October 27, 2016

I’ve been a member of the NaNoWriMo for more than three years, that’s what the website told me when I logged in by chance today. I never created a novel there coz I knew I couldn’t muster the requisite discipline to sit straight for 30 days and produce 50,000 words. I never felt the stories any problem for me, I thought I could conjure them up and I had enough material to write the words needed, but never dared to take the plunge. The reasons vary; maybe I didn’t want to dilute the story by hastening it through in a month, or I was afraid that it would end up being one of the things that was beautiful in thought and shallow in execution. Whatever might be the reason, I resister NaNoWriMo for 3 years but as it turns out, I could do it only so long.

I don’t know if I would be able to take the challenge through and finish the novel, in fact I’m about 99% certain that I wouldn’t, but I’m not getting any younger and I thought it better to let the novel out and see how it ends up, instead of dreaming up the popularity and literary merit of the imaginary unwritten one. So, I created the novel and the first thing they ask me while creating is to choose its genre, and Drama is not in the list to choose from, may be they read the same book I did where the author says all stories are Drama in their basic form. I choose Romance, though I can hardly call my idea a romantic one. It is closer to being a Romance than YA Literature or Adventure, but I’d not myself get carried away too much by its genre at this point.

The next one is the title. I always had difficulties in titling my posts on the blog, and it became even more difficult with the novel. I was afraid I could take up the entire month of November for choosing an apt title, so after thinking long and hard about the kind of people I want to write about, I decided to title it Shallow. It is an apt title, and I was about to create the novel with the title until a better one came. The protagonists in my idea (novel) are three different characters but the striking contrast that everyone can make out while reading it is their age. So, Age seemed a better title than Shallow, and I like it better. It is short, has certain gravitas to it when seen on the cover of a book, and age shows on my characters and reflects in their actions. 

With those two out of the way, I created the novel. I’m not expecting any great things to happen. I’m not even looking forward to it. I know that I can abandon it by 2nd November that is if I can sit and write on 1st November. Like all my previous efforts, abandoned midway and completed, this is another to inculcate discipline in me and just sit and write. I wish I could just do that. If I can sit and write for 30 hours in a month, I’d consider myself successful even if I don’t finish the book or the word count. 

You can find me here, though I wouldn’t know what you would (should) do afterwards.

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2016 by veturisarma


October 11, 2016

One of the depressing facts that Aravind Adiga’s Selection Day brings up is that some careers, and by an unfortunate extension even lives, are decided at the age of 14 or even less. At 14, I had no idea what life would be at 15 and the brothers Kumar (Manju and Radha) in this book know that they should be the world’s best batsman and the second best, world here translates to Mumbai Cricket, since that is the extent of their career and this book.
Many an Indian student who faced the aspirations and ambitions of the parents thrust upon him would nod his head in ironic approval with the kind of rigorous routine thrust upon the children. The setting here is Cricket, and batting in particular, where the brothers are fighting for 1 or 2 out of the 7 batting spots places the odds insurmountably high, yet Adiga finds humor in the darkest of the places in creating the grim realities of the life of youngsters who have no chance but to aspire, survive and work hard against the odds. Indeed it is surprising how hilarious Selection Day is, as I found myself laughing out loud at the kind of farcical methods of preparation and the justification behind them that Mohan Kumar, the father, sets out for his kids which also include posing with a bat in hand as a 4 year old, a la Sachin Tendulkar.
Aravind Adiga’s research is immaculate, not in the sense that he throws up numbers and anecdotes about Cricket Matches in the way most books about Cricket tend to do, but in the way a cricketer’s journey is traversed right from the familial beginnings, to the rising through the ranks under an able and determined coach, only to reach a destination that doesn’t seem as coveted to the cricketer as much it was for the men around him.
The father Mohan Kumar is an interesting character, my favorite in the book, as he admonishes his children about the vices, girls and shaving, checks on them every night, working on their techniques, temperament and anything that he feels will help making his sons the best cricketers of the world. For all his efforts, Mohan Kumar, is still hated by anyone he ever comes across, including his own kids who swear to kill him when they come of age, yet he never undersells them and steadfastly negotiates their worth, for they are the last straws he is clutching at, their careers the only thing he has in his life as a slum dwelling chutney salesman. The character is a delightfully devastating portrayal of the ultimate tragicomic.
As much as the father borders on being tyrannical, there are other players interested in the brothers, like the coach Tommy Sir, whose sole aim in life to unearth the next Tendulkar from Mumbai Cricket, and Anand Mehta, an NRI who wants to do a few good things and chooses to invest in the the great nastiness that is Cricket, and a rival cricketer Javed, the love interest of Manju the younger brother, thrown in to complete the circle of obstacles. Above them all, Manju has his own brother Radha to overcome who tries to guilt-trip him into believing that Manju has usurped his place in the team. All of these men overwhelm Manju, who does not seem to be quite adequate with dealing with them, his timid nature and his unease with his own homosexuality and the distance from his mother, make him a loner with no place to go and that shows in the kind of choices he makes in the days leading to the Selection Day.
The book starts three years before the Selection Day, and we all know it that it is going to be a doomed affair even before reading any of the events unfold, only because of our knowledge that the Kumars (all three of them) of the world don’t have a chance of surviving the ordeal and coming out in triumph. There is no mention anywhere if the brothers love playing the game, because that is never considered even an option, much like students taking up engineering or medicine, often clueless as to what they mean. In this particular similarity it resonates with a lot more teenagers around the country. In that sense this is an important book for the average Indian Parent who needs a lesson or two.
Strongly Recommended.

Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 by veturisarma

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October 6, 2016

There is a scene in One Indian Girl where Radhika Mehta, the protagonist asks her husband-to-be if he knew what Feminism meant, and when the guy Uh-huh’s, she proceeds to tell him the definition of feminism, which may as well be from Wikipedia or Dictionary.com. It is one of the unintentionally hilarious scenes in a book which provides genuine laughs otherwise; still it is an important scene, one that tells the readers to not take its feminism too seriously, coz it is difficult to take the characters seriously when they rote feminism as if it is Newton’s First Law or something. I don’t think anyone would ever get the answer that Radhika gives in this book, when asked what Feminism is. Alright, that’s more about feminism than even the book could offer in its 272 pages, so we should skip it like the good readers we are and dive head long into this.
Chetan Bhagat may have been blowing hot and cold off late, but in One Indian Girl, he is in fine form and the book is really a breezy read if one can set their prejudices apart. The travails, relationships, frustrations and confusions of Radhika are laced with trademark Bhagat humor, with the character’s inner voice proving to be an able companion, especially when the conversations fizzle out between the leads. I finished the book in a couple of sittings, never bored, grinning to myself as I flipped the pages, and heaving an all-knowing sigh of relief with the girl’s choice in the end.
None of this is to say that we haven’t read or seen the story earlier, or this is an original or different creation, one that made Bhagat do all sorts of weird things like waxing himself to understand a girl’s POV. Sure, we get to know that girls like (fish for) compliments a lot, they tend to lean emotionally on men far more than what they would like, and if they are Punjabi, they want a lavish wedding even if they hate every relative that drinks or dances to celebrate the occasion. These are the things we already have a certain idea about, so Bhagat doesn’t add much or any finer nuances that the book could have benefitted from having a female POV.
Radhika Mehta, the book’s lead girl is a weird character in that she does not have any girlfriends to confide in and her family look curiously disinterested in everything about her except her marriage. All we know about her is through the choice of men she likes to spend time with, so it is difficult for her to be a fully rounded character that the readers can constantly root for. Still, Bhagat infuses charm into her, by giving her a pithy sense of humor and a job that doesn’t allow her to wallow much and move on constantly.
Chetan Bhagat has been spending some time with screenwriters too and it shows in his writing. One Indian Girl moves confident and unhurried through its narrative and rarely meanders (except the feminism one we noted earlier, and a marijuana scene in Goa). When writing about Indians and Weddings, the stereotypes are hard to avoid and Bhagat never challenges or advocates them fully. He pokes gently at them, but lets them be in their own place. This is not a book that overreaches with its ambition. It is a little Rom-Com at its heart, may be aimed at Bollywood, and can even be a winner if it lands in the right hands.
If only it didn't not have to wear and bear the cross of feminism, One Indian Girl is a quick read that has its moments.

Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2016 by veturisarma

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October 2, 2016

This year I’ve been reading crime and mystery from Japanese writers and after savoring the brilliance of Keigo Higashino, I decided to buy Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama, after reading some glowing reviews it had on Amazon. I was expecting an easy read with a twisty plot, but boy was I wrong.

There are some books that you absolutely love, some that will bore you to death, and some you can’t stop thinking about but only a few books have the ability to overwhelm you and Six Four is definitely one of those. I can’t remember having read anything quite like this. At 656 pages, this is probably the longest book I’ve read in the last 5 years and it wasn’t done quickly as well, but ultimately it turned out to be a rewarding experience. It is like reading the full screenplay of a 20 episode Television Series

This isn’t the kind of detective novel that goes through its plot at a breakneck pace maneuvering through its red herrings with purpose. Instead Yokoyama serves up a vastly detailed police procedural that concentrates majorly on the relationship the Japanese Police have with their Press.

When the Commissioner of Police decides to visit a 14 year old botched up kidnapping case to offer solidarity and support to the victim, the local Media Relations Office had to get the Press to cover the visit. The Press meanwhile were grappling with another issue altogether over anonymous reporting and a major chunk of the novel builds up the tensions raising between the three departments Media Relations, Administrative Affairs and Criminal Investigations, while the Press Club that constitutes representatives from leading Newspapers in Japan, decides to abandon coverage of the commissioner’s visit in order to make the Police kowtow to their demands,

It’s all heady stuff with a lot of key players involved and each one playing their own angle to get their own version of the result. The narrative is further complicated by the similar sounding names that make it a bit difficult through the first 100 pages to make out who are who. There are about 6-7 different people with names starting with M, 5 with A and another 5 with K, so it can get a tad confusing.

To make sense of this level of detailing into the day in the life of the key players, the readers need a hand to hold on to and a sort of pedestal upon which they can look at things and decide where they stand. This is where Yokoyama scores high by giving us a protagonist in Press Director Mikami, who is vulnerable, angry, empathetic and righteous in equal measures so as to create a rounded, ultimately tragic character that the readers would like to travel with. Mikami learns everything as he goes on about his job, even as he goes through the personal tragedy of his daughter missing and his wife going into a shell. He does everything in his capacity to stop the press from holding the Police to ransom, including getting into a physical fight with them, yet when leading his team he gets protective while still being confident of his abilities to deal with the situation.

The moral implications of anonymous reporting, the rights of the media to publish the names of victims of rape or kidnap, the differences in the three offices and their score and jurisdiction, are all the issues that are gently touched upon, but at it’s heart this book is still about the trauma of the father whose child has been killed by a kidnapper and his quest to find out the kidnapper even when the entire Police department of Japan were unable to do so for fourteen years.

I didn’t see the twist coming at the end of the book, but this isn’t about it at all since there are still some lose ends and subplots awaiting closure at the end of the book.  In Mikami, Yokoyama has given us a memorable character, one that the readers would root for and one they want to see through the ordeal and how he faces it, and he doesn’t disappoint.

A quick note on, and a definite nod, to the translation as well. Jonathan Lloyd Davies, credited as the translator does a fine job of the material presented to him. One can imagine the task ahead of him when he started to go about it. It could be challenging, overwhelming and a tad frightening too, but the language was easy to read, the differences in characters and their thought processes clearly distinguished, never confounding the readers. Damn good stuff Sir.

I’d recommend Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama to anyone who has the patience to give into an ambitious and richly detailed work on the Japanese Police Procedurals. Just don’t expect a Higashino.


