Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Marayoor – Munnar Road Travel


During the recent torrential rains in Kerala, the tourist hub Munnar experience great destruction and all the roads leading to the destination was blocked by erosion of roads, landslides or overflowing rivers. Munnar derived its name from the meeting point of three rivers that almost flood the town and the road from Udumalpet through Marayoor (which I took during my trip) was the most affected and damaged. It was a pleasant uphill task for us through forest and tea plantations and this route have number of brooks, waterfalls and rivers (that you may have seen in my posts related to Munnar) could easily eradicate the road when the water level and pressure arises on river/streams. I tried to connect with photos I captured during my trip with the places that faced damage and the following photos were shot between Marayoor and Munnar. 

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In 1924 a similar situation turned out at Munnar (including other parts of Kerala), eradicated the town and its tea plantations to core and only then the Mattupetty Dam and Munnar (Hydel) Dam was built to preserve flood and hydro power.  I come to know it even before the disaster struck 2 weeks ago.  Thanks to the documentary I watched on Munnar at the Tea Museum there and images of the havoc washing away the town and tea factories. Lot of lives have lost as well. The Udumalpet-Munnar was the first road to lay to Munnar and I come across many old bridges on this road which must be threatened by the gushing water. I recommend this route for anyone love nature and pleasant driving to Munnar, keeping away the bustle traffic and tensing depth and valleys and sharp bends. 

One of the old arch bridge that was damaged in flood
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Marayoor is also a lovely place to stay and enjoy nature and wildlife around the town. The weather was such blissful during my pass away of the town, even though the road beyond that was wrapped in mist, in a way blocking away many fabulous views I was expected to look out for, but for a person who love to lose in mysterious mist, it was enjoyable along with multiple falls enroute. Marayoor is popular for their distinctly tasted Jaggery made from the sugarcanes harvest here and the natural sandalwood reserve is splendour of Marayoor, where we stopped for few minutes to have our tea. I made a stop at Udumalpet for a night stay was mainly to experience this route as leisure as possible, admiring the wilder rich and pristine touch of nature as many don’t take this route or to say a road that less travelled. 

Sugarcane fields past Marayoor town
Driving through the natural sandalwood reserve
Venture through thick blanket of mist
Since mist, drizzle and wetness take over the atmosphere; it feels fresh despite the weather traveling through thick and lush green landscapes that goes from light to dark patches of greenery. The road quite lost in the mist at some places and there were very few cars on the road so it wasn’t a problem driving through Ghats and the nature was so wonderful and cheerful in crown of mist capping the mountains sending downstream to valley.  Everything is pristine on this stretch and pleasing to sight although not clearly, this time, my quench for nature is endless but I wish to take this road again (if possible) to see the magnificence I missed in the cover of mist.

Most of the photos here were shot with iphone 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Floral Garlands

Floral Garlands

During my travel to Munnar (in Nov 2017), we stayed at Udumalpet for a night before proceed toward the same, we waited around a junction in the morning, while my dad went to buy breakfast the flower shops around there caught my attention but it was the fragrance of  flowers dragged me toward its helm. The weather was drizzling then, and the morning wake up from fresh showering turned things refreshing around us and the sprinkled flowers and garlands reproduces an essence and sense that could still recollect. It was around 8 am and due to morning rain, not many shops were opened except the few flower shops hanged out with freshly tied garlands looking out for customers and the waiting time got me the chance of shooting these.  

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Linking this post for Floral  Friday Foto  

Monday, August 20, 2018

RGB Monday

One of my nephew playing with little colorful cars.


Some of the little cars were saved from our childhood 

Friday, August 17, 2018

State at Immerse - Kerala

Words can’t describe the destruction the southern state Kerala is facing to the historical rain and flood that continues for 2nd weeks, following the torrential rains across Kerala and Karnataka that let more surplus water from their dams that led flood on the river Cauvery. Though it’s a monsoon season in India, the excessive rainfall in Kerala, south Karnataka and Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu has created havoc where almost dams or more than 60 dams had open their shutters since reaching their maximum, the rivers were all overflowing and flooding almost districts of Kerala. I can’t imagine what happened with Chennai and its surrounding in 2015, is taking place at the entire state of Kerala. Their suffering is immeasurable and it’s just not only rain and flood, but plenty of landslides and tree fall since many part of the state is mountainous terrain it’s anxious to watch houses burying into the mud with people screaming inside!

A red alert has declared at Kerala by the state govt. and the three forces (army, navy and air force) of nation is out to rescue and more than 0.3 million people has put at various shelters as the rain and flood continues to flow. At the other hand, the Karnataka dams on the Cauvery catchment is open to historical flow of more than 0.2 million cubic feet of water into the river, flooding the cities and towns on the bank of the river. All the dams along the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, including the Nilgiris had overflown after many year, sent more than 0.1 million cubic ft. to the Cauvery through Bhavani Sagar and Amaravathi Dams. So more than 0.3 million cubic ft. is rushing to the ocean flooding the banks and breaking bridges which is something beats the earlier records. While the Tamil Nadu was fighting for its share of water from Karnataka until last month, we’re glad to receive water more than we expected but not this abundant making way to ocean flooding the Cauvery banks and fields along.

