Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mysore is not far away.....


Mysore was calling me for Dasara..but, Dasara was not the only reason..Staying away from home for the first time is very difficult for anyone..and for someone like my little sister, it's even more painful..So, mysore was calling me...to meet pallu..

Having decided to visit mysore alone, i planned to stay with my friend. Thanks to the overcrowded lodges and hotels..In the background, 2 of my dear friends had decided to join me, much to my oblivion !!..Sonal mails me that keerti and herself will be joining me !!..But, i dismissed the plan to take them along..thanks to the accomodation problem again..atleast for sonal, it was difficult..finally, we found a place for sonal..in pallu's hostel..

Next morn, it was sonal who woke me up at 5 am..and she was ready to go even before i had packed up !! and keerthi , as usual, came up with a surprise..he wasn't leaving home before 10..he had to attend some pooja ( no, not a girl )..I had to find out my friend's room in mysore first. So, i asked sonal to come along with keerti..I found out the house and met pallu too..But, keerthi's pooja still went on, with sonal growing more impatient..Everyting was set for the trip to be called off..but, sonal was too determined to let it go..and so was keerthi..they finally made it to mysore at 5 pm !!..me and pallu had already finished running around the zoo by then.. with very little time left, we could plan just one thing..and it had to be the the Great Mysore Palace..

The Palace was decorated and lit exuberantly for the occassion and was glittering with glory..walking with my head held high, staring at the palace, i had ignored the sight below..and what i saw was quite shocking..had never seen a crowd of that magnitude..unlike the crowd in a rock show, each one was moving in a different direction..pushing and struggling..a tumultous air with all sorts of music and announcements..To add to it, a puppet show was being staged on a makeshift stage on a truck..a scene of Goddess Chamundeshwari killing the demons was the plot..We were a witness to this great spectacle along with thousands others, who were watching it with great faith..I felt like folding my hands too..Having watched the struggle for 15 mins, with the daemon still giving a tough fight for the Goddess, we moved on to see the palace..

At the gates of the palace, people were gushing out like the water from a dam sluice..Comfort is always relative..I wish i were still watching the Goddess-demon fight..it was way better than this struggle..after a great deal of effort, we managed to enter the palace premises..I guess, if the generous Wodeyar had any idea that india would GROW so much, he'd have built bigger gates..and an even bigger palace itself.. We spent the rest of the day planning for the next day, savoured a nice meal and left for our rooms..

The D-day began with a trek to Chamundi hill..it was quite an experience to climb the hill in the mist with beautiful landscapes below..Inspite of the early timing, the queue for darshan was far stretched..we were patiently moving with the queue, and suddenly it stalled..the reason : the chief minister of karnataka, Mr. Dharam had arrived for a "special pooja"..it was time we lost our patience and the intention to quit the line came naturally, unanimously ..and in no time, we were in the bus stand..The "sea of people" of the last night'd scare any maritime voyager..I dropped my intentions to watch the famous "jamboo sawaari"..Instead, we planned to visit the KRS dam..For the fact that junta had decided to stay back for the highlight of the day ( the sawaari ), this place was spared from messing up..we had a great time walking along the dam.. with almost all the sluices open, river cauvery was flowing with all her might..it was fun to watch the water gust off the dam gates and was apparently giving a feeling that the dam was moving backwards, as if it were to be a huge ship sculpted of rock..( our brave keerthi found it scary !! )..

Amidst all this, the fact that we had gone all the way to the temple and pulled ourselves out of the queue for darshan, was building up a sense of guilt in us..Keerti was the first to react..when he told about this adventure to him mom, "how dare you guys... and something and something ..." was the reply..we HAD to go back to the temple now..but we had no time for it..I suggested keerti that we'd visit the temple some other day and it was okay to go ahead with our next plan..and afterall "Mysore is no far away"...
We dropped pallu at her hostel..then decided to have lunch. ( coz great decisions are made with filled stomachs..said keerti )..tha's true..we, the indecisive lot, made the best decision of the trip..that was to "stay back"..Pallu's roommate was back, and my friend's room was no longer vacant..we checked into a hotel, deposited our luggage and took a bus to the betta ( chamundi hill )..we entered the temple without much struggle and an air of relief surrounded us..keerti looked relaxed..for all his guilt-feeling had washed away..he could go home and proudly tell his mom about his accomplishment ..Being on the hill-top, filled with a mixture of rain and mist, eating hot "bondas"..we guys can never forget that experience.....rain, mist, hot bondas and tea.....

The next day, Pallu couldn't join us ( colleges are more strict than companies )..we took an auto for the zoo..the auto driver smiled and said "the animals wont be awake so early sir..instead i will drop you at the art gallery"..the next few hours were spent admiring at the creations of masters, shopping, watching animals, scolding the idiots who were throwing stones at animals ( it was keerti )..sonal suggested that we meet pallu again..we met her, saw her campus and it was time to leave her and leave mysore..

Though I was exhausted, the memories of the trip were too heavy to let me sleep..Keerti was still thinking of the Chamundi hill accomplishment...and guess sonal was being disturbed with the thought of buses chasing her in the bus stand :) ..

I had never imagined that this trip would ever materialize, but it did..and turned out to be one of the best..