Posted on Sunday, October 02, 2016 by veturisarma

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July 13, 2016

Indian crime fiction scene is a mess littered with works, which at their best can be generic and predictable and at worst lazily written and poorly edited “thrillers”, written with the broadest of the strokes. I don’t think I ever read an ingenious crime fiction written by an Indian set in our milieu, our best crime stories come from Bollywood, or the news channels. Bhaskar Chattopadhyay’s Patang has a glowing review from Sriram Raghavan, the best genre filmmaker we have, and it is definitely a cut above the rest, Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island if you will, but ironically suffers both from predictability and improbability.  

A serial killer strikes Mumbai in the monsoon season, writing to the media and the Police that he would be killing 4 people. A massive manhunt ensues, the modus operandi of the killer is explored, and he was even given a nickname by the media based on a theme he kills with and a clue he leaves at the scene of the crime. The Patang Killer, since he kills people at dizzying heights. Not particularly ingenious, I told you.  

Mumbai Commissioner seeks help from Private Eye Chandrakant Rathod and I’m not sure what he is. He seems like a journalist turned private detective, but he seems to know who’s who of the entire Police Department, most of them fan-boys of his work and willing to put their jobs on stake for Rathod. Everyone calls him a genius and he in turn calls the killer a genius. We know each of them is a genius because the writer keeps telling us in every chapter, lest we forget that we are dealing with a couple of geniuses here. He nabs the connection between the murders, as is any detective’s wont, but the story isn’t strong enough and there are no red herrings, making it all easy for the genius detective. 

There are some stray references to Mumbai monsoon, but the detailing is not as meticulous to consider the book to be atmospheric. The book scores some brownies in the way Bhaskar explores Chandrakant Rathod’s psyche and towards the end of the book, Rathod, seems to be overwhelmed and defeated by the task in hand and shows ominous signs of spiraling out of control. These parts were dealt well and the reader can sense Rathod’s desperation in solving the puzzle, but the ending spoils them all. Still as a character study, Rathod’s journey towards the end seems complete and the book redeems itself to become slightly better than the sum of its parts, in retrospect.

Bhaskar infuses the narrative with a sense of urgency and the pages fly through at a breakneck pace. It is difficult to put it away for a long time, which is an achievement in itself, and the writing shows up a lot of efforts that went in towards the later part of the book. As a genre piece, it checks all the boxes, right up to the twist ending, but all of it is a tad underwhelming for the genre fans. As I said earlier, it is better than a lot of Indian crime fiction we routinely find on book shelves across the country, but that is not saying much about the book. 

PS: I decided to read only crime and noir fiction this year, so please suggest any great works by Indians or setup in India, in the comments that you have come across.

Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 by veturisarma


June 18, 2016

The old man was at his usual place when I entered the bar, his back facing towards me, drinking leisurely without looking around. I never saw him leave the bar and he was always there when I came in, sitting all by himself at the far end of the bar. I wonder if he ever left that place. He never seemed unnecessarily chatty with the waiters and never for once got drunk. He was always the same man sitting there and drinking as if he was saying “It’s Ok. I’m here and I’m drinking. What can be wrong?” to the world.

Once I saw him stand up and walk towards the men’s room and that was when I guessed he was a really old man, must be in his seventies or more. I don’t know a thing about being seventy, or how men walked when they became that old but the man walked slower than my grandfather when he was seventy. So, I guessed he was around that age and he walked to the men’s room as if it was an effort, an unwanted chore that he had to get through. He walked the same way back to his place as he went in and resumed his drinking. Sometimes I get too drunk to observe him, or I got to run some errand or something, and that meant I always left before he did.   

He was not a hard drinker, that old man. I timed his drinks and he could not guzzle more than one an hour and he always appeared as sober or as drunk as the last one left him. Probably he loved sitting there but I could not find a single redeeming feature in the little bar for it to become an object of such genuine affection. I mean it is a good place, cheap and moderately clean with friendly waiters who never rushed you away towards the end of the night, and the owner always had a word or two with everyone, but for a man to devote so much of his life to its confines was a stretch even to imagine.