Kerala, known as God’s own country, is almost blocked by road and railways, where the bridges either broken or immersed in water or the mountain passes are interrupted by landslides and trees falling frequently. We all wished for rain but never expected nature to yell us at all this way and bestow with plenty of water that immerse us to breathless. Yes, so far nearly 400 people had lost their lives to the flood and rain in Kerala and property lose in thousands of Crore. I deeply wish rain stop its abundant showering, the only way to recuse the state and let people breathe a little.  The history will never forget this phase, though we can’t do much on nature’s side but I hope lot can done on authorities side to preserve as much water possible and clear all waterway for peaceful and easy flow… Sending wishes for our neighbourhood state and people to come up from the disaster as quick as possible...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Renovation of House

We are left with just two weeks to move back to our native house, that we left 12 years ago, and as I told in a previous post, the renovation work of the house (mostly for the comfort of mine) is happening at full throttle and the next two week would be more tighten with re-flooring, repainting and furnishing of doors and windows and installing of hydraulic lift and railing of balcony. The rework on walls which means of breaking and building new walls at some places took last few weeks, though work wasn’t that large the civil workers dragged the job and we were disappointed at their service. Even the plumbing and electrical works, taking place right now taking heavy sum with little work and they were irritating all the days, annoys dad and brother who taking care of all. 

In last 15 years we haven’t did any construction or civil work for the home, as we moved only buying an apartment flat and later shifted to rented houses, we are out of touch with the activities and familiar people who worked for us. Now we have to deal with all new people for each and every work and the local workers were a kind of lazy and frustrating fellows, so we’re sought-after other state people who come and stay over here for the civil work. Couple of north Indians stayed at the work site for a week and looked after the job but they too dragged the work at last when there wasn’t much to do. Actually we aren’t intended to change the entire house inside but things went out of control and as we hit a part of the house many things come to fall into restoration and it looks as if we are quite  reworking on interior.

You could see the first floor portion we’re working on in the picture above and we’re changing the entire face of the house and the balcony jali or latticework was broken down to give way for the wheelchair and lift, and a new stainless steel rail is come up protecting the balcony and the window and door is also widen to let more light and wind enter the home. I would say don’t live in a house that has no windows and I’m someone who believes life begins only outside the window, so it was my wish to come up with big windows and a door to get in and out easily. And that’s all for now and I will post photos of the renovated house once work is finished. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Multi tasked legend, Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi!

An unavoidable senior leader of Indian politics and 5 times Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, legend Dr. Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi’s demise on Tuesday, at age of 94, put the entire state at hold. Renowned as Kalaignar is an exceptional, outstanding expert in Tamil linguistic and his energetic and enthusiasm about the language is indefinable and no one could be accurate as him who has written prose to “The Universal Scripture or Universal Veda or Book of all” – Thirukkural, written by saint Thiruvalluvar about 2000 years ago. The whole state of Tamil Nadu came to a standstill on Wednesday, the day his funeral processions take place, saluting the last legend of Tamil people as mourn to death. I couldn’t do any other activity on that day rather staring at TV, watching an ocean of people from various shores (including Prime Minster Modi and many state Chief Ministers) giving their final respect to the son of Tamil, while resting down on the shore of Bay of Bengal!

No wonder Kalaignar is one of my inspirations for writing! I have read and heard that he would write even at 2 am and continue to write throughout night despite his old age, it would feel inspire. When I have something to write or feel inspired to write, I would say I have எழுத்து பணி (writing work) if someone ask me what r u going to do and I would say this having Kalaignar in mind. His writing and pronunciation of Tamil is such prolific and best witnessed among the generation of ours. He may demise now but the impact he created through linguistic, social reforms and rationalism is going to radiate eternally. Kalaignar’s political activities began at the age of 14, when most of kids like to spent time with friends and look out for fun, and from an adherent to country’s top leadership his journey isn’t an easy thing and that too without having proper education his rise to writing text on Sangam literatures is absolutely a wonder!

His peerless knowledge and intelligence is a doubt that anyone could gain ever and his experience and hardworking attitude (even at age above 80) at other hand become great pillars that anyone could seek support and motivates a lot to generations across. My late great grandmother is an ardent of Kalaignar - M Karunanidhi and she had voted only for him (and his political party DMK) all her life. She believed only Kalaignar could do welfare to people and sometimes argued with us in supporting her leader. She also gets anger if we change the channels whenever he was shown in television. My grandma and Kalaignar are same aged people and she died exactly 10 years back at age of 84. Kalaignar is highly celebrated for his finer scriptwriting; screenplay and dialogues that many have become enormous success as popular dramas and cinemas while it’s still could be a challenge for any actor to perform or pronounce such nicety words and sentences.

