To Rameshwaram

Went on a Pilgrimage to Rameshwaram. Here’s the pictory. Left for there last Friday of Jan 2014 at 5 AM. Rameshwaram is a 600km drive from Bangalore.

Sunrise in Tamilnadu

Not a tree on the highway but still worth a dekho

Another view somewhere in Tamil Nadu

Its Madurai that we have to travel thru the city. Why no by-pass.

Some trees near Madurai 1

Some trees near Madurai 2

Must say the road right till Rameshwaram is great. The downside is that we have to pay toll often. Costed about Rs 1200/- both ways.

Thats the Pambam Bridge
I am on the Pambam Road bridge and thats the train on the Pambam Rail bridge. What a sight !!!

Now we were about 25 KM away time 530 PM and this toll booth come in for something called Indira Gandhi Bridge – was already irritated paying all along. As we move, I realise we are not on any Indira Gandhi bridge but on the famous Pambam bridge. And the icing – on the parallel rail line we see a train coming up. wow. But how do we stop on a narrow bridge. Lucky for us there is a BJP rally and their convoy in front of us stops, so do we and jump out of the car. It a very thrilling sight to see this train almost on water. Now its very windy but why is our leg trembling. I now realise that the train movement is making our bridge rattle. oh my.

Our entry to Rameshwaram was great.

Soon we drive straight to the temple and the car goes right till the temple entrance but can’t park there. We ask direction to our hotel (booked on make-my-trip) but, surprise, we are directed to a designated parking place. The policeman there informs us to call our hotel and they will escort us thru. Now I didn’t know about this and hence didn’t note down their tele number. I quickly take out my laptop (not yet a Smartphone user) plug in my dongle and lo – no internet. kya kare kya kare and then bang in form of us is a hording of the hotel with telephone number big and bold. I call them and they soon send us a chapie who guides us thru. Soon we are in our room- good rooms for 1100/- AC and all that.

An hr later we are front of the white Shivlinga, wonderful darshan of the Lord. This is what I came for. I for one cant ask for anything. I pray for my well being, the well being of my family and friends.

Sunrise at Rameshwaram

Thats me

Hope I got the sunrise effect

Next days begins early as we have go to the seashore. Our hotel was right between the sea and the temple. 10 step one side is the temple and 10 the other sea. We see the sunrise here and go and have the morning darshan. I skip the part where good pilgrims bath in water from 22 wells.

The corridors of the temple… Looks like an addition of a much later age

Was surprised that the tip was not near the north Srilanka but the middle..

Post lunch day 2, we wanted to go to Danushkodi – Marked ‘A’ on the map above. The hotel guy offers us a jeep for 1300/-. The auto guy says 300/-. Finally we took the govt bus from nearby for 10/-. All these normal vehicles takes us till a point and no further – marked on the map below as Danushkodi Beach.

Beyond this it both the left and the right beaches merging into one hence not all vehicles can go thru. We need to hire a 4 wheel drive to the further.

Another problem- these vehicles are 20 seaters charging 100 per seat. They prefer familes of that size. Buggers were ignoring us, and after the third vehicle left without us, I stepped in. Grouped in with some foreigners and others to come up with the magic number of 20.

The top two pics are on those 20 seaters at Danushkodi. what you see is that we are on the very edge.

Ok so now we are ready… but there is no road… with both the beach from the Indian ocean and the beach from the Bay of Bengal side start merging. Meaning strip gets narrower and narrower… we have to travel thru the sandy beach which has furrows about 1 feet deep showing us the path.

The above 2 pics shopw us about 10 feet in and the van still going smooth.

We begin and soon are close to the shore line when the driver suddenly swerve and moves about 5 feet into the sea. Oh my god. We are going to drown. but no – cab moves steady as we drive thru the water. Its a feeling to behold. Then I saw it. A dog – walking on water – about 200 meters into the sea. So its all shallow. Good.

We stop at a place which was previously the town of Danushkodi. Now in ruins. No thanks to the cyclone of 64. Some say it was a Tsunami but never credited so as peeps couldn’t pronounce the word. Danushkodi was never rebuilt. Srilanka is about 18 miles from her and locals says we can see lights from there at night. Google and read the story of how a whole train was washed away that fateful night.

