Friday, May 05, 2006

My Recent Trip to Udupi


This post is about my short trip to Udupi, my native place where i had been to, last weekend. Me needed a break from my work (hope my manager never gets this link) and also in general needed a break from the routine life i was living. My life was taking the shape of an erroneous program in C stuck in an infinite loop. void main()
{
for( ; ; )
{
wake_up();
get_ready();
travel_to_office();
work();
travel_back_home();
eat_sleep();
}
}

Ok here you will notice that my sentences are as if i were speaking. I tried to be formal and goody-goody in my previous posts but thats not what i can relate to. I wanna write just as i get words in my mind. Let it just flow ;-) So you will notice in this post and i guess in all my posts from now on that the sentences are very casual and i might not even bother to write 'I' in caps. I'll leave it for u to assume it is that way. I might not use "I" and use "me" for describing myself.. like me went for trip. me did this or me did that... I wont be able to tell u what all changes i might make in english grammar as of now. U will see it as u read...

So getting back to my Udupi Trip... Let me start off .. ahem...i mean let me continue by telling you how my excitement was building. I decided to meet my relatives one fine day when realized that i wanted to get out of Pune for a much required break. I was to go alone to Karnataka since my folks were busy. I was not bothered. I was all excited to travel alone. I haven't done that before so twas all the more exciting or me. The journey to Udupi used to be a very long one before where it would take 22 odd hours to reach Pune. With the introduction to luxury buses, the time reduced to 18 odd hours and soon with the High tech buses the time reduced to some 14 odd hours. Today the time is 11 hours in the Volvo bus. Awesome!!! The bus is so smooth that you feel you flying. Journey is faster and better with no back ache, neck aches and leg sprains.
And all i had to do was get in the bus here, sleep as i have to take avomin. Its my savior since i have a bad motion sickness. The night passes like a second and early morning u r there. I have my maternal uncle waiting for me at the bus stop. So i dint have to do anything much other than sleeping. Ohh the movie they played in bus was Titanic. Ohhh Dint wanna watch it again so preferred sleepin !!!

So friday evening i hurry back from office after finishing all the pending work. My dear mom has packed my bag and kept them ready for me. I must tell you i went with just 2 bags. One for my clothes and one with some food, my purse etc. So its just 2 bags.. u'll realize why am stressing on the number later. I take the bus at 6.45pm Its supposed to leave at 7.00. But this is KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) bus. A Government bus, so u can guess that punctuality/time management and government buses do not go hand in hand. The bus was delayed by 1/2hr. But hey! i had no reasons to complain. After all i had to meeting to attend next day. Cmon, I was on a vacation.. i was to enjoy every moment. and more since the bus was so comfortable. Soon the avomin showed its effect so i dozed off. Saturday Morning, at around 8.00 I found my uncle waiting for me at Udupi Stop.

It was great to be with my relatives. I used to stay there for months when i was in school. It used to be our summer camp for so many years together. But as i grew up the duration of stay decreased. Hmm anyway Here i was in Udupi and all excited to meet all the relatives. Before that, lemme give u all a li'l general knowledge about Udupi. Udupi - then a small town and now a district is famous for being the abode for Lord Krishna. This place is famous for the Krishna Mutt. The kananakindi which is the window through which Kanaka das, a lower caste citizen gazed with eyes brimming with faith at the back of Lord Krishna's statue. he was not allowed in and so he worshiped Lord through this window. They say, Lord Krishna's heart melted seeing his faith and one day the statue turned to give blessings to Kanaka Das. From that day on, this window got the name Kanaka Kindi which means Kanaka Window in Kanada. Hmmm For more details you can check the links below:

http://www.ourkarnataka.com/states/udupi/udupitemple.htm
http://www.karnatakatourism.com/coastal/udupi/udupi.htm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tudorache/119135861/
http://www.dvaita.org/madhva/udupi/index.shtml

