"Do you know I have some very beautiful poems floating in the air and if the Gods are kind I shall cast my soul like a net and capture them, this year."
- Sarojini Naidu to Arthur Symons, 1904
So the next Morning started with a stroll down to the bridge which is near by. It is a bridge over the backwaters of river Kali. One side of the bridge you can see the Arabian sea and the 4-5 islands that house some beach resorts. It is a lovely place to be at sunsets. (I always used to think that Narmada and Tapti are only two rivers that meet Arabian sea. Looks like there are numerous.)
Karwar beach is nice and shallow, perfect for water sports and we were lucky enough that a water sports camp by The Adventurers was going on. So we did kayacking and parasailing without burning a hole in our pockets. It was a nice experience considering my frequent rants about flying but it ended a little too soon :).
Like last year, I managed to cook Gazar ka halwa on 26th evening this year also and took it on the trip. This used to be one of my favorite dishes back in the days of bliss. I don't know why but cooking it myself makes me feel very happy. It used to be such a event back then. Grating all the gaajars and then sitting for long hours, looking it getting cooked with the milk. Just before it will start getting dry, mom would take out half a glass of milk for us to drink and it tasted wonderful. I hardly ever made it till the end to eat it garam garam , falling asleep midway. And it used to be such an achievement whenever I was able to keep awake. Those small joys are so difficult to find now in this metropolitan, thousands of miles away from home where to see the moon on some odd day, I have to go out of the house and walk few steps. Cooking the halwa myself, brings all those memories back and perhaps makes up for that missing maa ka haath a little bit.
And as I tell everybody around me who wonder why I am taking so many pains when I can go out and buy some, I have made it my own way of celebrating republic day. I am not sure how long I would be able to continue it but I am trying :).So back to karwar, everybody liked the halwa and we spent the rest of the day just lazing around in our room when suddenly at 6:15 I realized that sun would be going down in another 10-15 minutes. Me and nishit rushed to catch it and what a catch it proved to be. The whole landscape (seascape?), every changing scene just looked like one pulled out of art books of school (remember Almost Goa !! ?).
So back to karwar, everybody liked the halwa and we spent the rest of the day just lazing around in our room when suddenly at 6:15 I realized that sun would be going down in another 10-15 minutes. Me and nishit rushed to catch it and what a catch it proved to be. The whole landscape (seascape?), every changing scene just looked like one pulled out of art books of school (remember Almost Goa !! ?).
In the night we went back to the beach but it was too crowded on account of the Karavali festival going on there. Some performances were going on and even Udit Narayan was scheduled to perform on one of the days. But it didn't happen that day. Instead I watched a unique performance by T.S. Nevedita from Chennai. She neither plays any instrument nor does she sings. She, ladies and gentlemen, whistles. Now my understanding of classical music is zilch but it was a very सधा हुआ performance.
Next morning it was the journey back to Bangalore. The day however started with a rather unpleasant event that I would describe in the next post. Rest was as usual. (One unusual thing was that I took leaks in the open. Not that I am uncomfortable with that, but I consider it wrong but when nature calls, you better listen :-) ).
And thus it began ! (another year of travels)
My usual 3 day trips from Bangalore have been tightly packed schedules that start on Thursday night and ends on Monday morning with 3 days of full activity. They have been pretty nice as trips but I guess there is a difference between taking a vacation and making a trip. And after this trip to Karwar, I can understand why people go to Goa for vacations and hardly for trips. It just won't be worth the effort I guess.
So our journey started at 6:00 Am on Friday in the brand new Toyota Innova that our company has just bought. This was my first road trip across Karnataka in day light and it was really exciting to observe the landscape all around. All of us, in our childhood, have made those "sceneries" in the art class. Invariably all of them used to have hills in the background, a river coming down from them and a hut by the river. Sun was always just peaking from behind the hills just like the watches always show 10:10 in every ad. For most of us that was the beginning and end of our adventures in drawing. At least for me, it was. Drawing any human figures was beyond imagination.
But as our car raced through the newly laid silky roads (owing to the Mahamastakabhishek happening in Shravanbelgola), every new turn presented us with a scene fit for our drawing books. I belong to planes and there, as far as you can see, you see flat land lined with trees. So it is really exciting to see ever changing topography of the land and green fields and valleys lying all around. Of course, these will look like nothing when compared to exotic scenes and snapshots that our senses have become addicted to by watching Discovery, Nat Geo, Lonely Planet and so on. That is a prize that one pays for having everything at one's fingertips. Fingertips become numb.
So we raced along, passing small towns, stopping for breakfast and finally reaching Jog Falls at around mid day. First look at the falls was disappointing. There was hardly any water there. Out of the 4 falls that are supposed to be there, you could hardly spot 2 and only one was still alive enough to merit the name of a fall.
However, opportunity knocks only on the door of prepared. We knew what we wanted and we decided to trek down to the bottom of the falls. The small pool at the bottom look enchanting ("The enchanted pool" - anyone??). Getting down 300 meters along broken and at times absent steps was not very hard but the real task was to reach that pool we were eyeing. Jumping along the big stones and braving monkeys, when we finally reached the pool, it was a delight. The path back was going to be tough but such is human heart that it can bask in the glory of the moment even when it is the last one. The lines from the yoreइधर ज़िन्दगी झूम के गाये, उधर है मौत खडी,
The nice cold water and the small swimming endeavors there really made up for all the missing waters. However the setting sun and gathering clouds signaled us on our way back up. After that it was a quite journey, first a serpentine one to Hannover and from there, along the Arabian Sea to Karwar. Somewhere along the way, we had tea :)