Thursday, 25 January 2007

Sirsi Talk

Our trip to Sirsi began early that morning at about 8:30am. The journey was good, with our talks including topics about friends, reduced number of holidays, roads (remembered quite a bit of Civil Engg.), birds (peacocks) and Orkut too.

On the way we were astonished to see the air-plane move on its track...(along with us) and the Bahubali statues, close to Hubli. We also delivered a SIM-card on the way to a friend at Dharwad, which took some effort from the receiver missing us at the old bus-stand and then moving ahead to catch up at the new one. We did a bit of pet-pooja… munching some snacks. And then, singing throughout till the end of the journey was real ‘strain-buster’. So, we did not get very tired. With the two singers on my either side, I was indeed into the game complementing and supporting both of them. It was exciting.

We reached Sirsi in the afternoon at about 2:30pm. Lunch time :)
We had the typical ‘Sirsi food’ including sambar, tambli, hashi and appehuli daily. Early that evening we had been to see a few places within the town like Maarikamba Temple, Raghvendra Math and St. Anthony’s Church. The sunset there was awesome! We then had GM...t’was spicy n’ tasty... and sapota-shake and went back home.
The next morning we had the benne paper-dosa (the butter being optional), which was our morning break-fast almost everyday. Heading towards Sahastralinga, we travelled partly by tempo and partly by Rick. An uncle accompanied us there. Blessed by the Sharavati river it makes a nice water place for an enticing picnic. We seriously missed the other friends a lot. Took a few snaps...snaps se yaad aaya, I re-wound Pragati’s camera role. Oops! But then later told uncle and got it done well. Ah!

You know, the people there are so kind. Go to anybody's house and they'll serve you home-made banana chips. And every-one there has a fixed menu for the guest to choose from. It goes like this: “What would u like to have?
1) tea
2) coffee or
3) kashai (now, this new drink is ‘flavored milk’)”.

Coming back, later that afternoon we went to Banwasi. The Kadambas once ruled there. Hence there is this Madhukeshwara temple. The temple is built in the name of Lord Shiva with a honey coloured ‘Shiv-linga’ installed in the place of worship. It was built gradually over the centuries. There is a big chariot made of black rock which is taken in procession during the festival. A smart Nandi, about 10 feet tall, also, cut out of a rock, is seated in all its elegance in front of this temple looking at the Shiv-linga through it’s left eye, while looking at Goddess Parvati seated in the adjacent temple through it’s right. The pillars of the temple display images as should be seen though concave and convex lenses, partly, but both in the same curve of the pillar - A mark of great engineering work and architecture. We did Bharat-darshan too...because the Kadambas have collected statues as memoirs from all over India and installed in the surrounding area. The trees required for worship were planted in Pampa-vana, named after the great poet Pampa. The Varada river flowing though this place is a treat to the eyes and looks just like wallpaper on the PC.

The next day we got into an almost empty bus to Honnavar.
Singing along was so much fun as the only people alive, except the driver, were ‘we’!!! Others were simply waiting to reach their destination, I guess. There were lots of fruits being sold on the station like the local jumbo and some veggies. We stayed at Savitakka’s home (nivi’s aunt). The same day we visited the Karikanamma temple on the hill. The scenary there was wonderful. The view included the deciduous forests (on the mountains covering almost all the three sides visible), and the Arabian Sea at a distance giving a feast to the eyes. I seriously wished I had a handicam. Oh!!! for that. Then, getting into the cab again we moved ahead towards Idgunji, where residents told us that the Ganesh idol in the temple was installed by Narad-muni. Artistic handicrafts made of cane were being sold outside. We then headed towards the Murdeshwar. From quite a distance we could see the huge idol of Lord Shiva which is located near the temple. To our fate, it was the day of ‘jatra’ (festive day), which had dragged lots of devotees there and we had to walk enough though the crowd. This was just another reason for us to miss the sunset. These feelings were soon replaced by wonder and awe as we approached the Big Statue of Shiva. One of his arms is damaged, actually broken, due to lightening during the last rains. But there’s nothing to worry. It’s under construction:). There is a pillar made of real gold situated in front of the temple which is on one side of the statue, while on the other side, there are hotels. We saw an old couple seated outside in one of the balconies gazing at the majestic Shiva. The sunset point is supposed to be another scenic place.

The next day, we spent quite some time at home, enjoying auntie’s delicacies. Later that afternoon we drove to see the railway on the bridge. The picturesque river with small islands wasn’t getting out of our sight. We simply marveled at it. There is a road bridge also, of about 1km. At a short distance across the road bridge is the Kaserkod beach where we played and strolled-by for quite some time before moving on for a boat ride, on our way back home... Imagine 4 people seated on a single motor-bike. We surely were an amusement for the passers-by.

Next morn, there was a twist for all of us. We made an unexpected visit to Roopa’s house(@ Kumta) while going back to Sirsi. We sure made her happy. This was the cause for our ‘double breakfast’ that morning.

Nivi’s father’s ancestral home is in Goran-mane while her mother’s is at Jaji-mane. I’m sure you’ve not got these Kannada words:). Both of these are villages nearby Sirsi. People have made their homes close to the farms which are located on the mountains. Hence there was no network for our mobile. Though, there were basic facilities including electricity and a landline telephone connection.

Every family has a well, for water, used at home as well as in the farm. Since the food crops do not provide sufficient income, villagers grow areca-nut (adike), banana, vanilla and pepper too ‘all-in-one’. Luckily, we got to see how the worker removes the areca-nuts from trees and slides the bunch down to ground on a rope tied to him, while another worker collects them at the other end of the rope. Using a simple ringed cloth he slowly and carefully moves from one tree to another with much ease. T'was brilliant. A part of these areca-nuts are then pealed of their skin, boiled and then allowed to dry in the Sun on an over-head roof called ‘betta’. Another part of adike is dried with the skin to produce another variety. Totally the farmers produce about 6 varieties, which are then converted into a whole lot of 16 varieties in the market.

We spent a whole evening at the fire-place outside the house where they boiled the adike. It was a cool moon-lit night. With the stars above, in between the palms and other trees, we recalled past memories. Ajji served us some more mouth-watering dishes which made our stay ‘perfect’.

We soon drove to Sirsi. All excited to give an actual description of our trip to all at home, we got into the bus. Again the 6-hour long journey just passed off in a short time. This time it was without those ‘hit ho ya flop’ bollywood songs. Finally, the journey was made memorable by our very own Belgaum-sunset and the leafless birdie trees.