to make them swing so. Then I saw a little green bird happily pecking at a fruit. It was quenching its thirst and hunger. We see such birds flying from one flower to the next. It is such a joy to see them plunge their beaks into a flower and pull them out in a fraction of a second. When I see them I think of the sparrow. These birds have decreased in number here but I see them in grocery shops. They are busy eating rice and other grains which spill out of the sacks. Why have they decreased in number, and how do they know where they can find food to survive?

Thoughts about food take me back to my childhood. I just did not like the taste of bitter gourd and used to wonder how anyone could eat such an awful vegetable. I remember that I once walked away from the table in protest against being served the vegetable. But over the years I have grown to love this bitter taste and it is one of my favourite vegetables. I like to drink my coffee without sugar, I relish that bitter taste 😊. Here in India people usually drink coffee with milk and sugar. We make filter coffee because we do not like the instant variety.

My father worked in the Indian railways and we lived mostly in North India. But every summer vacation we used to come to my maternal grandparents’ home in a small town in South India. We had to travel three days by train to reach Mangalore, the nearest railway station to our destination. My mother would carry some food for the journey, but after the first day we would buy food at different stations. We used to enjoy it. I still remember the aloo sabji (potato curry) that we used to get in a small cone made by joining leaves. I make that dish even now. This exposure to different types of food has made it possible for me to taste and enjoy any kind of vegetarian food (in my country vegetarian food is very easily available). Recently, I was in Germany for 2 ½ months with my daughter and her family. She was expecting her second child. I got to taste some of the baked vegetarian dishes. In our daily cooking we hardly bake. I enjoyed the new experience but I could not like the taste of some varieties of cheese 😊.

As I am writing this I remember little birds and squirrels that used to come to eat the chapati pieces that we put out every morning. These days we do not see them much. Maybe they will come back when it starts raining and the weather cools down. I place a vessel of water for the birds. I think they come to take a quick sip.

I wrote this yesterday evening. After dinner I picked up Roads to Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond. He is one of my favourite authors. Very aptly for the occasion, the first essay was about breakfast. The author tells us that he likes to have a solid breakfast in order to write.

6th afternoon taste (1)

WP_20140510_12_31_00_Pro

892267_10152708990190183_239435271_o

( Cashew nuts are roasted and the kernels within is separated by cracking the shell. )

 

 

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Life Song of the Road

School and Beyond

My mother, Shantha Bhat’s memories of her childhood. My son, Aravinda and I translated it.

I started going to Bolvar school not very far from home. I do not remember its full name. We used to call it Bolvar shaale. I studied there till 5th std. I remember a teacher called Janaki. There was also a teacher who was popularly known as Bangaru master. He taught us Kannada. He was my mother’s cousin. I still remember him singing the song ‘Kaadiruvalu Shabari Ramabaruvanendu.’ This popular song was penned by the poet V Seetharamiah.

https://topics.revolvy.com/topic/M.%20V.%20Seetharamiah

I went to the 6th class at Board High school. We girls wore long skirts and blouse (udda langa Ravike) We had only two dresses for school and one to wear at home. They had to last for a year. Mid-April (14th/15th) we celebrated Vishu or New Year. On that day, my father used to buy new clothes for all of us. We used to go to the temple wearing the new clothes. We walked to school but we had no footwear; come rain or shine, we walked barefoot. I remember getting my first pair of slippers after my marriage at the age of 18. I finished SSLC and within a year my marriage was fixed. I think I wanted to continue my studies. But the college was a little far from home and my father did not have the courage to send girls walking to school. On the way to school I remember chewing roasted tamarind seeds. In those days there was nothing like chewing gum. We roasted tamarind seeds, peeled off the outer skin and popped them into our mouths. They lasted all the way to school. School was from morning to evening and we came home for lunch.

One of my favourite memories about school was reading story books in class. I used to borrow books from my friends. If I was forced to return the book in a hurry, I would read them whenever I had a chance. From early childhood I loved reading books. My father used to get books for me. I remember the first books he got for me contained stories from different countries of the world. There was no electricity and I would even read under the light of the full moon. Thinking back now, I feel that I must have read with great difficulty. We used to have an oil lamp which consisted of a little glass bowl containing oil. Immersed in the oil was a wick. There was glass covering to protect the flame from the draft. I loved to read late into the night by the light of this lamp. When I heard my father approaching, his footwear making a crunching sound, I would put out the flame in a hurry and act as if I was asleep. My love for books continues to this day.

I remember a bangle seller (balegaara) coming home. He used to walk from place to place selling his ware to the womenfolk. He used to come to our village twice a year. I think we used to pester my mother and she would give some money to buy bangles. I remember playing hopscotch at home. We called it jubili aata. It was fun. I am told children still play this game.

