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13 March 2017

Summer is Here!

The thought of impending summer is giving me a nightmare. It is so hot and humid already in Mangalore. Thinking of what the coming months have in store is quite scary! How I wish it'd rain a bit, cooling the parched surroundings. As of now, I can only go through old pictures taken during the monsoon, and look longingly at the overcast sky. Sharing a few pictures here that were taken during the late monsoon in September, while driving through, you guessed it right, my favorite place, Goa

The paddy fields glistened in the sunlight, with myriad hues of green. The dark clouds forming the background only added to the beautiful vista offered.

13 February 2017

A Comeback- Long Overdue!

Hello folks! It's been what, a few months now? Close to half a year! The past few months have flown by, and have been beautiful in their own respect. I've met wonderful people, have had some memorable experiences, have learnt certain things for life. And, I have also realised that I miss writing on this space. Of course, I've been writing in my journal regularly. However, amidst the busy turn that life has now taken, this space has been left unattended to. This is something I plan to rectify. One cannot be ignored at the cost of another. Though I might not be able to make time everyday, I plan to write something at least once a week. 

One change that I would be introducing is, from a blog mainly focused on travel, this space would now turn into a lifestyle blog. Meaning there would be a bit of travel, a bit of food and recipes, a few book reviews, local culture, and yes, the new additional entity would be short motivational pieces when I feel like it. Nah, I won't go all sentimental and turn this space that I love so much into yet another blog giving relationship advises. Though I read such advises quite often, I feel I'm not yet experienced enough to start handing out advises of my own. In fact, I could do with a few myself! 

No, this will continue to be the fun informal space it used to be, albeit slightly different. And I would look forward to your suggestions, to help me improve the content. 

And as is my usual practise, I leave you with a picture. This was taken at my beautiful town, Honavar. We went boating on River Sharavati one early morning; the colours of the sky unfolding, the morning chirps of the birds, the cool soothing air kissing the nose, and our boat drifting through the morning mist- all of this made for a heavenly time spent. As I didn't have my camera on me, I couldn't get many pictures, and had to make do with my phone. Sharing one of my favorite shots here.



Cheers,
Piyu!

14 August 2016

Book review: PANORAMA

A Collection of Short Stories, Shilpi Chaklanobis

(You could pick up the book here)

Hello folks! I'm alive and kicking. Things have been keeping me busy for a while now, but I promise to write regularly very soon. Meanwhile, I've been reading a variety of books, mostly political and fiction. And in between a bit of one particular heavy reading (which I still haven't been able to complete- a book on the Emergency by Coomi Kapoor), I chanced upon this book, Panorama, A Collection of Short Stories, by Shilpi Chaklanobis. I decided to give it a try, and yea, I liked it.

01 July 2016

A summer sunset

A quick post! Over the past few weeks, I haven't been able to dedicate much time to this space, owing to more pressing matters, both personally and professionally. However, I'm making it a habit to write down in my journal as often as possible, so as to make a record of my thoughts, which have been quite interesting. 

With this post, I hope to resume writing posts at-least twice a week, starting today! This picture was taken in my village in the Summer. It was a clear evening, and the sky was spotless. The setting sun against the horizon made of various palms made for a very pretty picture. The tiny glistening lake looked nice too.


See also: Summer Activity: Mango Picking!Summer Sky

(Find more pictures of the sky from across the globe, HERE)

24 June 2016

Srimath Anantheshwar Temple, Manjeshwar

Indian Bloggers


Srimath Anantheshwar Temple at Manjeshwar village, just outside the Karnataka-Kerala border, is a temple dedicated to Shesha or Ananta, the serpent God. This is one of the earliest temples belonging to the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins, and the history dates back to almost the 8th century. This is a tiny sleepy village, which my Grandma says, has remained largely the same as she can remember from her childhood. 

The temple is built in the typical style inherent to this part of Canara. It was renovated a few years back; best efforts were made to retain the old world charm, and they did. Why this temple intrigues me so much, is the number of stories, beliefs, and anecdotes associated with this temple. I've grown up listening to Grandma telling me stories from her childhood, how they'd go to the temple for lunch escaping from school and get caught there, how they'd wait for tasty evening snacks and paanak to be served, etc. 
The temple is situated at a lower level than the ground level, and one has to go down a slope. As kids, we'd run up and down the slope, even as elders would yell at us for doing so! The temple also has a tank attached, with ducks. There is also a serene river flowing across the road, and the view at sunset is very pretty. Sharing a few photos of the temple here.

