This, that & Chikmagalur

Have spent a lot of time wondering if I’d really hit a writer’s block. Or if I was running out of stories to tell, or tidbits to share. Or if life had become less eventful, or if I have been really that busy. Well, turns out that I have been a bit blog-lazy.

Well, trying to break out of the slumber with a few updates:

My boys turned 11 and 4 this summer. Vyas had his Upanayanam last month. Thoroughly enjoyed all the festivities surrounding this event, with most of the near and dear ones attending. Vyas had agreed to get it done and seemed to enjoy the attention.Looked like a painting of Vamana avatar:) He was a little irritable at the way his dhoti was tightly wound, making it difficult for him to sit, and the garland had some tiny twigs that kept pricking him. During the entire event, I caught sight of Varun twice. Several people, and several things kept him busy. Good for me.

Varun transitioned to L.K.G and is convinced that he really is a big boy, what with uniform and all that. Was more than excited the first two days and woke up before the rest of the household did. On day three, he woke up and wondered if kids really went to school every day, and why he had no holidays, followed by a major show-down. So much for being a beeeeg boy. We counseled him for like 38 hours about how he had attended just two days, and there was another 200 days to go! Phew! So, every work-day evening, I’ve set up a reminder on my mobile to remind the fellow that the next day is a working day too and how he has to wake up with a happy face and go to school still sporting a happy face. Our Mondays now begin with a count-down for the weekend to follow!

Vyas seems to have grown a bit wider and so has his mouth, though a few assure me that he has also grown an inch taller. Well, haven’t bothered to measure. He is thoroughly enjoying dragging his dad into doing Sandhyavandhanam every day. The sonny and I do a secret high-five before and after the task. Evil we ARE.

A trip to Chikmagalur with my friends was another awesome thing to happen this summer. If you are planning a trip, you must give Eagle Eye Holidays resort a try. It is 50kms off Chikmagalur town with very little human presence other than the resort folks and those visiting. A welcome thing. The food served there was nothing great, but just good enough. It was great hiking up the Mullayanagiri peak, and trekking our way down and up through a winding path to Jerry Falls, another trek to a view point from the resort- the other side of Bhadra reserve, and a plantation walk.. The campfire with barbeque and mindless dancing on all the 3 nights we stayed there was enjoyable..

The best experience however was that of taking an open jeep ride to the Bhadra reserve for a safari. Just as we hit the forest entrance, the skies opened up and it poured like there was no tomorrow! We were a group of 11 women and 9 kids. We took shelter in the verandah of what looked like a guest-house. The rains showed no signs of relenting even after an hour of waiting it out. It was already 5 in the evening and a forest guide dissuaded us from proceeding because the animals would have receded and also because it was an open jeep and as it continued to pour heavily, there was no way we could take the kids inside. We decided to head back to the resort and so tied a tarpaulin over the open side in the jeep. We managed to pack 4 small kids on to an adult’s lap in the front which had cover. Despite the tarpaulin cover, the water was seeping in and it was chill. Two from the gang were thoroughly drenched. I’d give anything to experience the jeep ride again!

While I go back and retrieve more stories, here are some pics from the trip. Also, let me know what you all have been up to. I don’t know what you did last summer 😉

Those Vacations!

My cousin Shankar was one great entertainer during our school/college days. Without saying it in as much words, he showed how easy it was to enjoy life and derive pleasure from small blessings. With him around, non-stop entertainment was guaranteed!

Small time gossips, fun cooking (making bhel poori, cutlets, veg tikkies), polishing brass lamps, a dozen of us watching movies after movies through the night with snacks and tea to keep us awake, arranging road trips from Chennai to Vaidheeswaran temple or to Mundanthurai, taking a dip at every stream on our way, taking us for a night show to watch the movies Mackenna’s Gold, Fast Forward, Where Eagles Dare and few others for the nth time, making us sing ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’ or ‘Ra Ra Rusputin’, getting us listen to K.J Yesudass’s rendering of ‘Thayee Yeshoda’, fooling us with his recorded speech mimicking Karunanidhi (or was it Anna Durai?), and playing a game of cards for hours together like there was no tomorrow! We’d never know how to be sad with him around! But all this came at a price. We had to make several cups of filter-coffee for him. He derived a great kick in yanking us from the couch and shoving one of us girls into the kitchen to make him that coffee. We feigned anger and heaped curses for tormenting a ‘girl-child’ thus, but still made him that coffee:)

Adulthood alters a lot of things and shuffles all our priorities, introduces new ones and pushes back some old ones into oblivion. But am happy that we ‘lived’ those days like there was no tomorrow:)

During one of those lazy vacations (which I so miss now!), we had a lot of fun translating a few Tamizh cine songs to Tanglish! He came up with this translation and the fact that I still remember it goes to show how popular it was among us! Looking back, it kind of sounds a little silly perhaps, but we laughed our guts out that day!

Here’s how it goes:)

(Kuzhaloodhum Kannanukku – from Mella Thiranthathu Kathavu)

Flute blowing kannannukku,
nightingale singing songu hearing-aa
cuckooo, cuckooo, cuckooo, cuckoo

This voice-odu machan
your flute music -challenging-aa
cuckooo, cuckooo, cuckooo, cuckoo

Leaf-odu flowerum
head-shake see-eee
leaf-odu flowerum- fruitum
head-shake see-eee , see-ee

Mountain- air blowing podhu
jasminnu singing-aa
dark-cloudsu gatherum time-u
peacockku dancing-aa

If you liked it, well I take the credit for posting it here and ‘popularizing’ it, but if brickbats are coming my way, am going to gladly pass it on to him! By the way, both are welcome! And would also love to hear about the little things that added infinite mirth and color to your holidays with near/dear ones!