Monday, March 01, 2021

An experience like no other


An experience like no other
Did I find with him
Oh all the naughty thoughts of that day
Oh my reddened cheeks pinched by his graceful hands

Tottering on her feet did she appear
Without any warning I approached her
"Don't do this" she said "I cant handle it"
Then I gave her a kiss
"One's not enough" she said,
"One's not enough" 

"What beautiful eyes" he said as he came closer
"What a wonderful lass",
And plied me with more sweet nothings
"I've found my girl, it is you"
he pleaded with his eyes
"I'm the one for you" he intoned, "I'm the one"

Like an elegant chariot does she move and sway
My thoughts caress her top cloth and play
"Where" she asked, "here" I replied
Near she came, Elsewhere we flew

F: It was nippy like a drop of dew
And sweet like a forbidden fruit
It fell as drops of rain
And bloomed as a flower
There was no sleep for us
Nor were we unfulfilled
And till others came
We weren't apart, we weren't apart!

No marks for guessing which Tamil Song this is.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The Girl in The Car Ahead

I've traveled in this highway for decades. Every curve of the road and every denuded hill and every dry riverbed is imprinted in my memory. Muscle memory takes over driving now a days. Everything is same old. Nothing new. Scorching sun at noon. Air-conditioning inside. Dreary landscape outside. Trucks that I overtake. Sporty European cars that overtake me. The car in front of me is going at a steady speed. I don't wish to overtake him. Am just following monotonously. Suddenly the girl next to him lifts her arms, sways with the music she is hearing and wiggles her arms to the tune. I can't hear the music. Nor see her face. All I see is frizzy hair and two arms swaying to the music in the car in front of me. All dreariness vanishes. Her joy sparks a smile in me. Life looks better. I don't try to go along side and look at her. No need. Just the fact that she was happy at that moment and passed on the joy to me is enough.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Almost there

All my efforts
Are almost there,
but not quite.

Not that anyone cares
But it gives me nightmares

My translations almost work
My breads almost hold their shape
I miss the dots when I write
I don't brown the top when I bake
Even vessels I wash
Are left with water spots

In everything I do,
I'm almost there,
but not quite.

Almost a writer,
Nearly a runner,
An almost translator,
A spotty dishwasher.

Almost there,
But not quite
Will be my epitaph.

Monday, December 30, 2019

QUIT 2019. Day 6

Started early morning from Bijapur. Today's plan was to visit Bidar fort and then proceed to Hyderabad.

You know you are properly into a road trip when you can't remember what day or date it is. For the first two days you are still connected to your real world. Then gradually the road starts taking over. Getting up, hitting the road, finding a place to sleep for the night - that's all there is to life. Kilometers of tarmac and open space. The main purpose of the road trip is to hit that zen state. Destinations matter to an extent, but the journey is the real reason.

As we hit the road, my mother called me and informed us that today is Solar Eclipse and not to travel or eat during the next three hours. Like a dutiful son I ignored my mother's advice and proceeded. Since we planned to reach Hyderabad by late afternoon, we didn't stop anywhere for breakfast. Kept munching biscuits through out the solar eclipse time.

Bidar was the last capital of Bahmani Sultanate. Bahmani Sultanate broke away from Delhi Sultanate of Muhammad bin Thuglaq and established a separate state in 14th century. They ruled for  about 200 years before being defeated and disintegrated by Vijayanagara Empire in 16th century. The sultanate broke into 5 - Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Bidar, Berar and Golconda (Hyderabad)- collectively called as Deccan Sultanates.

Bidar is 30 km from Hyderabad - Mumbai highway. It is a motorable road except for a few stretches. We reached the fort by 11.00 AM, with the Solar Eclipse at its peak. This helped us as the temperature was down a bit. There was no one around in the parking area. No guides were available.

