BANGALORE THE CITY OF ACTION :
On 4th December after a soul searching long term planning I and my wife started for South India Trip to Bangalore officially renamed now as Bangaluru..
Located in the south plateau Bangalore is the city of action , the ‘silicon valley of India’ fastest Information Technology growing city of India and possibly the IT hub of the world too. It attracts expats from world over to understand the IT Software development of advanced research and integration.
With 40 percent of India’s IT industry located in Bangalore ,the IT and related services account for the state of Karnataka’s 55 percent gross domestic product .
The world looks to “Bangaluru” as the starting point of software technological advancement center.
With a population of 12,3 million ,among world’s top 10 fastest cities, Bangalore averages 8.5 percent economic growth.
With a wide range of heavy and light medium industries, Bangalore is leader in India’s biotechnology industry as well. A host to leading research and development (R&D) facilities such as the Indian Institute of Sciences, the National Center for Biological Sciences, the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research and the University of Agricultural Science , Bangalore has excelled in almost all important sectors .
We headed for Electronic city to live for sometime with my elder daughter Bhavna Kaul whom we fondly call Chikli , works as an Independent Architech , Design Engineer with a reputed organization.
It is pleasure to be in company of grand children , Tushu and Jitini. This time I and my wife Sharikaji had decided to spend more time with grand children both at Bangalore as well as at Chennia with Annanya (Zoonie pet name) and little Vedika. My younger daughter Deepali lives in Chennai .She is an IT engineer.
Tushu is twelve years lanky boy like his father, Shyam who is Six and two feet tall ,an Architect by profession and Jitini six years growing glowing girl resembling her mother.
She is cute and affectionate but throwing tantrums at every gullible talk to be focus of attention all the time.
Tushu on the other hand a bit reserved one , mostly glued to his I-pad and thus butt of controversy. But gifted with many talents ,dancing , and an upcoming sports guy.
My daughter laments in typical Kashmiri ” yeh chun keheen paraan. sarisey waqt I-pad seeth aasan.”
Which means “ he does not read at all. Every time busy with his I-pad”.
“ The exam is in last week of February and he will go to 9th class. Very difficult course ahead. I am worried for him.” she concluded.
My wife ,in her typical Kashmiri butts in ” kahney shune paravay Tushu chu bade samajdar bey te hassen mainz . ”
meaning literally “ Tushu is very intelligent and alert ,no need to worry.”
I listen to the mother daughter conversation intently without any intervention whatsoever. ‘Silence’ is the golden rule to be perceived and pursued at such crucial junctures.
Shyam , my son in law , with long shapely legs in proportion to his trunk , wears a beard and moustache not to conceal scars or erosions but purely for decoration and in lieu with modern fashion among the youngsters and middle aged persons.
I personally do not like wearing beards giving one an unkempt and lazy look. Hello be ware; That is my contention only not necessarily everybody’s.
Off To Kochi.
We decided to go to Kochi and make a drive to the state of Kerala, ‘God’s own state’ as it is popularly called looking to its scenic beauty of green hills and irresistible beaches with pompous House boats on ferry to nearby islands.
Shyam being the native ,was elated at the idea and happily seconded the proposal.
On afternoon of Ist January 2020 we zipped through the traffic clogged roads of Bangalore blaring the horn occasionally to chase off the nasty irritant car drivers not one or two but several of them. Luckily we did not get into any road rage brawl with some cranky character.
The trip to Kochi was eleven to twelve hours drive and we decided not to travel in one go . The night halt at Salem and after having mouthful breakfast we would proceed ahead on to our destination reaching thereby by 2pm afternoon.
Shyam was driving faster than I would like him to do .
“ See the clouds gathering overhead, may rain at any moment we could get stranded somewhere unnecessarily” he said ,justifying his speedily driving on.
We were near the Hasur Town , 21kms from Electronic city Bangalore , and we crossed over from Karnataka to the state of Tamil Nadu.
Hasur is an important town of Tamil Nadu and gateway to Bangalore . Being important industrial town , almost 2,300 small and medium industries are located here. It is home to Rose flowers as well , large quantities of quality roses are grown and exported from here to the world over.
I got practically lost in the milieu of traffic, cars, motorbikes, roaring trucks plying past us as the roads narrowed .