One fond memory is of going to the circus in Mangalore. On that occasion father hired a taxi and took us all to Mangalore to see Kamala Three Ring circus.
(A brief history of the Indian circus – IN SCHOOL – The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-in-school/a-brief…circus/article4327096.ece
Jan 21, 2013 – Kamala Three Ring Circus needs a special mention here as what started humble went on to become a giant American-style six-pole three-ring …)

I think we also went to see a play the same day, but I don’t remember the name of that play. We then went to the Railway station. There was a train parked there. The gate was shut and we could not look at it from near. So we just had a peep. I remember my father saying that that was the railway station and that the long vehicle was a train.                Who knew then that I would get to travel on trains, within and outside our country with my husband for over fifty years! He worked with the Indian Railways. He joined the Service in 1958 and retired in 1987 as Controller of Stores.

Shaale – school
Bolvar- name of a place in Puttur
Shabari – An elderly woman who waited for Lord Rama

This is a beautiful song about a bangle seller sung by C Ashwath
https://www2.bing.com/videos/search?q=balegara+chennaiah+sung+by+c+ashwath&qpvt=balegara+chennaiah+sung+by+c+ashwath&view=detail&mid=9DD16A28B3715DA8DD079DD16A28B3715DA8DD07&FORM=VRDGAR

hopscotchsaris

( This photo is from the internet)

wedding

( My parents on their wedding day on May 1st, 1959)

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Long ago Days :)

Memories of childhood written by my mother, Shantha Bhat, in Kannada. My son,Aravinda and I translated it.

My earliest memories are of our one-room house in Harady. I must have been around five years old in 1946. The room was part of the ‘kottage’ of the main house. My parents, I and my sister Jaya lived there. My mother’s maternal uncles and their families lived there. We used to call them ‘doddamava’, ‘doddatte’, ‘puttu mava’ and ‘puttatte’. Doddatte’s mother also lived there. She was a widow and used to wear white saris. We called her ‘Bili ajji’. My grandmother was ‘kempu ajji’ because she wore a red sari as a mark of her widowhood. I don’t remember where she lived when we were in the small house. Later on she came to live with us. In another part of the kottage my mother’s grandfather lived with his mistress. I remember watching with my sister Jaya, with fascination, as he used leeches to purify his blood. One day I fell and hurt myself. Back then we did not use ‘English medicine’. My puttatte applied sugar powder on the wound. It healed but left a mark on my left temple.

In 1947, my father purchased a plot of land with a thatched house just above the kottage. My mother was pregnant with my brother Gopala. He was born in that house. Everyone was so excited that a son was born into the family.

Kempajji, whose real name was Mukambike, came to live with us there. She was my grandfather’s first wife. Even after a few years they did not have children so she got her niece married to her husband. The irony is after her husband’s second marriage she herself became pregnant. A daughter was born to them. I don’t remember my ajji. Unfortunately I do not remember her name. She died young leaving behind her two small children, my father and my aunt. They were brought up by Bobbe ajji. My father used to call her Doddabbe. (Abbe means mother) We children called her Bobbe ajji.

She was a very enterprising lady. In the months of March and April she would go to the homes of relatives, stay there through the summer and help them prepare Jackfruit happala. As a token of appreciation they would give her some of the happala to take back home. She was a medicine woman, which means she knew many country remedies for various illnesses. Her medicines died with her. There is a custom among us which is called ‘dhrishti tegeyuvudu’ which is a ritual to ward off ill effects that were thought to influence children. A piece of iron was heated in the fire. This red hot iron was dipped in water kept in bowl on the threshold (hosthilu). This bowl was moved thrice around the child’s head. Then the water was thrown away. I remember Bobbe ajji doing this for my brother Gopala.

One more lovely incident I remember is trying to hit her with a wooden stick when she had been away for a long time leaving me behind. I loved her very much and wanted to be with her always.
She was an expert in a board game called daabelu played with cowrie shells (kavade). She would go to the uncles’ house to play this game with three other people. One half of a coconut shell was polished to smoothness and placed upside down on the floor. The floor was divided into four houses with chalk. Each player would shake the six shells in their hands and drop them on the curved surface of the coconut shell. If the cowries fell the right way up, the player would win a certain number of points; if they fell the other way the number of points would be different. They would play this game after nightfall in the light of the oil lamp. I remember that they would be immersed in the game for hours together.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashta_Chamma_(board_game))
Board game photo from the internet.

