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Malnad Musings: Part II





Distant relatives’ weddings are two-faced occasions. On one hand you wouldn’t want to attend some far relative’s wedding because you won’t be involved in anything else but lunch. And for someone like me who stays in a hostel (NITK hostel, at that), no delicacy can beat home foods so there’s no point in being there at all. On the other hand, you get to hear things like “You’ll never know any of your relatives are if you don’t come to such weddings” and “We can’t ask you to come with us when you’re not at home, can we?” and other such lines. So if you end up going (as is the case with me more often than not), you feel like a complete alien in the sea of people at the party. Occasionally you’ll be encountered by relatives whom you had seen once or twice in all your life coming up to you and exclaiming ”Oh you’re so-and-so’s son! You’ve grown so big!” for which a fake smile is the best response that I can ever think of! Your only hope will be to find someone of the same generation if not of the same age-group whom you can be with while all the men hash out on stocks and shares or rue the fuel price hike and the women wax eloquently about their silk sarees or simply indulge in some gossip maybe. So all I can do is to pray that such far cousins enter wedlock when I’m in the hostel. But this time I couldn’t escape... I had to go to a rather distant relative’s wedding (believe me, I had never seen the fellow before) at Mysore. But this turned out to be a rather memorable trip...


Everyone has heard of Bandipur National Park. Located inside this park is a mountain called the Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta (‘Hima’ is Kannada for mist and ‘betta’ is mountain). The place is quite famous because of the beautiful Gopalaswamy Temple atop the peak. The lush green forest cover of the Bandipur National Park of Karnataka extends to Kerala and Tamil Nadu as the Wayanad and Mudumalai National Parks respectively. The peak is about 80-90km away from Mysore and can make up for an excellent biking trip. The peak offers a scintillating view of the national park and you can see nothing but green as far as the eye can see. I was told that to my right was Kerala and to my left was Tamil Nadu and I was in Karnataka. It sure felt good to see three states at a time and capture three states in one frame. With its rich and abundant greenery and not many people to rob it of its serenity, the place is a treat to the eyes. Don’t be surprised if you cross paths with a herd of elephants. In the far distance I sighted a group of 5 pachyderms nonchalantly sauntering along to slowly disappear into the thick forests below. For a moment I wished I were one of them, not having to worry about anything but the next meal. I was bought back to my senses by my driver who said it was time to head back to Mysore. But apart from that we had little luck sighting wildlife in the national park. All along the way back I could only think of ‘The Animal Song’...

Oh, and I did attend the wedding after all!

Comments

Vikram said…
Awesome last pic!
pavi said…
oshooo!!!superb pics...ur an acer at it!!!bright alt career;) ...n ya..ur so right about de'fake smile'!!!i always come bck with aching jaw muscles!

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