Life's Like That

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Photoblog 2

The road from our resort to Madikeer. A total of 5 kms. We walked all the way. Lovely walk. Then we walked within Madikere. Then we walked back. Lovely!!

On our way back..this dog adopted us. He followed us all way back to the resort..all 5 kms of it. And everytime we stopped hoping he would run ahead and lose us, he stopped too...and waited impatiently till we started walking again. Is this normal dog behavior??

The boy at Madikere Fort. I have discovered on this trip that he is rather obssessed with having pictures of himself taken. I have taken 3-4 pictures of him at every place we visited. Even inside that Monastery on the scorching hot flagstones (we had to remove footwear within the premises) to a large bell that too. No consideration for my poor burning feet!! Tchah!

The Fort was nice. And then we thought we would explore a bit more and ended up here...District Prison Madikere. The policemen didnt seem too amused to see us.

Picture is kind of dark, but it is of a god figure and a demon figure in a very compromising position behind the Madikere jail. makes you

Litter!! Strewing both sides of the mountain trail that leads down to Abbey Falls. I just cannot understand the mentality of someone who can litter a forest so beautiful like this. I can also not understand how anyone can manage to drink beer and Frooti and eat chips on that is steep and winding at the same time and most exhausting!!!

Bang in the middle of Madikere market I see this. Convinces me further that if Mount Everest is ever opened to tourists and if I ever make it to the top, I would hear at least one strident voice calling out "Ore Montu monkey tupi ta pore ne re..boddo thaanda ekhaane." (Montu wear the monkey cap its very cold here).There is no way, that the Bangali tourist will not visit someplace worth visiting. And by God! They were all over Coorg. In various shapes and sizes and degrees of sophistication.

Coorg is also known for its rich culinary traditions. Something that we made full use of. Unfortunately our tummies were not designed to handle the non stop ingestion of food no matter how yummy. We spent our last night in Coorg running to and from the loo. And hissing at each other through closed loo doors "How long are you taking!!? Come ouuuuttt!! I have to GO!!!!" But I must say, something about a shared tummy upset just brings you closer. Tell me,how can you have agonised discussions about potty problems and impending 8 hour bus ride and stomach cramps with someone all night long and not feel cloooooosseee to them? The boy and I know more about each other after this trip than we did in the last 3 years.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Photoblog 1

Happy Diwali everyone ...I know Im a little late with the wishes but I hope all of you had a great festival. Me..I HATE Diwali. Have you ever seen dogs which whimper pitifully at the sound and light created by fireworks and hide under the bed? Well, lets just say I can totally empathise with the poor things. I would much rather tuck my tail between my legs, whimper and hide under the bed myself than go out and light fireworks or go out where fireworks are being lit by others.

So therefore, I went away this weekend..on holiday. To Coorg. The original plan was to go to Munnar but we didnt get bus or train tickets so we had to fall back on the old reliable..Coorg. This time we went sightseeing to places we havent been to before. Like Dubbare elephant training camp and the Golden Temple Budhdhist Monastrey (There is a huge Tibetan settlement in Kushalnagar) and Cauvery Nisarga Dhama. Much fun was had. See for yourself.

Note: These are the nice touristy pictures we took. Will post the other less touristy ones later.

Abbey falls. The last time we visited this place was in summer when there was hardly any water. This time the river was in full spate and the waterfall was ..well to echo those annoying children on the bus...AWESOME!!!

Cauvery Nisarga Dhama. It a 60 acres natural island in the middle of the River Cauvery. Isnt the river idyllic? The island has a a huge bamboo forest and a small zoo of sorts. They have deer and rabbits. And big signs everywhere saying Do NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. And insensitive tourists who insist on feeding the adorable bunnies chips!! Some people na! I tried telling them not to, only to be glared at and abused in Kannada.

Inside the Golden Temple Monastery in Kushalnagar..each of those statues is plated with solid gold. Just imagine!!

Coracle boat. Most unstable looking dont you think? Apparantly there are crocodiles in the river at that point. A fact which I was informed of once I was in that thing in the middle of the river.

Dubbare Elephant Training Camp. Isnt the baby cuuuuuuttttee? I tried petting him but I dont think his mother liked me much. She trumpeted loudly resulting in me running for my life. Insensitive assholes marred part of this experience.One man was actually trying to pull strands of hair out of the poor baby's tail when the mother wasnt around. And the giggly females accompanying him seemed to think it was an act of immense courage! Such people deserve to be trampled to death I think. I gave him a piece of my mind,and this time I was thankfully backed up by some other people as well. How can people be such assholes!!!?

View from our balcony.