21 June 2016

Monsoon Magic!

Monsoons bring out the best of nature. Everything around turns lush green. And on those rare days when the sun shines through the clouds, the green looks glamorous! Sharing a set of pictures taken during our last monsoon trip to Goa. This was shot by the national highway 17 between Panaji and Madgaon, when we were driving to Martin's Corner for lunch.

18 June 2016

Hoysala Art: a Mash-up!

Indian Bloggers
Epilogue
Though I thought I'd concluded the series on Hoysala temples, I realised I had too many pictures left, and some key observations to note. I realise I've waxed enough eloquent on the stone work and the intricate designs. In this post, I'd just like to point out three central themes the carvings are based on. This also gives a rough idea about the lavish lives the kings might have led. The courts would have been filled with musicians and dancers. There might have been elaborate rituals held to please the Gods- so that the kingdom flourishes and the royal coffers jingle! There might have been a lot of feuds and wars with the neighboring kingdoms, so as to conquer and lengthen the boundaries of the kingdom. One can only imagine the loud war cries of the elephants charging into the battle field, horses rushing past at full speed, with the rider trying to dislodge the neighbour from his horse, and yea, the bloodshed in the field with limbs and heads strewn about! It is with this theme, that I write this post. These pictures are from four different temples that I wrote on earlier, and here I've grouped them together based on the theme.

16 June 2016

Spirit Worship: Jumadi-Banta Kola


I had earlier written a post titled Of Daivas and Spirits, about a custom indigenous to this part of the coast- Spirit Worship. As mentioned earlier, these spirits are many, including Panjurli, Varthe, Guliga, Jumadi - Banta, Mantradevate, etc. There is a very interesting story behind these spirits, which you can read HERE.

Of the many rituals conducted to appease the spirits, the most colourful (and glamorous) is conducting a Bhoota Kola. This is a night long ceremony to invoke the spirit(s) concerned, which then occupies an Oracle temporarily, and can even converse with people through a mediator. The Kola season lasts for about 4-5 months, i.e December to May. 

Earlier this year, we decided to visit a Kola held in at our village. This particular one is conducted in a grand manner every year, and is thronged by people of the surrounding villages. The spirits invoked are Jumadi - Banta. The place was beautifully decorated. Lot of musicians and drummers were involved. The silver headgear was polished to shine blindingly as night engulfed. And the artists invoking the spirits knew their trade perfectly. The synchronisation was very good (watch the video at the end of the post).  We did not stay back for the dance with the artists donning the headgear, as it was already well past mid-night and I had to get back home as the next day was a working day. Here are a few photos from the evening.

13 June 2016

Bhagsunag, Dharamshala


On our whirlwind trip to Dharmashala, one day early in the morning we went to the Bhagsunag temple there. The vistas that unfolded were splendid, with the sky throwing up different patterns and shades by the minute. A friendly 'paw-shaking' canine was also around. And watching the rising sun light up the place felt wonderful.

12 June 2016

Old Port, Mangalore


With the arrival of June, fishing is suspended in the district. This helps in two ways- to help the fish breed in peace, and to prevent accidents in the stormy seas during the monsoons. The old port, which now serves as a harbour for the fishing boats that venture into the deep sea, is usually a buzzing place with lots of activity going on. However, in this season, it wears a pretty deserted look, as can be seen in the photos below. The amount and variety of fish available is also limited, as whatever little put up far sale comes from the little boats that don't go very far. We went to the old port today to pick some prawn. It was nice to watch the sky changing from a bright clear blue to dull cloudy grey, over a span of ten minutes. 

10 June 2016

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins


Writing a book review after a really long time. I did read a few in the past months, but the number of books that I'd hoped to read by mid-year is much less than what I have, owing to various reasons.

I finished this book today, and boy, what a thriller! This one is an un-put-downable crime thriller.
No spoilers ahead, I wouldn't want to spoil the fun for anyone.