Kalaignar was the only Indian leader to head a party (DMK) for nearly 50 years constantly and to win all the assemble constitutions (he has contested) without fail. His life is full of vitality and I ever seen a man amazing like him who worked all his life restless (similar the words etched on his coffin) to enhance the Tamil community and implemented schemes to put forward the backward society and equality for women on all platforms. He’s an ardent follower of his mentors Thanthai (father) Periyar and Dr. Anna Durai and executed what all schemes, ideas and dreams they uphold for the people of Tamil Nadu. He implemented the law for widow remarriage, equal share for women in the property of their parents, all religious people to become priest and redefined the terms for transgender and physically disabled (perhaps he knows the pain of differently abled – what he referred to physically disabled – as he himself ruled the state from a wheelchair during his last tenure as chief minister and till he was hospitalised) and he also obtained many rights for the state that the other states too enjoy, e.g. he brought the right to host the national flag by the state admiration than the central.

The thing that fascinates me a lot about Kalaigar M Karunanidhi was his consciousness and strong willpower and healthy mentality. Truly amazing, except the last few years, his exhibition of memories is very powerful and profound for his age where forgetfulness is common. During his tenure and wellbeing he often appears on media and sent messages with such nicety to his people and for a leader with busy schedules it always amaze me how he able to retain each instance of past with record. His retention was something belongs to himself alone and one can’t even imagine living that long with such perceptions! Indeed we miss a multi-tasking legend, who took the supreme power (sun) as his emblem, to work beyond twilight hours and midnight to the welfare of the Tamil people aka Dravidian. He also lived as an identity of Tamil Nadu. Kalaignar is the only leader in Indian history to do politics along with all Prime Minister of Independent India and Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu. Though some have personal frustrations on him (including me on certain things) but those aren’t matter in front of his achievements, administrations, passion on literature of Tamil and scriptwriting, level of energy and extraordinary memory power and diplomacy in decision makings and rationalism all makes him a gem, even he hide away in the darkness of death, he would twinkle until there’s light on earth.

What I have written is nothing but what I observed and what comes to mind right now… and he’s an era which can’t be confined into a post or coffin!

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Front and Back


Here’s couple of candid shots on a horse ride around the Kodaikanal Lake road. It was the same horse, horseman and rider on both images that I just shot from the parked car, beside the lake, as they rode front and back. Kodaikanal Lake is one of my favourite places and just observing things happening around is a great time pass and entertainment as well. And horse riding is a part of the tourist activities take place around the lake road, apart cycling, where cycles are rented on hour’s basis.


Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Friday, August 03, 2018

Silver Lining Clouds

Silver lining clouds

Around Wellington near Coonoor, while stopped to buy some fresh bakery items, the silver lining clouds draw my attention. I found the clouds rising in front of me were impressive with an outline and above the cluster of eucalyptus trees, the clouds form like mountains that caught fire! It was nearly 6 in the evening and clearly sun was behind this magic and once we hit the Ooty-Coonoor main road the sun was out again drawing my attention at many curves performing delight. I could share some more delight from that evening that couldn’t let me put down the mobile, as I was out of camera, I couldn’t capture the best, but enjoyed the views and more to come later.  

Linking this post with Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Turned 33 – And a Reminder of Past to Present

Turned 33

Other than a small cake cutting at home yesterday, it turned out to be another day and I’m not complaining and I also expected none towards the day. But I remember my birthday of 2008 (10 years back) that fall within 10 days of my great grandmother’s demise and we were staying at our native house (which is a street away from our current house) for 16 days ritual and there wasn’t any celebration to signify the birthday but it was a present and few words from cousins made my day. We left our native house in 2005 due to my discomfort and difficulty in carrying me up and down the stairs to our home in first floor. No one expected my life would be difficult or unable to walk when the house was built, leaving the entire ground floor to expand the workshop of my uncle, we moved after buying a flat in neighbourhood, about 4km away from there. After nearly a decade living away, we shifted back to same area in 2015 and continue to stay a street away from the native house, and this is a ground floor house that much suited my need. Now we have decided to go back to our native house and work has been already started to convert the house to my comfort and an elevator is yet to install to lift me up and down along with wheelchair. Things are expected to finish by the end of this month (August) and we have informed the current house owner already about our move.

Coming to the point of this post, I could recollect what my cousins told or requested that day with their innermost desire to live close. I wasn’t quite happy staying away from them, and from the area where I grow up till I was 20, even though the distance may be 4km but I always felt we’re a family of one, because they are none other than my dad’s younger brother’s kids. I could not stop thinking a life without them and how far we go, heart will keeps beating for them and for us, it was whom we could look out for before reaching anybody. Their wishes (as well as mine) have come close now and we are to become a family of two door front in a month time but I couldn’t feel the happiness as then and their attitudes weren’t same as well. I’m not saying they are unhappy or uninviting about our move, but I could understand the changes that life treated all these years and perhaps lot of exposure on various things might turn their attention or I feel unnoticed while they are busy social networking. When they expressed their desire, the situation wasn’t favour but we travelled together and sailed with bond which continues to tie on various occasions and in the last 3 years I didn’t feel strange or different until we decide to move close. I think my uncle family seems to feel uneasy, as we move closer, they may think loss of privacy in our presence and some scratches being close enough, but maintain a distance and balanced relationship is sure to work I feel. That’s all for now