Our cottage. It was very pretty and everything, but being situated in the middle of all this wilderness left it rather open to creepy crawly things. Such as caterpillars and centipedes and huge geckos...shudders.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Arty farty

Is it just me or do other people reading this also find Modern Art incomprehensible? And boring? And pretentious? Do any of you share my sentiments when I turn away from a work of art and mumble " if that is art then even I can do it!!" No seriously. What is Modern Art anyways? A whole lot of paint splashed around on a canvas and given some high funda name! Tchah!

Obviously my sentiments are not shared by the vast majority of the country, otherwise Modern Art would not be selling for such high prices. Take for example this French Modern Artist I once had the misfortune of befriending. He insisted on showing me his latest creation. I do wish he hadn't. I was told later that it was meant to represent youth and violence...or some such vague notion. But what I saw was a white canvas with a large blob of dried gobor..cowdung...stuck on it. A little bit of silver foil was stuck to the middle of the blob. And, you know those things we did as kids with a bottle of poster colour, a toothbrush and a comb...that spray painting thingy....yeah looked like he had had a fun spraypainting session all over the silverfoiled cowdung blob. I thought it was a very bad representation of a cow run over by a truck. Needless to say he was most offended and our friendship ended on a rather bitter note, which wasn't a bad thing after all. Imagine having to confront other shitty messes and attempting to interpret them!

I have had terribly harrowing times with artists. I was almost murdered by one half mad, tiny Bengali Fine Arts teacher in Hyderabad because I said I felt most of MF Hussein's paintings were handpainted overpriced contributions to the Indian pornography industry. And I do not understand the necessity of depicting nude gods and goddesses. Its like the only thing the man wants is cheap publicity one way or another. She fell off her gardener's cycle with indignation and then treated me to a long torturous lecture on the subject of Art and artistic freedom and my shameful ignorance of the same.

Oh and then there was that awful art festival in Bangalore that I was doing PR for. Oh my goodness. Wild haired, wild eyed, bearded, paint smeared, vague, scatty famous artists descended upon Bangalore and me for one full week. Why do these people almost always ask you what you think of their work? Why do they need constant reassurance? So insecure.This very famous and very scatty mural artist from Delhi stopped in the middle of an interview waved vaguely at the wall she was working on and asked me with a beatific smile "But my dear do you think the Roerechian theme is a very strong element in this mural?" Can you imagine!!!? I knew who Roerich was, since Bangalore was celebrating his birth...or was it death... centenary, but what the hell was a Roerechian theme? I wouldnt recognize a Roerechian theme if it danced naked in front of me. Ufff!!Thankfully my experience with the French artist had left me a little wiser so I returned the beatific smile and looked mesmerised and murmered words like..."Ma'm..its brilliant. Words fail me really. Stunning. the colors....!!!!!" Believe me when I say those words and other similar ones helped immensely during the festival. Whenever an arty looking artist asked me what I thought of his/ her work I would look like I was going into raptures over the damn thing and murmur "beautiful" "stunning" and on one occassion even "stupendous" and "mind blowing".

And speaking of artists, why must they be so scatty? Would wearing normal clothes and trimming ones facial hair and not talking harebrained rubbish all the time make one any less talented or creative?Oshojho!

Its not just artists, its playwrights and poets and actors and musicians...its anyone with any semblance of creativity. Why can't they just be normal? And why oh WHY must they always ask for feedback to their works of art? More often than not I dont understand high brow stuff. I get bored. Or giggly. Or both. I have watched award wining animated films and documentaries and the only thing I have taken away from the screening was either a overwhelming desire to laugh my head off ( It was about elephants in captivity and showed a large elephant swaying its trunk accompanied by a mournful female voiceover saying ridiculous things like "I too was once free...I too have a girl waiting for me in the jungle.." The idea of a lesbian elephant was quite funny) or complete total bewilderment (this was a 5 minute animated film which claimed to depict violence in the act of love consisted of a number of animated intertwining lines, interspersed with occassional red blotches and a startling voice saying "PUM PUM" from time to time. That incidentally was the name of the film and was by Alyque Padamsee's niece).

Point is, I do not understand Art, or poetry. I do not appreciate high brow theatre or books. They bore me to tears. Does that make me uncultured? I dont care really. I am scared to death of artists/ poets (No Arka no Im not scared of you at all, though you are indeed wild haired and wild eyed and you keep asking me for feedback on your poetry that I do not understand..Im NOT SCARED OF YOU!! So there!!) and never want to encounter any more in this lifetime.

PS: Im done ranting. I have had the singular misfortune of running into an old artistic fake ridiculous, posturing, irritating acquaintance of my parents. And been forced to endure a lecture on creative self expression. Of all the pseudo aantel rubbish people!!!!!! Gah!!!