Showing posts with label karnataka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label karnataka. Show all posts

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bagepalli – A gift indeed

The Romantic will always look at the bright side of life. Even in destruction, he will view future construction .

Last Thursday, while i was at office, I received an email from Aashaiyen Foundation asking me whether i wanted to participate in the “Gift your village” activity that Saturday. I quickly checked my schedule and saw that i had absolutely nothing planned for the weekend. Only involved in urban community development till then, this event posed as a refresher as it was located at Bagepalli, a village 88km from Bangalore. I figured out that I will be experiencing Karnataka’s raw culture and meeting a new sect of people who had a different outlook of life. So, thinking on these lines, I enrolled myself for the event and had a quick conversation over the phone with the organizer on the logistics and transportation.
The activity was planned for Saturday and I was told to arrive at Sivaji Nagar at 6AM  for helping out with the loading of the books that were to be distributed to the students in the village schools. However, I was able to make it only at 6:30AM and most of the loading was already done by the other volunteers. We had a quick round of introductions followed by which some of us went and parked our motorcycles at a nearby trustee’s house. We were all set to leave to Bagepalli by 7AM.
Morning time in Bangalore is always a visual treat ;the sky is a mild blue at that time and the dew drops that lay on the road and grass gives the landscape a contrasting hue. We savored the beauty for a short while, after which we embarked on our trip to Bagepalli via NH7. The national highway has its own share of stunning visuals and we were lucky to get some fantastic shots of Nandi hills and Skandagiri peak. We made quick time and reached the local coordinator’s house at Bagepalli by an hour and half. We got acquainted with him and came to know that he was a retired engineer who had worked abroad prior to retirement and had returned to his village after retirement to utilize his expertise and skills to develop the place. We were offered a breakfast of hot idlis and chutney, after which we drove to Penamale Higher School,which was a half-hour drive from there. As we were getting down from the Tempo-Traveler at the school, we heard cheering from a huge student crowd. I and the other volunteers saw around 250 students cheering and clapping at us – surprising as we were not expecting a welcome at all. After quick introductions with the village headman, we were directed to the makeshift dais, where we were made to sit along with the village headman and other important folk of the village. The faculty of Penamale Higher Secondary School honored us by presenting each one of us a fresh red rose picked from the garden. One of the volunteers had a Nikon SLR D3100 and we started clicking pictures of the students, the function and the rural environment. We heard several speeches made by faculties and by the headman on the importance of education and importance of outside involvement to develop the village’s standard of education. After hearing the speeches, we took over and started distributing the books to the students. We totally made a contribution of 1300 books to the Bagepalli village. After completing the distribution of books, we went for a stroll in the village. The village-folk were very hospitable and invited us to their households. After tasting few delicacies of the Karnataka-type village households and roaming through the village for a solid one-hour, we decided that it was time to leave back to Bangalore. So we bid adieu to the village children, who were following us, and returned back to the local coordinator’s house to drop him. We were about to say our goodbyes when the coordinator’s wife called us and requested us to have lunch with her and her husband. They threw us a mini-feast, in which we had a complete Karnataka-style lunch with sweets and kheer.

We bid byes to everyone there and started to Bangalore once again. The ride back was fun as we had gotten to know each other better. We played a few travel games and recounted our experiences of volunteering to each other. The trip was unforgettable to me as i not only enjoyed immersing myself in the Karnataka-style hospitality but also contributed to the rustic society. Hope to be back to the village to do further work with them..

Saturday, December 26, 2009

100% Natural

I have been in Karnataka for the past six months but it was just two weeks ago that i got the chance to explore this magnificent state. Having been in several uninteresting trips in other states of India, we had a ZERO expectation from this tour; that was the only disappointment for me in the entire tour.

“ The command that nature has over our heart is surprising, two completely contradicting forces created ; The calmness pervading in nature can be matched only by the turbulence pervading in our hearts ”

Two days of nature in December’s cold climate is a treat for everyone. My fruit of the basket would be Talacauvery and Madikeri. The beauty of the Coorg mountain was enhanced by the colorful girls who played and danced in the streams and dew-filled green meadows. The Talacavery is exceptionally beautiful in the early mornings as we get to see the revelry of the mist. In a couple of minutes, the mist brings about so many visionary changes to the landscape that it delights photographers and others equally. It covers all god’s creations with a translucent white blanket and even the most clouded of hearts obtains clarity for a couple of moments. As the mist fades from view, it regains form in our hearts allowing us to continue our mindless struggle

I shouldn’t forget the most sarcastically impressive place in the trip – Nagerhole National Park. No regrets on not being able to see many wild animals as we got to see a lot of domesticated wild animals( oxymoron is a must here). We got  to see a overly civilized kind of deer (breed i am unfamiliar with + photo added) which would eat chips and bajjis but wouldn’t accept grass or straw. There were other relatively wild deers and shy elephants that we encountered in our safari trip. They claim that there are panthers there and as i heard the standard answer as to when they saw them was 3 days ago.

Overall this trip was excellent and is a must go for everyone who has a weekend and a 1500 rupees to spare. I hope our guide is the permanent guide of this trip as he had a soothing voice and an amazing vocabulary of some language he spoke ( I think he mentioned Welcome and Ladies and Gentlemen somewhere in his loquacious speech)

Trip Details