Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A new leash of life

Raising mummy, papa
Hello all, I am a testing lab rescued beagle, my name is Mishka.. I think thats my name, yes.
I am 4 years old and moved in with mummy, papa just 2 months back.
So far I am loving them very very much.
To be honest, I only took to liking them recently. For the first month, I was scared of this new house. There are hell lot of loud sounds here, it is hot as an oven and the other dog at home doesnt like me I think. I donno why, but I wont give up. I will continue enticing her till she becomes my friend.

The old aunty at home, gives me curd everyday and so I like her too.
Mummy, papa dint know how to take care of me initially, I had to take up the task of teaching them.
Papa would put gun sounds on tv all the time, mummy used to cuddle me so much that I would choke sometimes, papa used to try feeding me all the food that I never liked(thou I had eaten nothing but pedigree all these years, but I wont tell him that, so that he tries hard to invent yummy food for me), mama used to make dynamite sounds at home by dropping things on the floor and hitting herself against walls and screaming(am I new here or is she?!).
They did not know that I can bark and howl till I did that in the middle of the night one day and scared them, chuckles.. (oh, the joy of scaring these 2!!)

They spent hours experimenting on food to feed the finicky me and finally papa has found a good combination of meals, mummy also eventually learnt to boil eggs. She dropped a piece of a shell one day with the eggs(I am sure she dint do it on purpose) and I showed it to her so that she could be careful next time.
Papa is very careless and doesnt open the door after food for me to go potty outside. He is still causing some accidents in the house. I think mummy has to train him!
I have now taught them to cook, jump on bed like a dog and how to wake up people early mornings so that we can all play.

Its been 2 months since we got little Mishka home.. The day we went to get her, there were so many other beagles in tiny cages that, to start off with, we dint know how to choose a dog. When we kept going from cage to cage, most dogs looked frightened, crouched up in their cages and afraid to even look out. But this little wonder, when we went up to her, she was all curious as to who we  were, trying to smell us and wanting to come out of her cage.
In a way when, she selected us.
Since that day, she has kept us on our feet. For the first month, she was very scared of even the slightest of sounds as she wasnt exposed to any sound at all being locked up in an AC atmosphere all of her 4 years of life with no good human contact.
She was undernourished and scared all the while, it took a lot of our energy and time in convincing her that we wont harm her. Mama had to shed some tears when she was rejecting any and all the food.
Also, when we got her neutered, the very same day she was walking and trying to stay awake, being very insecure!
Thinking about all that, today we are in a very nice place. She is pretty happy to be with us and jumps on us and wants to play all day :) Though sometimes she just gazes into the sky and probably wonders how her friends are doing!
Lab testing on animals is such cruely no? They have life too, they have feelings too.
She was never tested on fortunately as they did not get permission to test on this batch of dogs as they had acquired this batch illegally.
Inspite of that, the emotional trauma they undergo must be quite severe for her to have been so self aware and insecure all the while!

Poor baby, whatever she has had to bear with in the past, all that is done with! She will only have lots and lots of love and pampering the rest of her life.
Kissing her as I write! ♥‿♥

Monday, April 1, 2013

Chikmagalur and around

My dad is always busy with work and so are all four of us.. dad, mom, sis and me! We figured we had not taken a trip in a long time as the dates never seem to match! So I thought, never procrastinate… that too when a good deed needs to be done :P

Luckily all of us adhered to the plan of just setting out the same weekend to make that long pending road trip to chikmagalur and around.

My dad always vacations with his gang of friends, so him being experienced, he arranged the vehicle, stay, where to eat, what to see and the route.

After seeing Hampi, I am a big fan of ancient stone temples, architecture, the sculptures and the like..
My sister was first against seeing Belur and Halebidu, but was delighted no end at the end of our first stop in this capital of Hoysala empire. The whether was not too hot as it had just rained a few days which made our walk in the sun bearable.
There is a saying in Kannada that reads "Halebidu hora nodu, Beluru vala nodu" which means "See the outside of Halebidu and the inside of Belur". Halebidu which literally means 'old town' looks definitely older than Belur. Most of the idols here are broken in a battle between the Hoysalas and a Sultanate. Halebidu had intricately carved depictures of lord Shiva and stories around him  on the outer arena.
Usually when I visit a temple, I never really give importance to the God being worshipped there, not that I am an atheist, but that doesnt just stick in my head. But if a temple is as beautiful as this one, it hard to ignore anything. I now learnt that the god worshipped at this temple, Hoysaleshwara was an incarnarion of Lord Shiva and there is a Nandi in all Shiva temples because he used to ride on Nandi the bull.

Halebidu temple outer arena

Nandi the vehicle of lord Shiva

The interior of Halebidu Hoysaleshwara temple

Intricute sculpures on the outer walls at Halebidu

After this stop at Halebidu, we went to see the inner beauty at Belur. Somebody approached us at the entrance claiming to be tour guide and that we would give us a receipt too, only it was 200 bucks! Never usually hire a guide anywhere, but we thought it would be a good idea to get some knowledge on the stuff that makes our history so impressive! While he walked us through most of the sculptures, we clicked enough pictures and had our mouths open all through out gaping at the intricacy of the soap stone carvings. If the guide had not pointed us to the minutest of things such as, an idol of a man playing music on his drums had even the dent in a man's drums worn out by use shown, the daasis(maids) walking the queen's dogs, the same dog barking at a snake in the garden and such multiple levels of hierarchy all carved out! Imagine having to carve out everything all over again if the sculptor had made one teeny-weeny mistake in an idol!
Anyway the guide made the sights more alluring :)
Also, Halebidu and Belur, the older and newer capitals of Hoysala empire are known as International jewellery box.. wonder why? well there idols of shilabalikas(barely clad curavcious women :P) adorning necklaces, anklets, bangles, earrings, bindis, maang thikas, almost all a woman likes to indulge in :)) carved in stone to serve as inspiration for generations to come.