The highway almost gorged with moving population as the Ice cream Parlours ,curiosity shops, antique shops mushroomed alongside the roads protruding and bulging over the pavements ,thus leaving the people to jostle around and fend for themselves.
Finally Shyam did drive down the difficult track and we ushered on to the National Highway to Kochi via Salem.
Driving down the late despairing afternoon we stopped at a nearby restaurant for some refreshing tea snacks etc.
Tushu and Jitni gulped down the much liked noodles and the rest of us just satisfying with cups of tea and ‘Dosa’ —pancake made of rice flour.
Salem district is famous for its known Hill station town Yercaud.
Yercaud is nestled in range of Shevaroy hills in the eastern Ghats, with abundance of orange groves ,coffee, spice plantations . The emerald woods of Yercaud are dense and very attractive to bask around.
With its blue water lake , having a few boat houses presents a beautiful sight to look at. Anna Park close by is full of plants and Japanese garden with Bonsai.
A couple of nights in the resorts amidst the dense forest is really a date in communion with nature.
A long walk among the dense trees is a veritable experience. It reminded me of R.L. Stevenson’s essay ‘ A Night Among The Pines’ written with great pleasure after experiencing the moods of Nature.
There is some magical beauty about the place which cannot be described in words ,but it stays embedded in your mind and haunts you back when you have left.
A God’s impeccably creation to behold and cherish.
The trees stood separate but strangely all part of the composite forest. The cool breeze caressing every contour and crevices in that star-straddled night.
The afternoon was advancing and we hurried back to the car to catch up with Salem Town right by 9pm so that we could start our journey next morning early to reach Kochi by noon.
we drove along the highway zigzagging through the maze of vehicles speedily but steadily not to over take .
As evening slipped into night we did find a thinning traffic ahead of our journey .The four lane highway was long stretch with trees shrubs all along the sides giving a beautiful view of the avenue.
We moved towards a small hillock and turned left to criss- cross a narrow strip before being on the highway again.
Salem Town was in sight and the lights glittering along the road ,we moved towards right into the main bazaars of the a moderately small town. The houses had weather –beaten look , but there was evidence of good population creating a good hustle and bustle in and around the town.
we halted near a hotel, possibly 3 star one with very prominent doorway to sneak in.
we checked in at close to 9.30 pm and found the rooms spacious abundantly done with exotic interiors .
“ Tushu you have to get up by 5am.” shyam said angrily.
“ Okay Papa no problem” Tushu replied softly.
“ he will sleep with us ,his Nanu and Nani” sharika said
Tushu, in return, nodded in affirmation.
Being hungry we ordered for a sumptuous dinner and soon after dozed off to deep slumber promising to get up early morning for onward journey.
As scheduled we reached Kochi at noon on 2nd January 2020. The sky was grey ,the clouds hovering across in thick clusters ,there was no indication of the sun, might be hiding somewhere behind these dark clusters.
The weather was hot much humid comparatively to Bangalore .The coastal town was inviting promising a better stay.
Mt wife started cribbing “ my God too much hot” “ come on mumma you feel the heat and I can see perspiration on your face”. Chikli , my daughter said smiling.
We drove down the city through thinlytraffic roads over a long stretch before moving into the villa apartments. shyam’s apartment was sprawling one and his parents Mr and Mrs shasi Dhar were glad to receive us.
It was very hot and we settled down in an A.C room .for a brief siesta .
Kochi ( also called as Cochin) is a city of eminence in the southwest coastal Kerala State., a major port city since 1341 catering to Chinese and European merchants for centuries together.
.With urban population of 21.1lakhs , it stands out largest most populous metropolitan city of Kerala.
The city is meticulously clean and famous for its breath taking scenic view of the state .
The city being interspersed with several beaches and islands presents a panoramic spectacle view of this fast growing vibrant city.
some of the beautiful islands are connected to the mainland through rowing boats make the city attraction for tourists all along.
The day temperature was very high 36 degree celisus, and for us to travel around the city during day was out of question.
So we took rounds of the city by late afternoons till late in night.
The water transport in the city is being explored beautifully to benefit the city dwellers and other tourists like us.
Marine drive Kochi
Bolghatty Island , Cheri Beach, Fort Kochi Beach are some of the prime tourist attractions and all accessible within short boat ride only.