And here in this very town, my parents grew up. My Mom is from hard-core town of Udupi while my dad from a town close by, at a distance of 40Kms or so, called Koteshwar. Koteshwar however is famous for the "Kotilinga Devasthan" which means the temple where there are Crore Linga of Lord Shiva. The main temple here is the temple having a crore linga of Lord Shiva. For now lets take a U-Turn back to Udupi.
Ohh!! Udupi has changed so much. Earlier it were a small town with shops and bungalows. Today it has expanded so much. It has shopping malls, Tall buildings and many other amenities you would find in Pune. Maybe not a Shopper's Stop or Westside but ya the shops are good enough and sell good stuff. I was really surprised to see the change. One interesting thing here are the bus facilities. Pune being so big and populated has one of the worst bus services. Udupi however has a great advantage on this front. The buses there are private. And so many. One after the other you'll find buses to various locations. The drivers however are rash in order to reach their destinations early. Thats their slogan.. "to take their customers home early" but ya at the cost of their lives :-) You can find express buses that stops only at big towns while regular one stops at every 5 meters think.


Most of the journey for me when i go from Udupi to Koteshwar is really very relaxing. You will see a very traditional south india there. Small houses, Coconut tress all around, rivers flowing below the bridge you cross. Fishermen walking, ladies with the traditional flowers on their head. Well combed hair. Men in "Lungis" :-) Of course not all :-) a few... Women with Gold and ya lots of them. Temples with people over flowing. Infact whenever you see many ladies hanging out together you can guess there is some temple near by. Thats the best station where ladies "Network" there.

Koteshwar is a small town when compared to Udupi. My paternal relatives stay there. This place was the same as before. Not much change in the place nor in the peoples mentality. Let me not get to that for now.
Sometimes its a pain to put up the smile when u meet so many people whom you might not even recognize and when they ask u.. " Did u recognize me? You were so small when i saw you!" Exactly.. if it were so long that i saw u last, then how am i to recognize ???!!!??? Then some go "Do you know who i am.. am your dads aunts sisters nephews sons wife" and i am staring at them wondering why dont they just leave me alone! Phew! No wonder i was glad to get out of there...

Back at my head-quaters, Udupi, I was busy convincing my cousins to go to then beach next day. After convincing my cousins a li'l they agreed for goin to the beach. When i was small I used to go to the beach very often with my grandad. After he passed away it had come down to zero. This time i made up my mind to go to the beach. And it was such a great experience i must tell you. Clean beach absolutely. Whitish sand. You'll find so many people in the water. Every age. Kids to grown-ups to Oldies. It was awesome. The beach we went was Malpe Beach.

So i did go to Krishna Mutt as well. The latest trend there is to give a rupee to the elephant there and Thud !! you get blessings by the elephant's trunk on your head ! Oh its kinda cute. I got it three times.
One would wonder what i was in so much need of that i required so many blessings. But the scene was such everyone around it had it 2-3 times too. Surprisingly lots of people giving elephant bananas dont get the blessings. The mahut has cleverly taught the elephant to give he "thud" when one gives him money. Hmmm smart mahout i must say. I wonder how he managed it. I heard before this elephant, there was another one whom the mahout hurt by putting something in his nose in order to punish. The poor elephant too in fear and rage ran helter skelter and damaged few shops and homes around the temple. Many people were injured too. The mahout then ran for his life and never returned. For no fault of the elephant was punished and then taken away. I just hope not all elephant see this. Rest all the days were full of visiting relatives and going shopping with cousins and soon i was coming back. Though the few days i stayed was hectic, I had a great admiring the town growing to become a city soon. The scene, the warm people, the beautiful temples. It was then time to come back. My granny sent me so many things with me. Like i mentioned i went with 2 Bags but i was back with 7. Yes 5 boxes added to my list. But just as how excited i was to go to Udupi, thats how sad i was to leave it. I had a great time. Will always have fond memories as i leave to come back next in another years time.

Here are few of the snaps with my folks in Udupi. And while i was staying with my artist brother, i learnt photography from him too. So here are a few pics from my gallery :-)



1 comment:

Rahul said...

You're developing your own writing style, Shradha! Way to go! Nice job of putting down your experiences - complete with photos! Looks like you did your homework in terms of history too!

You've got your blog one regular reader at least! ;-)