Harady- name of a place in a small town in South India

Kottage- a small room or rooms adjacent to the main house
Doddamava – Elder uncle, Puttu mava- younger uncle, dodda atte -elder aunt, puttatte- younger aunt
Ajji – grandmother, Bili – white , Kempu- red
Happala- crispy fried preparations.
To be continued…

kavade

Mareel (7)

 

Categories
Life Song of the Road

My life outside our country

My parents lived in Nigeria from 1979 to 1982. Those  were memorable years for them. My mother, Shantha, wrote her memories and my son and I translated it from Kannada to English.

In 1979, Indian Railways got a contract to maintain the Nigerian Railway network. We were in Delhi at that time. My husband was deputed to Lagos, Nigeria, as Controller of Stores. About four hundred Railway employees went to Africa. The Officers were given independent houses in the Railway campus. They took take their families along. However, our eldest son, Shyam, was studying at IIT Bombay and our daughter, Lakshmi, joined Wilson College in the same city. Our youngest son, Ravi, went to school in Puttur. He lived with my parents. Our children visited Nigeria during their summer vacations. The other staff were given hostel accommodation. The Railway colony was large. We got an independent house. In the beginning we shared it with another family.  There was an outhouse in the compound. Two local families lived there. They assisted me in household work. I found that Nigerian women were very strong and capable. This was brought home to me in a very strange manner. On one occasion a Nigerian lady who assisted us, gave birth in the garden without assistance. They were very hardworking and we used to see them working in the markets too.  I remember there were many breadfruit trees in the colony but Nigerians did not use raw breadfruit. In South India we use them to make various dishes. We were amazed to discover that a great variety of Indian saris were available in Lagos. This was because of the Indian community there.

There were many Indian business people in Nigeria. Once they invited Swami Chinmayananda (Hindu spiritual leader and teacher) to give lectures on The Gita. My husband attended the lectures. At one point he told Swamiji that he had attended his lectures on The Gita in Delhi. Swamiji replied, “It is not enough if you learn The Gita. You must share your knowledge with others.” So my husband started weekly Gita classes in the hostel. These classes took place on Sundays and were well attended.

We stayed in Nigeria for three years and during that period we were able to see different parts of the world. During one vacation my husband sent Shyam with a local boy to Northern Nigeria. In May 1980 we planned a trip to Europe. This was possible because my husband got railway passes to travel on the continent. Lakshmi came to Nigeria from Bombay. The three of us flew to Rome and Ravi came over to Rome directly from India. He was studying in seventh class. For nearly a month we travelled through Europe from South to North via Vienna. We were able to attend a musical concert at the Royal Albert hall in London. By the end of the concert Ravi was probably dozing. At the climax of the concert the musicians suddenly struck a loud note which brought Ravi leaping out of his chair. I still remember this.  During Shyam’s  vacations he came over to Nigeria. My husband was able to procure a ticket to tour America in forty five days. This was at a very reasonable rate. However the condition was that he could not exceed forty five days. Even a day extra would have meant paying a lot of money. Accordingly he left for the States. His father imposed a condition : he should write to them on a regular basis. We knew a young New Yorker called Jim. He had stayed for three months in Bombay at my brother-in-law’s. He had come to  India on a Rotary Exchange programme in 1974. A few years later Jim and his friends, John and Lee, drove all the way from England to India and toured the sub-continent in their LandRover.  They stayed for a few days with us in Delhi. It is something to be amazed about that this friendship has lasted to this day. My grandson, Aravind, visited New York in April 2014. Jim took him around Brooklyn. My grandson found Jim a kindred spirit. Aravind tells me that Jim remembers all of us with great affection. Jim helped our son to see the country.

At the same time that we were in Nigeria, my husband’s elder brother and his wife were in Liberia. The four of us decided to make a trip to the States. We planned a month long trip and got together in New York. We stayed with Jim and Nancy in New York state. With Jim’s help we planned a round trip taking care not to pass through the same place twice. This helped us save a lot of money. We visited many places and I still remember our stay with John and his family. They owned a ranch and reared cattle. John’s mother had a sari which he had got for her from India. She did not know how to wear it. My sister-in-law and I showed her how to wear it. She was very happy. We also visited Lee and stayed with him and his wife. He took us to see the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  My sister-in-law’s two brothers lived in America and they too showed us around.    We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

We were in Nigeria till June 1982. Sometime in 1981, my husband had official work in London. I accompanied him. A memory fresh in my mind is a bus tour I took round London. My husband saw me into the coach and left on his work. We assumed it was a half-day tour. But at lunch time I discovered to my horror that it was a full day tour. I told the guide that my husband would be waiting for me and would be alarmed if I did not turn up at the expected time. She was very understanding and put me in a cab. Fortunately I had a card with the address of the hotel we were staying in. When I reached the hotel I found my husband had gone searching for me to the pickup point. At the reception desk of the hotel I was informed that my husband had gone to the bus stop looking for me. I went after him and we both met midway. It was a good moment.