The Dutch Palace was built up on Bolghatty Island later now made a hotel of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation along with a small golf course, presenting a magnificient scenic beauty of the harbor .
Cherai Beach lovely one shrouded by paddy fields and coconut trees just in the northern vicinity of VYPEEN Island.
Swimming is the most coveted activity of this grandiose beach.
Tushu was keen to swim across and I managed to get swimming suit for his much loved pastime.
Back waters of kochi
Fort Kochi Beach is the amazing spot for viewing exotic sunset in Kochi. As we approached the narrow road, a number of small stalls were serving freshly caught fishes after being cooked readily in exotic tastes to whet the one’s palate. Yes except me all Sharika Chikli Shyam had a good taste of such niceties. Here the Chinese nets are being used for catching fishes.
We meandered through Mattancherry, a cultural neighbourhood, a cluster of colonial buildings and a walk in the evening amidst the temple bells clanging was a real nauseating delightful one.
The city boasts of unique churches, palaces and temples.
St. Francis Church ,the oldest church of India .It is here Vasco da Gama is believed to be buried in.
Vasco House built on Rose Street , a great feat of Portuguese Architecture ,the house where Vasco da Gama ,who died in 1524, used to live.
Chinese Fish Net. for Catching fishes
I was eager to be in Kochi for meeting my colleague and friend Mr R.krishnan.
I and Mr. KRISHNAN worked together for a decade in Rishikesh way back in 1989 to 1999.
Krishnan Sahib as we called him affectionately was GM and I was plant Manager of Ballarpur Glass group ,which later became Owen’s Broakway India ltd. We ploughed on well all through the years gone by.
A sauve spirited gentle man ,broad –shouldered bearded Krishnan Sahib was very affectionate and considerate towards one and all.
His wife Mrs Krishnan equally affectionate , an exemplary lady of action ,being one of the driving forces in KVA school of Rishikesh those years.
While in Kochi I got in touch with Krishnan Sahib, it was decided to have dinner together on Friday the 4th Jan 2020. an evening of Rip Van Winkle re-union after nearly two decades. ‘Ooop’ my God a rare occasion.
It was a gala dinner and a great family get together an occasion of recounting the repository of past events happy or otherwise , a time to laugh and rave. I noticed both Krishnan Sahib and Mrs Krishnan was not changed in the least by appearance or mannerism. A lively affable couple as usual.
We finally shook hands, promising to keep in touch and strolled to our respective places in the nip weather.
Off to Chennai
After staying for a week in Kochi we buzzed off to our next destination ,Chennai, by early morning plane and after hiring a taxi ,we zoomed through the traffic ridden roads towards ECR road and eventually into Kapleeshwarar Nagar right in my younger daughter Deepali Kaul’s place by 9.30am.
Kapleeshwarar Nagar is one of the poshiest residential towns built along the Kapleeshwarar seas.
Kapleeshwarar seas Chenai
A town with beautiful bungalows many of these like mansions lined on the both sides of internal Criss- Coss roads. The small patches of green grass with small herbs add glory to the township all over.
As we reached Deepali’s place little cute perky Vedika greeted us with a smile raising hands upwards to be hugged.
Annanya (zoonie) the elder one rushed too to be in our tight embrace. Annanya is little shy but very upright and focussed. .
She reads extra story books like Harry potter ones with great interest and has fascination for mysterious story books.
Annanya has a pet dog Kandy,and liitle Vedika plays with Kandy fearlessly.
Kandy barks at odd times and he sleeps on the verandah on second floor but keeps a vigil all the way. A good companion
Deepali and Sathish both are IT professionals busy enough to plod on with their work to the extent to be called workaholics.
Only on week ends they find time to relax and exchange some pleasantries and for some family interactions.
The Sun is up early in this part of Country, I awakened in the morning and the world looked remade and shinning. I walked down the beach road for a stroll on the sea side. a walking distance, to watch the spectacular view of the cascading waves enthralling me immensely.
The day wears many colours as the Sun rises , from light orange to blazing noon ,and the setting Sun puts the horizon on a light fire finally transforming into a refreshing and soothing evening.
I gaze at the seas for long hours till evening slips into night. I love the rhythm of the waves sometimes roaring sometimes calming and in this silver chill I lumber on and on the soft sand beaches to relish beauty of the seas at early night.