Friday, 30 September 2011

I feel part of the universe.. open up to meet me

alright, i cannot resist doing this... as its so close to my heart and very well explains the whirlwind of emotions in me and the emotional rut i am in at the moment.. ! i seek refuge...

"I want to have a lasting experience of God.  Sometimes I feel like I understand the divinity of this world, but then i lose it because i get distracted by my petty desires and fears. I want to be with God all the time. But i don't want to be a monk,or totally give up worldly pleasures. I guess what I want to learn is how to live in this world and enjoy its delights, but also devote myself to God "

He answered "To find balance, this is what you must become... you must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart instead. That way, you'll know God"

Thoughts of E.Gilbert, blatantly copied by me..  

tring tring.... Tony ?

When I'm ready to go to bed, I set an alarm in it.. When I'm in deep sleep dreaming about swimming in Cancun , or hula hula dance in Hawai, or being in Mr Branson's shoes, I frown being interrupted by the noises it makes..  When I wake up every morning I check it for email, texts, missed calls... When I'm commuting or excercising (very rare), I listen to  foot tapping/ soul searching numbers on it.. When I see something worth being captured I click photos or film videos on it...  When nostalgic, i browse through old texts..
Cellphones !!!! Acording to my limited sample survey research 99 % of  adolescent and adult population are addicted to mobile phones.. addicted may be harsh word.. lets say over-dependent.  I have 2000 free minutes each month and trust me by the month end I have to use them economically.. A person who can talk to trees & bees , i confess that i have to use my free minutes wisely.  We live in a mobile phones driven world..  A 100 meters walk to the corner shop u carry your phone.. when you walk from one room to another you carry your phone..  Some people I know carry theirs to the toilet (you know who you are).  Who cares about the over exposure to cellphone radiation , when global crisis and  hypocrisy  of our world leaders is going to give us a stroke anyway !  Since i started using cellphones, my memory has gone for a toss. All i remember now is, where did i last keep my phone.. in my bag.. or kitchen table ? The few telephone numbers i knew byheart have been erased like Dubai's coastline. swisshhhh.. all gone. i can barely remember my own cellphone number ! i have saved it in my contacts as 'ME orange'.. there is another one below it that says 'ME lebara'.. I wonder what is this need to constantly be in touch with the outside world. For years and years our forefathers/ grandfathers lived perfectly normal lives without being pinged constantly..they didnt care about whatsapp or shazam.. they looked for letters and telegrams that they cherished for years and passed it on to their coming generations, where as we fear a memory card crash, drug addict robbers or damaged display that would take our golden memories away in a jiffy.. Now,we have fewer  friends and more means to communicate.  There is no escape. I cant take a little time off to get lost in my own thoughts from my own BB dominated life. 

An old prank..
(Dials a random landline number)

Tring tring.... tring tring...
Me: hello, tony hai ?
XYZ : nahi.. wrong number..

tring tring...
Me : hello, tony hai ?
XYZ: Wrong number boss

tring tring tring tring
Me: CAn i speak tony ?
XYZ: (irritated) you have dialed the wrong number

moments later

Tring tring
Me: tony?
XYZ: Arre .. bola na wrong number

Tring tring
Me: hello tony hai?
XYZ (angrily) nahi nahi nahi...

Tring tring
Me:  tony , kahan hai tu ?
XYZ: (screams) wapas phone kiya toh police ko bolunga


Tring tring
Me: Main tony bol raha hoon.. mere liye koi phones ?
XYZ: kahan hai be tu ? %$&^%*$#%^$&^ %#^%*&(*&

Thursday, 29 September 2011

in search for tranquility

"Gunda....  Gunda.. " I see Victor screaming in his loud husky voice. I look back and see a ferocious dog running towards me. In slow motion, one would have noticed me praying for my life. Having being attacked by a dog once before, angry running dogs scare the shit out of me. Victor says  "Come on Gunda, you're a good boy" . Now heres a sentence you dont get to hear often. Gunda , a hindi equivalent to a gangster/ dacoit and a good boy .. hmm  why would one name ones dog gunda.. hmm wait a min.. i see the way he is running , gunda has the angry spartans attacking troy look in his eyes..  may be thats why.  Gunda meets his master and there is cootchie cooing which i must admit is an adorable sight to see. Later i learn that there is not only one Gunda, there is a whole gunda gang in the estate. I am in a remote place called Kolagaparra, in the district of Wayanad, Kerela.  I am here for four days living in Tranquil Plantations Hideaway..  Its just the family who owns it and us. Luckily the few rooms it has are all not booked for these four days so we have the place for ourselves.