The three years in Nigeria were very good for us. It was the first time that we had  travelled out of our country. This job was financially rewarding. It enabled us to see the world and also purchase our house in Puttur, India. I remember my husband wanting to call it ‘Nigeria’ but happily we named it ‘Shrila’ after our children’s names.My father helped to find this house and we were very happy in it.

amma-america-europe

 

 

Categories
Life reflections

The Fact in Fiction

 

I am reading this fascinating book, ‘Ghost train to the Eastern Star’ by Paul Theroux. It is about his journey from London, across Eastern Europe, Asia and back. He had travelled this route in the seventies and the account of that journey was in his book, ‘The great Railway Bazaar’. His writing brings all the places alive.

I came across these words and they struck a chord. I was able to really appreciate his feelings, “The topography of Literature, the fact in fiction, is one of my pleasures. I mean where the living road enters the pages of a book, and you are able to stroll along both the real and the imagined road… for the way it shows how imagination and landscape combine to become art… the towns on the Mississippi that are important in Huckleberry Finn.”

These lines reminded me of our trip to London last year. London did not seem like a new place. The names and roads and places are so familiar to us who have grown up reading Charles Dickens or Georgette Heyer or Agatha Christie or Barbara Cartland or Arthur Conon Doyle or Nevil Shute or P G Wodehouse and so many other books. The first week we stayed in Ealing Broadway and that place seemed familiar because Keith Stewart of Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute (one of my favourite books) went on those roads every day.  The British Museum and Hyde Park are an important part of Georgette Heyer books. Many of the roads came alive because of Sherlock Holmes and people in books by Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie and P G Wodehouse. We had been to Oxford, Wimbledon, Greenwich and Hampton Court. Cruising on the Thames, walking on the London Bridge, looking at Buckingham palace were all familiar experiences. London Underground was fun and we really enjoyed ourselves, the names were so familiar because of Monopoly. :))

I had been on the imagined roads countless times. It was fascinating when all those imagined roads became real roads and together they are a part of our lives. They are precious memories. It is equally fascinating how those ‘imagined roads’ in fiction bring alive places and long after we have travelled on the real roads, books once again make us live though our experiences and make the past alive. The imagined and the real roads become one.

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(One of the roads in Ealing Broadway)

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Farewell and a Happy New Year :)

Some people are always a part of our lives, whether they are with us are not. My grandfather, my father’s father is one such person. He was a very important part of my childhood. His reading aloud from our epics and other stories instilled a love for books.

2016 starts the day after tomorrow. And the year 1916 comes to mind. My grandparents got married in that year, a hundred years ago! Life has changed in so many different ways. My grandfather had written about the journey from his village to the bride’s house for his wedding, about sixty miles away. Those were the days when there were no buses or cars. People either walked or went by bullock carts.

My grandfather, his parents and other relatives set out from their village called Polya, at a good muhuruta (auspicious time), four days before the wedding. There were two bullock carts to take them to Somawarpet, the bride’s village. They started out at night. By morning they reached a place called Sullia, twenty miles away. While reading his Memoirs , I could just imagine two bullock carts going at a leisurely pace, with a lantern hanging in the front. It sounds magical. There would have been problems but that was life then.
The whole day they rested in the house of a friend .That night after dinner they started again. Early next morning they reached Sampaje, twenty miles away.There they stayed in a relative’s house the whole day.After dinner they set out after dinner. By morning they reached
Madikeri, twenty miles away.After a whole morning’s rest in my grandmother’s uncle’s house, they set out after dinner that night for Somwarpet, eighteen miles from Madikeri and reached early morning. The wedding took place the next day.

Sixty miles and four days. 🙂 Life moved at a much slower pace. And over the years we have been saying farewell to so much and welcoming the new. So life goes on.
Farewells are a part of our lives
Every moment we bid goodbye
To earlier moments.
But we do not really think,
For life moves forward
Without a break,
And those moments are too small.
For us to take time to bid goodbye.
They are gone forever
But their memories live with us.
Memories good or bad
Are always a part of us .
Life would be so much better
If only we could say farewell
To those bad moments in Life.
But somehow they cling on.
Somewhere in our minds,
And do not allow us
To say farewell.
Those good moments
Forever a part of our lives,
They are precious
Thank God we have the sense
Never to bid them farewell.’

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WE WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 🙂