Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Kashmir, First Impressions & Gardens ” : Odyssey to Paradise on Earth (Part 2)

 
Seldom will you get excited by scene from the window of an airplane during a flight. Mostly the view will be monotonous and it’s either the clouds or the never ending seas. But this time it was different. We were literally screaming !! Screaming in excitement.
 
The majestic Himalayas, kissing the clouds, embracing each other. The kind of sight we needed to rejuvenate ourselves after the Delhi episode (Read it here)



The snow cover on the top was enough to keep our kids excited. The primary purpose of this tour was to experience snow, which we had never seen in our lives. This being the month of May we had an apprehension about the availability of snow.
 
We soon touched down the PARADISE ON EARTH and all of sudden we felt a lot happy as the temperature was about 15 degrees celcius, making us forget the horrid heat in Delhi. As we were inside the taxi a “Chevrolet Tavera”, eagerly watching the sights around, we got a first impression on Kashmir.



This place is not metro, not even a non metro city. It was calm, the people around does not seem to be in a hurry. Military presence is everywhere. Thanks to the numerous terrorist strikes in this region.
 
There were no high risers around and no shopping malls. This place is a mystery for us who come from southern part of India as the news which we see and hear about this place is completely about attacks, arson, looting etc. This mystery combined with the hearsay about the beauty of this place had kept our mind preoccupied with lots of thoughts and made us forget the fact that we didn’t have the breakfast and time was already well past 11 am.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“Delhi @ 47 degree” : Odyssey to Paradise on Earth (Part 1)


“Sir, there is no electricity. The AC won’t be working for another 10 minutes” said the front office person, after giving the keys of our room. This wouldn’t have been a problem in normal circumstances. But, what if the temperature is touching 47 degree Celsius. It was the first “jolt” for us. 

New Delhi got the maximum recorded temperature this year, exactly on the day we landed. We means my wife, son, daughter and myself. The rooms were booked in Hotel Walnut Castle at Karol Bagh as advised by a travel agent back in Thiruvananthapuram, who sounded quite knowledgeable then. 

Once we stepped into the room we got second “jolt”. A mint sized room, sufficient for a single person occupancy is allotted for a family of four. We even had paid for an extra bed and the only place extra bed could be placed was in the bathroom. 

Made a call to the agent who booked this for us and after spending some time on phone,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Aruvipuram - A trek following the footsteps of a Social Reformer !!


1000 m / 1Km, is a distance which one can walk in about 15 to 20 minutes, even if going at a real slow pace. This very same thought must have prompted the better halves of my friend and mine, to venture into this short walk along with kids, the eldermost one aged just 10. 

 Little did we knew that, even this short distance could be so taxing, when one considers the slopeness of the surface, inclines which amount to an angle of more than 60. We were in Aruvippuram, a place with a historical significance, a place which came into more prominence with the visit of the most popular President India has ever got - Dr. A P J on Jan 2013, a place which saw history being written when the great Sree Narayana Guru, against the convention, did the idol laying ceremony of Lord Siva, a practice which only the upper caste people only was supposed to do in those black era, marred by the feudal caste system. Over the years the caste system went into oblivion even though traces of it reappear during certain occasions (read vote bank politics, matrimony, job reservation). 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chitharal - A blissful experience


The final turn was really a sharp bent where a cemented surface formed the parking lot to a historic place located in a remote hamlet of Marthandam - a township in Tamil Nadu, very closer to the Kerala Tamil Nadu border. The three cars were parked in the scorching sun and the 15 member gang alighted from the chariots. All our eyes fell on the magnanimous structure standing with its head high. It is not yet another man made concrete high rise. It was a natural rock formation. 



One of the boulders precariously perched on the slope of the rocky mountain soon became the topic of our discussion. I was still in an investigative mood and was looking everything with suspicion, thanks to the famous detective stories of Satyajith Ray christened Feluda.(I got to know about this book from one of the most intellectual bloggers around who writes just like columnist of leading newspapers - Roshmi Sinha). One such boulder was used to kill a character in a story which I read just previous night. My argument with my co-brother was that someone might push that big stone down and it will come down heavily on our steeds. He echoed my sentiments and began calculating the path which it might take if pushed down. Soon better sense prevailed when his father in law intervened and asked us to use our brain for other good things in life. 

A little ahead lies, umpteen number of steps to climb up to reach the Chitharal Jain Temple - a rock temple which is still maintained in its original shape untouched by humans, in the name of modernisation. The smell of sunscreen lotions was soon felt and I could see that all lady folks including my 4 year old little girl applying loads of it. Heights of beauty consciousness !! 

The team slowly started climbing up even though several deterrent thoughts were being aired on the logic of climbing uphill in this kind of burning climate.
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