Being born to travel agents parents, I got to travel a lot as i was growing up. We (my sisters and I ) visited so many places as toddlers that I might not be able to recollect the prime reason of our visit. All i remember is flashes of incidents that now seem funny.  My sisters and I would tag along mom and dad, staring at odd things and marveling at things totally absurd and inappropriate. Maybe someday i'll write about our antics.. when i am further in my blog process. Now its too early to open that trove and best decision to avoid early judgements.  Coming back to Tranquil, the rooms are huge dark wood cottages. When i enter the room, i can smell citronella. Most places in Kerela smell like aroma therapy spa. Its lovely.. Gods own country has a surplus of incense sticks supply!  A walk around the cottages makes this homestay experience very luxurious. Its cleanliness , decor and service is impeccable.
The dinner service is intimate. There is a table for say 20. The family comprises of Victor, his wife Rajni and his mom .. dunno her name. But what i do know is, she is British , who came to India in her teens during the British Raj, fell for an Indian soldier and married him and never went back. Now thats a sweet story. This lady, lets call her 'Bold n Beautiful' will tell you why.  She is 'Mrs Doubtfire' looking woman who dresses up in evening wear for dinner. She walks with a smile into the dining room with matching earrings and red lipstick which has trouble staying under the lines. In the four days i stay there , i learn that all she does is watches 'The Bold and the Beautiful' on star world , knits, reads and dresses up for dinner. She absolutely loves it here.  Her life stories are enchanting. The food is a lavish affair of 9- 10 dishes, 2- 3 desserts.. its fancy.. Victor and Rajni are lovely.. we chat.. laugh.. its as though you have known them for years.  I had a different picture about homestays. I thought homestay guests are served tiny bowl of tasteless unseasoned pasta and put to bed at 9.00pm in sleeping bags ! thats my Christchurch experience.  (No offense to Laurie and Sandra Andrews )

 The following days, I am driven around in a rustic jeep to enjoy the views of vast coffee plantations. Not my cup of tea/coffee really but sitting in a open jeep and engine going "grrrrrr" up the slopes is fun. My day goes by eating.. talking to the staff.. relaxing in the pool which is all for ourselves, avoiding deja vu of dog attacks and taking in aromatic citronella smells. In the evening it pours like cats & dogs..  seems like a cloud burst. My sisters and i dance in rain going around palm trees like bollywood stars. And at nights, i listen to BB and her world war stories.  The Edakal caves are not far from the house. The name "Edakkal" literally means "a stone in between", and this describes how the cave is formed by a heavy boulder straddling a fissure in the rock. It quite a sweaty walk up there but the views are worth it. A frail lanky man led us to the top. At first, i thought, i'd have to carry him but boy .. these locals have the stamina to climb ! I drank 3 galloons of "mineral"water stored in unsealed mineral water bottles.
Three hours later, a three shades darker , I had climbed the Ambukuthi mala mountain.  What you sun tan lovers doing on Goa beaches, climb this mountain.. it works and how !   Also not to forget Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary , where i am lucky to spot the most awaited sight of the tiger. Not so lucky at the end coz the heat and weather change has given me a sinus attack. Well i can deal with sinus attack rather than a gunda attack !

Tranquil is a lovely place.. lovely people and lovely memories.. there are mosquitoes but the staff keeps them away..  i wish i can go there someday again.. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

un dos tres..

here we go.. i created 'a life without a map' today to make note of all those moments in my life which should be documented.  Over the years I have noticed how priorities change.. change is good. I am an amateur blogger today. I write only because im aware no one is going to read this. I am a travel enthusiast. The list of places to visit could be rolled into something that would resemble a fresh pack of toilet paper.  As i go along pinning down my places to visit.. I shall share my conquest to explore life without a map..