Sunday, September 26, 2010

Discovery at Talacauvery

A lot of times in life, one things leads to another in a way you never thought it would. A chance trip led to loads of introspection and also a little bit of gratitude to the world in general.  Today, we went to Talacauvery. I am not too much of a water person. I dont like getting wet when a towel and a changing room is not in the vicinity. However, I love looking at the waves and the puddles and the forms in the same. It is difficult to believe that hardly 30 km from Bangalore, the city where everybody is busy heading somewhere all the time lies an idyllic town with women walking on the roads in 'fashionable' nighties. Some of them, covering it with a dupatta. I dont think these are a bunch of people bothered about not being appreciated by those that dont matter (or do they? Would it be the husband's appreciation they seek?) and not bothered about being seen in the same dress two days in a row. (I wonder how many different dresses their wardrobe has. Materialistic of me, I am sure. But still, I cant help but wonder). Kanakapura, was so different from the Karanataka (Bangalore) I am so used to seeing everyday. We headed to Talacauvery through Kanakapura and Malavalli. 

After a few detours, we finally ended up in our destination. The place was beautiful. THe water all around with people,young and old alike,  playing in it, some with the balls bought from the enterprising salesmen who were showcasing their wares and selling the same.  The small groups screaming and singing songs. One wannabe adventurer,swimming underwater and coming up on the other side of his friends.A father with a fat big gold chain holding the hands of his kids and posing while his wife captured a kodak moment, with a poor kid looking at him from behind a coffee shop where he worked.There were a couple of newly weds, with the girls shyly stepping into the water and wading chest deep into it, a bunch of very conscious college kids with an arrogant attitude that they were trying on to hide their lack of confidence, and finally a group of ready to be drunk teenage guys drying themselves in front of the above mentioned gang of girls while talking loudly about their phones and their adventurous trip back. How can i forget the few beggars and the plastic covers that dotted the scenery?  It was an interesting watch. Much better in fact than the many movies i watch and rewatch. Much better because this was as real as real can get. The best reality check was the old man with bunched up veins in his knees who took us on the coracle ride. I wonder if anyone ever asked him if he was happy with his rewards. Even if they had, whether they could have done anything other than maybe slip him an extra fifty. The lines on his face told a bigger story than the words he never spoke.

This, is India at her best in a lot of ways. While the whole world is laughing or looking at us with disgust over the actions of few men at the top and their inability to honour their promise of hosting a world class event, I look at these people and see the diversity in a beautiful place. The poverty and the prosperity. Youth and old age. Beauty and the beast that man has created to destroy it. Family and the search for it. Literates and illiterates. A very young boy trying to communicate in English with a strong Kannada accent. The desire to be. The desire to live. The desire to desire. Today, i realised,for the nth time that I have been a lot luckier than most people in the world. I did not have to think about my next meal (should i say worry about where it would come from?) I did not have to work barefoot in the hot sun for a few hundreds a week. I did not have to suffer the real suffering. I know i would go back to the complain mode in sometime. I am afterall human. But I am grateful for what I have and I am grateful for again having had the chance to glimpse at my motherland in some of her splendour. All I can do is to bow down to her, proud and hoping that someday, what i see will be rosier, who i am will be chirpier and what the world sees would be the whole picture and not just a bright ugly piece broken off a jigsaw puzzle. 

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