This is the erstwhile Railway station of Danushkodi.

The above 2 pics show the ruin of the local church.

Poor Fishermen still live here.

The people here dig holes in the ground to looking for drinking water. A new place every now and then.
Google maps show u so much..but the real ride is different…

The 3 pics below were taken during sunset at Danushkodi beach. 1st Feb 2014

Saw this in Madurai. Looks like a big tank with a temple in the center. Opp Girls college.

Stopped someplace for a break and had this lovely coffee.

After seeing all those great roads in Tamilnadu, I decided to have a peep at the NICE road. In short, not nice. horrible workmanship. Patches everywhere making the ride bumpy.

What we miss : Abdul Kalam Azad’s home turned museum
Hotel we stayed in : JCM Towers, Mandi Street, Rameshwaram

Money girl…

‘How much’, she asked.
’100′, he said.
The next day she gave him 200.

He stayed with friends and she stayed with her parents 3 buildings away. He saw her the day he moved to this house. He came down to buy some veggies and she was there bargaining with said vendor. Another love at first sight. That evening he went to the roof to take in his new neighbourhood. There he sees her with friends on her roof.

Well, to cut a long story short, they soon became friends and then very good friends what with his ardent wooing. This bugger was always in need of money and she was always splush with it.

One day he heard her father blasting her brother in the middle of the road. But these things happen na.

She must have been really in love with him. Showered him with clothes gifts, cards, outings And of-course money.

Another day he saw the father abusing the son of theft and blasting him.  Later that day he asked her where she gets so much money. From dad she said.

What she left out was that it was mostly without his permission. and whenever he found less money he blamed the poor son – who took it quite badly and it literally scarred him for life.

One days she comes all packed – with rather a big suitcase – and planned for a weekend trip to Yadgirigutta. It didn’t surprise him as it had happened before too. They had been to Nagarjunasagar and once Kurnool on the spur.

He liked such trips for one. He was now reminded of their first trip together to Chilkur Balaji temple. More than anything it was sitting beside her in bus that thrilled him the most. The envious glares of  his co passengers. The nasty look from the bus conductor – especially when it was she, and not he, who paid for the ticket. And now I am digressing..

So they reach Yadirigutta- Its Sat noon. Darshan over. She suggests a stay over – well why not.

Another darshan Sunday noon. Now Sunday eve and no talk yet about going home. Late that night she tells him.

Lets get married – tomorrow – here.

And go somewhere.

dont joke – he says

Serious.

Yes she was serious.

I don’t want to go home – lets go somewhere

Dont be silly- how will we stay.

I have money and went on remove about 55 k from her purse.

Where did u get so much money..

Its mine, she said.

He decided its time to be tough.

One tight one – where did you get  the money – he asked softly.

Then the whole story came out.

Most of the money she spent on him was flicked from her father. Her bro being the unwitting fall guy. He was so traumatised by his fathers accusations that it scarred him for life – that story needs to be told too.

Then she showed a big thick cloth bag that had a locking system to it. Its was her fathers. who was the post master of Chikadpally PO.

Friday he brought the weeks collection home as was the routine to be deposited at HO on Monday. So that’s where this money came from.

It had 60K chillar in it and now 55k.

Enough’s Enough he said to himself.

Brought her back to Hyd first bus in next morning. Phoned a friend of hers and arranged for her to be picked up. Called his friend to check if all was ok over the week end – and to quickly go to his place and do a quick recce.

All was ok.

He reached his room Monday noon.

She had informed that she will be out the weekend for an friends engagement so no worry at her place too.

Only thing is brother got big beatings on Sat for the missing money.

They all became wise when she came back with 52K.

He brought contact with her to the minimum – esp knowing she is a sociopath, but had to leave the area abruptly when she got hyper again – that story some other time

That’s all.

How to Adopt a Baby ..

This was the first real sad story I witnessed in my life.

We had moved to the star colony. Two buildings away was this couple from Delhi. Married for many years but no kids.  So what do the do.

Adopt a kid. Not adopt in the legal sense. They do it the Indian way. They brought this cutie baby girl from a poor relative in Delhi and made her their own.

