Thursday, February 26, 2009

Haage Summane - Time pass

For a change, to avoid monotone, some days I travel to office by bus. Best part of the journey is when I am lucky, the red signal stops the bus at the very intersection. For 10 min or so, I get to see the marvelous aerobatics skills of Bramhini and Black Kites. Each Kite that rises from the sewage canal with its 'prized' catch has to face a swarm of more Kites which try to steal the prize and in the fight Kites exibit excellent flying skills. It's a treat to watch if one does not mind the stench!!

Today happens to be a day like that, though I did not get to see the 'Kite show'. While returning, bus was almost empty and I was in no mood to read. So I did something interesting, that I had been planning to do.

I had read this famous poem from Pablo Neruda. Lot of people had translated the English version to Kannada(including Dr Nissar Ahmad). I too tried my turn, not a bad thing to kill time in bus!! Here it goes....

'Love is short and oblivion is so long' - This line touched my heart.

ಈ ರಾತ್ರಿ ನಾ ಬರೆಯಬಲ್ಲೆ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ದುಃಖದ ಸಾಲುಗಳ

ಈ ರಾತ್ರಿ ಛಿದ್ರವಾಗಿದೆ, ನೀಲಿ
ನಕ್ಷತ್ರಗಳು ಚಡಪಡಿಸುತಿವೆ ದೂರದಲಿ.
ತಂಗಾಳಿ ಆಕಾಶವನ್ನು ಸುತ್ತುತಿದೆ
ವಿರಹಗೀತೆಯನು ಹಾಡುತಿದೆ.

ಈ ರಾತ್ರಿ ನಾ ಬರೆಯಬಲ್ಲೆ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ದುಃಖದ ಕವಿತೆಯ
ಅವಳನು ಪ್ರೇಮಿಸಿದೆ, ಕೆಲಕಾಲವಾದರೂ ಅವಳೆನ್ನ ಪ್ರೇಮಿಸಿದಳು

ಅವಳನು ಬಾಹುಬಂಧನದಲಿ ಬಳಸಿದ ರಾತ್ರಿಗಳೆಷ್ಟೋ
ಅನಂತ ಆಗಸದಡಿ ಅವಳನು ರಂಜಿಸಿದ ಚುಂಬನಗಳೆಷ್ಟೋ

ಅವಳೆನ್ನ ಪ್ರೇಮಿಸಿದಳು, ನಾನೂ ಸಹ ಮನಸಾರೆ ಪ್ರೀತಿಸಿದೆ
ದೀಪದಂತಿದ್ದ ಅವಳ ದಿಟ್ಟ ಕಂಗಳನ್ನು ಹೇಗೆ ಅನಾದರಿಸಲಿ

ಈ ರಾತ್ರಿ ನಾ ಬರೆಯಬಲ್ಲೆ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ದುಃಖದ ಕವಿತೆಯ
ಅವಳಿಲ್ಲದ ನೆನಪಿನಲಿ, ಅವಳನ್ನು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡ ವೇತನೆಯಲಿ

ಈ ಗಾಢ ರಾತ್ರಿ, ಅವಳಿಲ್ಲದೆ ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಘೋರ
ಈ ಕವಿತೆಯು ಅಂತರಾತ್ಮವನು ತಟ್ಟುತಿದೆ,
ಹುಲ್ಲಿನ ಮೇಲಿನ ಇಬ್ಬನಿಯ ತೆರದಿ

ನನ್ನವಳನ್ನಾಗಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರೀತಿ ಸೋತಿರಲು
ಚುಕ್ಕಿ ಚಂದ್ರಮರ ರಾತ್ರಿಯಲಿ ಅವಳೆನ್ನ ಜೊತೆಯಲಿಲ್ಲ

ಇದೆ ಅಂತ್ಯವೇ, ದೂರದಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾರೋ ಹಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ
ಅವಳಿಲ್ಲದೆ ನನ್ನ ಅಂತರಾತ್ಮ ಚೈತನ್ಯ ಹೀನವಾಗಿದೆ

ಅವಳನ್ನು ಕರೆತರಲು ನನ್ನ ಕಣ್ಣುಗಳು ತಡವುತಿದೆ
ಹೃದಯವು ಚಡಪಡಿಸುತಿದೆ, ಅವಳೆನ್ನ ಬಳಿಯಿಲ್ಲದೆ

ಇದೇ ರಾತ್ರಿ, ಮರಗಳನು ಬೆಳಗಿಸುವ ರಾತ್ರಿ
ನಾವು, ನಾವಿದ್ದರೂ, ನಾವಾಗಿ ಉಳಿದಿಲ್ಲ

ನಾನಿನ್ನು ಅವಳನು ಪ್ರೇಮಿಸದಿರಬಹುದು, ಅದೆಷ್ಟು ಪ್ರೀತಿಸಿದೆ ಅವಳನ್ನಂದು
ನನ್ನ ದನಿ ಗಾಳಿಯನ್ನು ಭೇಧಿಸಿ ಅವಳನು ಅರಸುತಿತ್ತಂದು

