Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day 12 - 2nd day at Hampi

This got translated into a day spent at Anegundi which is across the river from Hampi. But first things first, the tale of the breakfast. I ordered breakfast – omelette. RG comes to the South of India and orders an ‘alu paratha’. Badness idea of course. It didn’t taste too good. (This story continues to dinner where he ordered an OM Rice – they basically wrap the rice in an omelette and I ordered a tomato soup)

Took the motor launch and went to Anegundi. Please notice the bike perched on the and RG saw this and were like :O

On the launch the lil flo manning the boat asked is, ‘Where you from?’ RG replied Bumbai. Immediately he gave Rs 10 back (He had taken Rs 20 from us previously). At Anegundi, we took a lift from a commercial rickshaw till the Hanuman Temple. It was hot as Hades by this time.

Climbed 575 steps to get to the top. Pooped as hell by the time we got there. Going downhill was obviously much faster.

From here we took another rick to Pampa Sarovar where a Laxmi temple was.

Another rick took us into Anegundi where went to the Craft Shop owned by Shama Madam to buy a jute bag and some lovely coasters.

Went hunting for New Brindavan Temple which was on the other side of a rivulet so did give up on that. Went looking for Chintamani Temple and what followed was a surreal experience. We saw the original Chintamani followed by Narasimha. Then this old lady- Amma took us around. We saw the place where supposedly Rama drew the arrow on Bali.

We entered this cave to meet this sadhu.

We did conversation with the sadhu for 30 odd minutes. He had been living here for three years according to Amma. He was from Guruvayoor and spoke Palakkad Tamil. RG of course doesn’t know Tamil so I was designated translator. He told us the story of the end of the Yadavas and Krishna’s reign in a mixture of Tamil, Hindi and some English thrown in for good measure. At the end, the sadhu told RG, ‘not to have any anxiety’. He asked RG, ‘What is love? Love is life.’ Extremely surreal that was.

Walked back to the Main Road and got a life in a jeep till the boat area. Walked for about 30 minutes to get beer to this place called the ‘Goan Corner’ which turned out to be shut for the next 4 months – it was offseason!

Waited for about 10-20 minutes at the river to cross the banks to the Hampi side. Got back to the room and rested. Went out at 6 pm to look for a coracle ride. No coracles but nice tea at the usual tea spot near Kondarama Temple and some ‘murmure’ again.

Saw the Virupaksha Temple in the night. RG did conversation with the priest there who fled Bumbai after the ’92 riots. We saw some nightly rituals being conducted. Returned to the rooms to change my chappals. My lil toe hurt too much :(

Went to the Mango Tree for dinner – we are short of options for dinner. The dinner incident with ‘Om’ rice followed :) There was half a moon in the sky and we sat at the steps near the river and argued about the location of the Pole Star. RG in fact saw a shooting star and wished on it :) RG also walked back barefoot. Don’t ask me why – the ground was cooler apparently.

The last day at Hampi will dawn soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The night shimmers with promises
Flickering like a flame
Orange lit shadows
I writhe in passion...or is it pain
It seems a long time ago

The memory doesn’t faze me anymore
I look at it with virginal eyes

That night made me a woman
It scorched me with its intensity
It thawed me…

Yet I remain unfulfilled
I walk along paths that don’t lead me anywhere
Meandering stumbling

I search blindly
It comes to me
I have closed my eyes against the light which sears my very being
I will learn to open them softly gently
And walk again with peace

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Day 11 - First day at Hampi

I got up at 6.00 am thinking that Hospet would come in at 7.00 am but I arrived at the exact time it had said previously on the website – 7.45 am. Fucking no pantry on this, subah ka kapi bhi naheen hua. Took a rick to Hampi and awaited RG’s company. This strange sight awaited me at the hotel.

Since I had nothing to do decided to take a walk around and grab some breakfast. Had the biggest poori bhaaji’s ever in a long time. Managed to demolish 2 and half ones out the three the man gave me.

Then went for a walk around Hampi Bazaar. Amazing place where the people are still using the old structures for their houses & commercial establishments. Hampi of the present co-exists with the Hampi of yore.Visited the Virupaksha Temple. Saw goddess Pampadevi in her full splendour all dressed up. Had to walk around around the temple grounds in hot blazing sun without f***ing shoes – that was crazy ass! Lovely temple complex and certainly could have been better preserved.

Came back to find RG waiting. He apparently sent me a message which actually got to me the next day. The message read, ‘Come back, come back’ which I thought then was very strange considering he was with me :D Cellphone network is terrible here.

We had lunch together at ‘The Mango Tree’ - this lovely restaurant near the river. Simple khana but lovely ambience. Spoiled (perhaps) by two American types loudly droning on about the environment to their Canadian counterparts.

Lunch finished, we decided to walk around the ruins of Hampi. Saw the Monolithic Bull then walked up the steps to the Anjaneya temple (lovely sculpture of Hanuman here)

We then wandered towards what we thought was the Vitthala temple complex but RG’s aha moment here declared quite clearly that it was the Achutaraya temple complex.

Walked down the Courtesan’s Lane and then went hunting for the Vitthala Temple Complex which we found after an hour. Again beautiful carvings and we discussed if it had been carved there or been brought to the place put together.

Finishing this, we walked back to catch a nice sunset. RG wandered off to imbibe the view and I sat alone and watched the desolate rocky landscape with the breeze for company.

We got a cup of chai and ‘murmure’ – ‘pori’ with some mixture in it. Did conversation with a Fine Arts flo in the shack there. He comes every year with his colleague to capture Hampi on paper and spends like a month here. I thought it was an amazing vocation…

Got back to our rooms to find that the clothes I had hung out for drying were lying about. The basthurd monkeys had got to them and my pretty red kurta had disappeared into the oblivion. Totally sucks!!

Grabbed a shower and then went for dinner to Mango Tree. Used a torch for the first time in my trip. Ate dinner by kerosene light with the insects for company. Walked back to our rooms. We used the ‘cooler’ in our room in the night. RG tells me this is everywhere in N.India. It’s a cheaper version of the AC and does the job anyways.

Another day in Hampi awaits…

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Chennai Photo Workshop

Why the heck am I blogging about a photo workshop in Chennai? Yeh good question hai, well because the man who is doing it does things like this and this and much more than that ..feel free to look at his profile on Flickr.. and you will know why I am writing a post like this.

I had the good opportunity to meet him when I went to Madras about a couple of weeks back and he knows his photography..For more details on the photography workshop being organised by him please read here

Good luck CC...I am there in spirit :)