She was such a doll. Cutest kid ever seen. When she was brought down evenings, we all were already awaiting her arrival.

Then it happened.

Its a theory of mine that a kid in such homes are quite conducive to couple in question to conceive and that’s what happened here. In due course they have a bonny boy. How cute. Two kids.

You think.

Not even a year has gone by and then we start hearing stories. The girl just doesn’t like us – was the complaint. What ?? A small baby doesn’t like you. Are you joking?

This story is told to all – literally door to door.

Then phase II.

This girl is not eating any food. Again a story told door to door. I saw this 2 and half yr old once again -  it was sad, man.

 Phase III

We could hear the girl howling till one two in the night. What the hell, I used to think.

Finally the inevitable.

The girl is returned -after months of torture – to her biological parents and this smart couple are happy with their biological son. I hope so.

On a Whim

Early today got a msg.

Lets go for a long drive… it said.

Well Y not.

Left Bangalore at 12.00. Straight to Chikkabalapur. The drive from Hebbal to Airport has vastly improved with the opening of the new elevated road.

From there to Doddabalapur. And back home by 8:00

Sholay – why 3D

I saw Sholay when in 3rd or 4th standard and later, we had the audio of the whole movie on a LP recod- ages before cassettes or disks.

Now – I knew the dialogs of this from start to finish by-heart. I used to enact the role of Gabbar Singh in class and school plays.

Everyone I know has seen the movie at least once. 

Last Friday the 3D version of this movie was released. Don’t know if I will spend money to watch it. 

Then  I remembered something.

The original movie had many “3D” effects. Remember the train scene where logs were placed blocking its path. The train rams into it full strength and BANG a log flew right at me. If this was not a great 3D effect then what was. 

Then there here was another scene – Inspector Sanjeev kumar is taking 2 prisoners (Jai & Veeru) in a maal gadi – goods train when suddenly dacoits attack.  The two prisoners offer help raising their handcuffed arms and Sanjeev kumar shoots the cuffs off. I notice the bullet come straight at me.

Now thats 3D

Singapore Taxi Experience….

People sometimes ask what is ‘culture. The word as it relates to you. Peeps try answering it and make me laugh. I don’t know the correct answer too but feel its something in our blood. Undefinable.

Here’s why I think why.

I was flying back to India from Singapore. I took a taxi (cab to many) to the airport. I was having 2 pieces of luggage. One was beside me in the taxi and the other was in the boot (dikky to many).

There was heavy rush at Changi Airport.  The driver opened the boot. I got out with my hand bag and closed the door. Before I could take my suitcase from the boot, the taxi sped away. Its now I learn know that closing of the cab door is an indication that the driver is ‘good to go. That suitcase had lots of nice gifts, 4000 INR and 250 S$ cash in it. gone.

 
I spoke to a police man who kindly told me to give a written complaint and it will be duly processed. I didn’t want the bother and all that.  I came back to India and after a holiday returned to Singapore- forgot all about the missing luggage.

About 3 month  later I get an email for a Singapore police officer. It stated that a missing luggage was found and that he was opening all the old one and got my email from my visiting card.

Finally I went to collect my luggage. The suit case was opened as expected but but NOT ONE THING WAS MISSING.

I met the officer who sent me the email. He told me that the cabbie found my luggage soon enough and sped back to the airport but couldn’t find me. He gave it in the lost luggage counter and as no one claimed it for 3 month, it was opened to search for owner details.

 I am so thankful to the driver and the police and some how I feel this is what culture is.

Cry baby Cry

I remember this story from the golden days of Doordarshan. It was made by someone big like Shyam Benegal, not too sure though.

The story went like this.

The dad of this lady passes away. She, her husband and kid go to her maike - mothers home.

All crying and wailing. The husband the only steady calm fellow around.

Then the bombshell.

It is informed that the funeral procession cannot start unless the son-in-law cries. Really.

Next scene is son-in-law in the centre and all sitting around him in anticipation.

He try his best but no go.

The whole day passes. No food. Its literally semi torture by relatives urging him to start crying.

Later that day. He sitting there alone. Reflecting upon his misery. Tears start rolling down and soon loud wails.

All are happy now and procession begins.