The first look at the fort is impressive. The massive gates and ramparts and moats transported one back in time. There are three levels of fortification in the fort. The second entrance was massive. There were a few boys clicking selfies in ramparts.

Entrance to Bidar Fort

Spiked doors of the fort

We had read up on the fort and were looking forward to visiting the Rangeen Mahal, Tarkash Mahal and the labyrinths of Hazar Kothri. But every thing is under lock and key. ASI office here was not interested in giving us any information other than saying restoration work is going on. It didn't look like any work was going on though.

Hazar Kothri

Gagan Mahal (?)

So we walked inside the fort clicking pictures of whatever we could see. The Solah Kambh Mosque (16 pillored Mosque) looked amazing. Behind the fort is the ruins of Delhi Darwaza (Delhi Gate). We walked till there with no one in sight.
Solah Kambh Mosque

View of the fort 

As we came back, crowd was starting to trickle in. Bidar is a popular destination for one day trips from Hyderabad, 3 hours drive away. There weren't many people from Karnataka, though the fort is technically in Karnataka.

We wanted to have lunch at the Gurudwara Langar in Bidar. But I was wearing shorts and had to change to trousers to go to Gurudwara. So decided to check out other restaurants in Bidar. Nothing seemed to be open even by 12.30 PM. Finally found Punjabi Tadka restaurant. It was destined that we had to eat out of a Sardar's hand today :-)

Drive to Hyderabad was fairly smooth. The road from Bidar to Zaheerabad had some potholes in the Telengana State part of it, but once we hit the Highway it was pretty easy. After missing a turn in the Outer Ring Road in Hyderabad and taking a 8km detour, finally reached hotel by 4.30 PM.

Total distance traveled till date : 1590 km

Sunday, December 29, 2019

QUIT 3. Day 5

Today was a day of no travel. We stayed in Bijapur itself and visited Gol Gumbaz and Ibrahim Rouza again. Original plan of this trip was to cover Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra, but the road to Ajanta is so bad that we had to drop that plan. That gave us some extra days to spend.

Our Hotel was just a km away from Gol Gumbaz. We reached Gol Gumbaz by 6.30 AM expecting to be the first people in. To our surprise there was a healthy number of people already there. Then we realized that most of them were locals who come there for their morning walk. It is an excellent place for morning walks with well maintained lawns and pathways. There were people sitting in the museum steps and doing Pranayama, Yoga and what not.

Gol Gumbaz at early morning

We entered Gol Gumbaz and found there were a few people already there by that time. All of them had come like us to hear the acoustic effects of Whispering Gallery. The noise level was beginning to rise when a guide came and convinced all of us to stand at one side. He went to the other side and did his bag of trick. Waving a handkerchief, snapping his fingers, crushing a plastic bottle, Whispering. Everything was amplified and heard by us on this side. Then he called out names of Gods - Shiva, Allah, Jesus to let us hear the echoes seven times. Secularism is well and alive at some places atleast.

Posing in front of Gol Gumbaz. Notice morning walkers on the sides.

Our next stop was Ibrahim Rouza. Here we were the first ones and for a long time the only ones. As magnficient as Gol Gumbas is, I personally liked the Ibrahim Rouza better. There is something very peaceful about this place. As we entered I saw a person jogging in the lawns of the monument. So I too donned on my running shoes and went for a jog. Jogged a kilometer, just for history to record that I continued my half marathon training in Ibrahim Rouza :-)

Early morning Ibrahim Rouza

Photographer photographed

Tonight's dinner was at the restaurant Qaswa Hills in Pearl Hotel. It came highly recommended on the internet, so I was a bit skeptical. Surprisingly the food was real good. Paneer kebabs, Mutton Biryiani (half) and Egg Biriyani (half), followed by Chocolate Mastani and a Falooda. Quantities are humongous, we couldn't finish even the half portions of Biriyani. A good meal and a much needed rest day.

Good restaurant in Bijapur
Total distance traveled till date : 1150 km.