Sunday, September 26, 2010

God's Own Country

I barely managed to convince myself to join the excursion organized by fellow friends to Kerala. That it was the final year of my undergraduate studies and I don’t venture to distant lands often - must harvest this opportunity ,was what appealed the most to me. Travelling and trekking being two of my most cherished passions, something inside me was calling out an ultimatum-not to miss it. So, I acceded.

Our encroachment into kerala began on the rainy evening of 18th September 2010 on a bus named Asian Travels. We travelled for almost 24 hours to reach our first destination-Munnar. Both the bus and its driver could not contain our excitement , the noise, screams and antakshari sessions. So they did expedite in reaching the destination.

Travelling from the bottom of the hill to the acme, we could feel the temperature dropping slowly as we ascended every feet. We went for a brief walk along the misty roads that night exploiting every opportunity to capture ourselves and the sceneries with our camera lens. The next Morning was a very special morning as it gave me all that I expected from kerala in a single shot. We explored the length and breadth of Munnar in jeeps listening to some Tamil and Malayalam songs ( I could not discern their meaning but it was fun watching my tamil and mallu friends singing aloud ). All the mountains were clad with a blanket of tea plantations. I metamorphasized into a fanatical person when I saw the limpid streams dancing and sliding from the cloud masked mountain tops. After going through all the avid places of Munnar, we ended up telling each other fervidly-“ Macha, I am going to marry a mallu girl and settle off here!” . Ha! What a timely wish!

Munnar holds a very special place for me ,not just because it was a new land , but that was the only place so far where I said to myself-“ I am gonna come here a million more times!”. The tea plantations are so abound there that it made me sit back and think that the whole world drinks tea that grows in Kerala. The whole world breathes the oxygen from Kerala. It’s the kind of a feeling that you get when all the sceneries and wallpapers on your desktop materialize into realness and are calling out for you for a warm stay in their bosom.

The second day we reached “Lake Heaven Island Resorts”( do you catch the name?:)) at Alappi ( Allapuzha) at 12:15 am in the morning. After sleeping for a mere three hours, I went peddling over the waters near the resort, also went boating listening to the Malayalam poems of the boat owner. It was the first picture perfect resort that i ever stayed in.

We all returned after a brief sojourn, each one of us with jocund moods ,depositing some happiness in each other’s memories. I was, for most obvious reasons pleased with myself for at least making a half hearted decision to travel to Kerala, lest I would have missed the best days in close proximity with nature. My physical body is back to Bangalore, but my inner self is still there in Kerala , lingering in the abyss of serenity.

Dear newly weds, heed my words. Nature’s greatest temptations are slumbering in a land called Kerala. If you are googling your brains for honeymoon spots, then choose no other place than Kerala (Munnar,Alappi,Thekady and Wayanad). I promise you won’t regret.

Dear techies going bald over the daily workload, if you care for yourself, take a week’s break and venture into Kerala. Let your lungs drink deeply the fresh air from the lush mountains and let your mind know what peace means.

And my dearest fellow youth , craving for some adventure? Begin “Mission Kerala”. It is nature at its resplendent best!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Railing along Relationships

It is my steadfast resolve now, not to switch on the TV, until late afternoons. Watching regional NEWS channels early in the mornings has become seemingly akin to refraining myself from a good start for the day.

I sat glued to the TV last night watching Red Alert- a show reporting crimes in the city. I declined to sleep, wondering as to where do such shows get enough substance to muster, that they have made it to the list of daily shows on TV. This very (un)fortunate morning, the TV screen exhibited a ghastly frame of a man killed by his own friends, in greed of his money. Furthermore, the daily newspapers are very firmly nurturing a ritual of reporting crimes such as a husband/wife murdering his/her spouse. That apart, romances have spoilt, people are growing perfidious, and marriages are broken. The forts built on friendships this day are collapsing at the stroke of next sunrise.

I now try to delve deep to the very roots anticipating a reason for crime rates that are looming large in the social and personal lives with friends and family. Unequivocally, the answer struck, like it always does when I have my usual dose of tea. Perhaps the answers to the most profound questions are the simplest ones, per se. My sure shot answer is the absence of LOVE. The only virtue that has remained sublime to this day and will remain that way forever is love-the mother of all good virtues. Only we are moving away from it. It is surely the foundation of any happy relationship. As most of us are aware, it would be inane on our parts to mistake love as a righteous property belonging only to those celebrating Valentine’s Day. It is as much a rightful property to those who celebrate Father’s day, Mother’s day, Friendship day and Teachers day (you can add on to the list!). Love has as many editions as the Encyclopedia and as many versions as the World History. Perhaps even more. It is part of every human’s pristine dreams even without his knowledge.

At this point, I confide that I haven’t read the celebrated love stories like that of Romeo and Juliet. So, I am not ware of Shakespearean version of love. Yet, I feel the urge to disclose my understanding and analysis on this virtue- which has moved the world.

Love in any relationship is not just giving. It is judicious withholding as well. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging, pushing and pulling in addition to comforting. And it just comes back to you in precise proportions to the amount you give. We all work to achieve and realize our dreams in life, be it material or something higher than that. Any such achievement is empty, if it slips away without your loved ones acknowledging it. A person denied of any form of love, would die an early death, being a loner. Without love, we are just lumps of blood, bones and muscles walking the planet in vain. What say you?

The entire thesis on love is flawed if I do not quote Mr. Scott.M.Peck, one of the famed psychologists. “Love is not the very same as dependency. Dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to one another. But in actuality, it is not love. It is a form of antilove. It seeks to receive rather than to give. It works to trap and constrict rather than liberate. Ultimately it destroys rather than build relationships”. How very true!

So, if you ever see people merely depending upon you, help them judiciously out of humanitarian values. But if they use you or misuse you in any form, throw them to the sharks!

Perhaps, there is more to it. Perhaps I have just seen a drop from an entire ocean called love. Albeit, my hands were itching to vent it outJ

PS: If this post has played its part in enlightening you, then I accept cash, cheque and DD as a token of …………………………………………………………..loouuvve!