ಹಿಂದೆ ನನ್ನ ಪ್ರೇಮದ ದೇವತೆಯಗಿದ್ದವಳು,
ಅವಳೀಗ ಅನ್ಯರಿಗೊಲಿದಳೇ?
ಅವಳ ಶಾರೀರ, ಅವಳು, ಅವಳ ಅನಂತ ಕಂಗಳು

ಅವಳನು ಪ್ರೀತಿಸದಿರಲು ನನ್ನಿಂದ ಸಾದ್ಯವೇ?
ಪ್ರೀತಿ ಕ್ಷಣಿಕ, ಮರೆಯುವುದು ಬಲು ದೀರ್ಘ

ಅವಳನು ಬಾಹುಬಂಧನದಲಿ ಬಳಸಿದ ರಾತ್ರಿಗಳೆಷ್ಟೋ
ಅವಳಿಲ್ಲದೆ ನನ್ನ ಅಂತರಾತ್ಮ ಚೈತನ್ಯ ಹೀನವಾಗಿದೆ

ಇದು ಅವಳಿಂದಾಗುವ ನೋವುಗಳ ಕೊನೆಯೇ?
ಇದು ನಾನು ಅವಳಿಗರ್ಪಿಸುವ ಕೊನೆಯ ಕವಿತೆಯೇ?

I do not take any credit for the above translation. It is just an humble effort to feel Pablo Neruda's emotions in my mother tongue.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Valentine date...

This valentine day, I had a date. When the whole country was divided into preposterous opinions about Valentines day, I had surrendered myself to my date for 2 full days. Nobody had any reason, however devoid of wisdom it could be, to deride us.
My date was the very mother nature herself. I just lost myself exploring hidden treasures of western ghats.

It all happened in a very dramatic way. I desperately needed a break from everything. It had been a long time since I had detached myself from everything. I was getting more discontented at both personal and professional aspects. I was thinking of ways to redeem myself from gloominess. That is when Google recommended some blogs based on my reading habits and interests. One of them was I was on cloud 9 after going through it. It is maintained by Sampath, who is an avid nature lover and a techie like us. The post that he is arranging another trek on 14th and 15th was even blissful. Just what I wanted.

Everything was set and the friday the 13th wasn't unlucky for me. I found myself in the sleeper coach of Maharaja travels that was arranged by Sampath. A group of 8 other people had signed up for the trek, all of whom were strangers and would later become great company. The great team consisted of Arjun, Karen(from Sweden), Jovin, Mohan, Parag, Prasanna, Rajesh, Shivakumar, Sachin and Shashi, thats me.

Sharavathi that later would become Jog Falls

Another view of Sharavathi

Family!!(ಕೋಳಿ ಸಂಸಾರ!!)

The bus took us to a town called Kargal. On the way, in Sagar Narayan our guide and Gangadhar the cook, joined us. At Kargal we freshened ourselves in river Sharavathi. After breakfast we were loaded into a Tata 207 pickup truck and driven to trek starting point. The ride was unforgettable as it loosened all our muscles which was like a warm up for the trek. The groceries were distributed to everyone to carry along with foam sheets for sleeping.

Ready for a tiring journey on pick-up truck

A home on the way!

Hay sack

Distributing groceries
We started our trek following Narayan into apparently raw forest, where there was no apparent sight of a trail until we reached a small stream. We followed the stream downhill balancing on slippery rocks. A wrong step would result in twisted ankles which is the last thing a trekker would want to endup. After several hours of walking, it was time for lunch. Sridhar and Gangadhar prepared toothsome lunch which was delectable along with the pickle. I think our hungriness, the nature, firewood, stone stove and the forest factor into the wonderful taste.
Get Set Go...

Some strange thing


After lunch, we walked futher downstream passing a couple of waterfalls of few feet height. I somehow managed to keep my shoes dry, when most of everyone slipped and fell into the water. But at the end all my effort went in vain, as I had to voluntarily walk into the water!! The attraction of the first day was a falls which was about 10 feet high. It was precious because it was not easily accessible, innocent from civilization. Otherwise it was very normal and not worth the effort that we expended. But least I knew was that it was just the beginning.

Slippery rocks

Trails that can be easily missed
Careful negotiation
One of mini waterfalls

First day attraction
My trusted Reebok!!


