I am heading back to bangalore after a year in Kanpur. Though, I spend most of the year in Kanpur and have a job I love, Kanpur is still not a place I consider home.  That, I guess will always have to be Bangalore. The place I grew up in, made friends, developed interests will always have a  very very special place in my heart. Sure, Bangalore has changed beyond description and comprehension, but there is still something about that place which tugs at my heart and leaves me feeling sad when I have to leave and return.

In contrast each time I get back here after a long holiday,  I get a sinking feeling as the train inches  into the station at Kanpur and wish I were miles away in Bangalore. But, the city notwithstanding, IIT is a rather nice place to live in. One gets to see some nature in the campus which isn’t really visible in the city- atleast the parts I visit or am compelled to visit.

The Bangalore I grew up in was lovely, laid back and life there was slow.  We would go for walks on sundays from our home in Ulsoor to M.G.Road and it felt good to be walking there with the cool breeze and fresh air. The walk to school was also pleasant and unhurried and each time I visit Cambridge Road, I can hardly believe that this was the road I had taken almost everyday for 10 years. It was quiet and had mainly school students on its roads.  I can still recall the smell of the jasmine flowers from the plants that grew in the houses on the way to school. It is replaced by the terribly synthetic smell of petrol these days. The parks and gardens have given way to concrete buildings and the simplicity has been replaced by an opulence which is at once vulgar and repulsive. I wish I could turn the time back and go back to a period where simplicity was a principal component of life.

But inspite of everything, Bangalore is still the place of the people I love- my family and my friends. It is also the place where I learned to dream and realise them..


Walks in the forest

My trip to Pauri last week was really lovely. Spending a week in a himalayan setting was a dream come true for a city person like me. Though, it was hot (not by kanpur standards) during the day, it was lovely. The cool mountain air was refreshing. We went for quite a few walks in the forests adjoining the campus where we were staying. The forests were full of pine and himalayan oak trees. Sadly, there was not a single old pine or oak tree on the campus. This, of course, is a disturbing trend of our times, wherein we replace the trees by ugly buildings.

While walking through the forest, at first one is very careful of one’s step. The only sounds in the forests close to the campus were those of the swaying of the trees in the wind. it was at once eerie and at once comforting. This made me realise the power of silence. There were no cluttering thoughts in my head and there was such peace and such joy to be in sync with mother nature.

On one occassion we walked across the forest to the neighbouring village. There we had tea at the local tea shops- the “pahadis” drink terrible tea – it is frightfully sweet and feels like sugar syrup and so we had to constantly tell them to reduce the sugar. They are very warm people and also very helpful. During our entire stay there, our rooms were never locked and we didn’t lose a thing. Again, another strange experience.

The art of water conservation and usage of the pahadis is rather interesting. In these parts the roots of the oak trees hold the water and in a number of places the water spurts out as springs. The locals then attach a small pipe to the opening and connect it to there house. Rocks are placed along the way to act as filters and the water that comes at home is crystal clear and tastes sweet also. Now, with increased deforestation, the water sources are depleting. The pauri district is one of the driest in the region.

My New Blog

It feels great to be writing again. It has been quite a while since I have written anything apart from some emails and more often than not these are just staid pieces where you share information. Actually writing with gay abandon and with little desire apart from just putting all the flitting thoughts onto the paper gives me a sense of freedom that I haven’t encountered in a while. I hope, this time round I will have more  perseverence and continue writing!!!!