A shilabalika dressing up and admiring her beauty

sculpted jewellery used by the royals of the empire

After this sojourn, we had lunch and headed to chikmagalur district. The town of chikmagalur itself doesnt have much to be seen.. its what it is surrounded by thats more interesting.. we saw a lot of coffee plantations and pepper creepers around tall trees on the way to our stay. What is the one thing we always did in chikmagalur is…eat every meal at 'town canteen' near mg road there. This is a small restaurant famous for masala dosa, coffee and gulab jamoon! and it certainly did live up to the hype created about it by a friend of dad's..

dad playing a game of gulli danda with the local kids at hiremagalur  during a pit stop

The next day we left early to hit the peak of Mullayanagiri, the highest peak in the state, before it would get too hot.
The view from atop was a breaktaking 3D view of hills and snaking roads and lush greenery! The temple perched on the peak was just as pristine as a temple should be, there were hardly any people, pin drop silence and the floor was sparkling clean. The yard was washed with cow dung and a rangoli layed out. So we sat inside the temple in the shade for quite a while before starting our descent.

the view from Mullayanagiri hills

the temple at the peak

On the way to Kemmanagundi from here, we made a stop at an unknown waterfall. The sign board did not suggest the name of this one. There was just a guy selling pineapple slices and he told us the name of this waterfall was Daddabe…  From the road the falls was not visible. We had immense fun at this one, taking short routes on difficult paths, to avoid the longer route downhill. There were many other people as well, so we joined in :)
Half way down, we heard the gushing water as it made its way between the leaves and rocks to hit the ground.
Most waterfalls are disappointing as some are man made, some have so much access that it gets very crowded to even hear the sound of water! But this one was quite unlike any other I had seen, hidden away, not easily reachable, was quite high and was in the midst of a lush green jungle. The water was pure and cold, the jungle forming a canopy around the valley, the water hitting the rocks and forming a beautiful pond on the ground. Would make for a perfect romantic day. I think on a weekday, the crowd wouldnt be there, so one can make a drive down from chikmagalur and spend about half a day here.. it was beautiful.

the walk down to reach daddabe

the waterfall at daddabe

The rest of the evening, we spent at Kemmanagundi, viewing the perfect sunset ever and exploring somewhere on our own to spot another water fall, by when mom was calling out to us as it was getting dark.

lush green hills and valleys of kemamnagundi

The next morning, we started back to Bangalore, but making many stops on the way, being silly, watching birds, clicking pictures and running in the middle of the woods. I donno if it was the scent of pure nature or the lack of thick, black smoky city air that made the drive so amazing. This trip has definitely been my closest tryst with nature. Loved each moment, every bird, every leaf and every particle of sand that I met with. As at the end of any trip, I did not want to leave. I hope the place remains as untouched.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Where do I pee!

That summer a couple of years ago we were making a trip to goa.
Just like the others, I too was beaming with exuberance at the thought of playing in the waters, lazing by the beach, a cocktail in hand and gorging on sea food.

The beaches were just a night journey away and with the road from Bangalore to Goa being pretty good, I would doze the night away on the bus.
A few hours into the journey, we had a pit stop mainly for people to stretch their legs and answer nature's call.
We got down from the bus and looked around, there seemed to be no toilet even with the torches held out! Some guys went into the dark behind bushes and the girls just came back into the bus and asked the driver to stop somewhere else on the way.

There was this particular guy in the bus who wanted the AC running at a low temperature just because he had paid for a bus with AC. Bugger! That too he was wearing a lungi!! wonder how his legs dint feel the shiver!

Anyway we got moving and people were woken up again by the screeching halt of our bus. By now I really wanted to pee and had not slept for a while waiting for this stop. So was timely.
Now, there was indeed a toilet, and a tea stall nearby.

By now all the girls wanted to pee and got down at this chance. Each girl who went in came back with an ugly face and I knew not to expect a decent toilet. But the moment I went in, I was appalled.. first of all there was no light inside. There could be cockroaches and other rodents looming there. I was scared to step in, but desperate times! Went in with the torch. There was no latch on the door and needless to say it was an Indian style toilet. No thats not the problem.
The toilet was half broken and there was excrement from god knows when! It makes me pukish thinking about it. But again.. desperate times.. After finishing the chore I discovered no running water in the broken tap and no stored water in an old falling apart bucket. I would dare not touch that even. Well…I came out with a wrinkled face too.

The ghastly experience was definitely a mood dampener for the start of the trip. A saying goes something like.. its about the journey, not the destination...but I guess this is not the kind of journey they had in mind with the saying!
I just came back to the bus determined not to ever travel by bus again. Luckily we had a train booking on the journey back.
Its sad that in a country which could do big on tourism, basic amenities are not considered.

Had a lovely trip nonetheless but just had to pen this down.