One important thing I would like to emphasize here is I was not feeling exhausted at any point in time. When the stream falls few feet deep, it is very difficult to negotiate the rocks. So we climb up almost 80 deg steep mud bank and climb down at a safer place. This is very risky as the mud could be very slippery and descending at this steep is very tiresome on muscles. One wrong step will lead to damage to some part of the body on sharp stones. But we were all blessed by mother nature.

Closest civilization from this point was about 4~5 km on the other side of the hill. It was not so stressful trek for about 1.5 hours before we stopped to take a glimpse of setting sun. I was still wondering about my stamina till this point.

ಕೆಂಪಾದವೋ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕೆಂಪಾದವೋ!!

Night halt was at PaDubeeDu, a single house in the forest. In dark I indulged myself into stargazing and virtually halted my cerebrations looking at the dark sky and innumerable stars. A campfire was arranged in the warmth of which we played anthakshari. It was a good mix of Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and English songs. Then followed scrumptious dinner, I particularly liked the payasa and had two servings of the same.
It was very cold night and the bedsheet I had carried was useless, so I hardly slept.

Some interesting capture!!

Morning woke up at 6 and found myself eating breakfast by 7. We set out for the big day by 7:30. None of us knew what was the day's attraction as Narayan was eluding my questions. Again the trekking was into the thick jungle and this time was very steep, downhill. I hardly got a chance to take my camera out to take some snaps. It seemed like endless descent and was wondering if I can make it while coming back. But I was amazed how my muscles were responding to my will. In fact I was ahead of the crowd most of the times.

ಎಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಪಯಣ? ಯಾವುದೊ ದಾರಿ?

Dead Tree

After what seemed to be an eternity of descent, I could hear a faint sound of waterfall but I was still inside thickets. Finally I reached the bottom of the valley, after a short climb upstream, there it was, the blissful view of beLLigunDi falls. I was awestruck and went into a trance. The nature had hidden this treasure and this sight was perfect reward for my date. The falls is approximately 500 feet high.
I started climbing rocks and running towards the bottom of the falls. I felt like some kind of spirit was invigorated inside me. I took some more snaps and found myself running into the water to the foot of the falls. I did not care for chilling cold water. Just stood under the falls. I was there for about an hour. I think that experience is hard to explain in words.
beLLigunDi falls

Finally the reawrd was worth all the effort. At last it was time to say good bye to the falls, head back to fuel ourselves for the humongous uphill trek. I took the lead and started climbing up with Narayan behind me guiding me on almost inconspicuous trail. Again I was amazed at the way my muscles were responding to my will. I never felt exhausted. I just enjoyed every step of climb and kept going. In the whole climb, which was about at least ~4 km, I just took two breaks, as Narayan insisted. In my earlier treks I used to be the long pole in the group and it used to take all the fun away. But this time, I was on top, I was on cloud 9.

We made it to the paDubeeDu at around 4PM. Only lamentable part was that Karen lost her mobile somewhere on the way and couldn't trace it.
Again endured the trecherous journey to Kargal singing high spirited songs of all known languages. On the sleeper coach, I just surrendered to sleep goddess who took me into never-never land that took all the pain away.

Back to Bangalore with much needed warm-start. It was wonderful trip, dating with nature and meeting a very good natured like minded people. I am sure I would do more such trips in future.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Out of sight...

Out of sight is out of mind, they say. I think that is what has happened to my blogging too. I don't want this to happen to my blog.

Here is a quick recap.

I think the year 2009 did not begin with a positive signs to anybody. It is sad to see/hear what is happening in the world. I hope and pray to almighty to end this madness soon.

My office shifted to Marathalli. All the privilege I had with office within 5 min from home is gone now. First week I enjoyed the traffic jams on outer ring road. I particularly enjoyed the ride back home in night, the music, loneliness and the feeling of all man for himself. I was particularly worried about my roadrage. I was amazed at my patience, I never lost temper so far. I don't care how others drive, I just be myself.
After 2 weeks, I am getting bored with monotonic traffic jams, mindless who don't care for red lights.
Number of vehicles increasing at rate more than our sluggish governament's projections, road repairs at snail's pace, all these are OK, if our road users understand and co-operate. Everybody seems to be in a mad rush, as if the world is going to end in few moments. I make it a point not to violate any rules as well as not to squeeze between gaps and cause annoyance to other drivers. But the result is I get left behind, but that is OK. I wonder why our people take life so easily. Everyday I see lot of lives just escape in fraction's of a second.
So far I have clocked 35min to 1 hour for 16km drive. I need to find alteranate transport since summer sun is already getting torturous.

Another thing worth mentioning is the music in some of the latest kannada movies is just amazing. Especially, hoovina baaNadante from movie birugaLi. Shreya's voice is just amazing, the initial hum is mind-boggling.

And my photography is going at a good pace, except that I hardly manage some time for post processing and publishing my work. I will take some action on this soon.
That's very much what is happening so far....