On my good days, I felt content looking at him from a distance; he appeared to me like a monk, peaceful and alone, at ease with himself and the world around him. I felt relieved when I saw him there and he had a kind of soothing effect on me. On my bad days however, I begrudged him, I wanted to hold him by his shirt, lift him and shake him off his chair, bring him into the reality away from his meditative stupor. I wanted to take it all on him, show him what it feels like to be alive and ask him if he ever felt it. I thought it was unreasonable and illegal for a person to be so detached from everything that’s happening around. I wanted to show him a newspaper and ask him what he thought of that. I didn’t do any of those, for most of the feelings pass but the old man stayed there, a poster of absolute defiance and unshakeable resolve.

Sometimes I wanted to know him, ask him about his childhood, how he was as a kid, when he had his first drink, the women in his life, his interests, hobbies, his anger, his strengths, his weaknesses, what made him, what broke him and what drove him to this state. Everything. I wanted to know the person inside out so that I can get rid of him, throw him out of my system after leeching his very life out of his mouth. I wanted to tell him that he can’t play enigma for long and that I was calling time on his mysticism, or façade, or musing orwhatever he called the little game he was up to. Maybe he knew all that and he had no intention of letting me, or anyone do that to him. On more than one occasion, I thought of asking the people in the bar about him, but I was quick to dismiss that idea. It seemed unethical and plain wrong to invade on his privacy from behind. If I was too gutless to face him and talk to him, the least I could do was not to resort to shortcuts. It was my cross to bear and I'm glad that I didn't work on the idea.

Lest anyone get any ideas about my psyche, let me clarify that the old man was never an obsession to me, at least that was what I wanted to believe. I was curious just as anyone but, I had my life away from the bar and I doubt it if he did and wondered what it must be like. He always dressed either in black or white, never crumpled, so he did seem to take some care in how he presented himself, though I can't picture him to be fretting about those sorts of things.  I thought about the money. There had to be some way he was able afford his drinking. At 70, he must be earning a pension, and if he did, he must have worked, and must have had a place to crash after the bar closes. I decided to tag along that day, for I had nothing better to do with my Friday evening. I was not invited anywhere and had the entire weekend for myself, so the seed was planted.

As a person, I'm not the most instinctive or proactive and I arrived at the decision to follow him after subjecting the idea to a painfully long thought process, but the idea itself was the easiest to arrive at, at least in hindsight. A ton of what-ifs were running through my mind even as I debated if I had it in me to go through with it. I chose to drank my senses out of working overtime.

An hour passed after I made the decision and I downed a liter of rum by that time. I stood up to see if I can walk behind him and follow him to his place. I could not focus, the surroundings appeared too hazy and I needed to urinate. The waiter who was serving me, came up to me and asked if I wanted anything else, as they were about to call it a day. I looked at the old man's glass. It was near empty and he sat there looking at a wall that was painted tasteless, too bland to hold anyone's interest for more than a second. I started walking.

My steps were decidedly haphazard as I made my way towards the bathroom, a mild excitement running through my veins for I was going to see his face for the first time in all these days. I didn't want to rush the moment, so I walked slower than normal, careful not to let the man sense something behind, also afraid not to disturb his ritual. I was about 10 feet away from him, his back facing me, his head a bit stooped on to the table, probably in fatigue, or drunk. "Please don't drop dead on me, you old man" I prayed as I took the next ten steps eagerly.

I went past him.

I didn't know if I felt ashamed to look at him, standing up and turning back to look at him, but I knew that I couldn't get a better chance to see his face. I was probably afraid of what I might find in his eyes. I felt my legs disappear under my abdomen, I guessed I was falling down. It was probably the alcohol, or the shame of standing up. I stumbled on my feet and grabbed a chair, exactly opposite to where he was sitting, still looking in the opposite direction. When it became too much for me to hold the posture, and when I felt too weak to take a step further I collapsed on to the chair. It was convenient, not exactly calculated, but there I was facing him, looking into his eyes, rid of all inhibitions.

A sense of achievement seemed to crawl into me when he started talking. It was like he was expecting me and he prepared the speech in advance. His tone seemed condescending, that I wasted so much time. It was a stream of consciousness, yet every word embedded with so much meaning and thought behind it. He said.

"Son, I know you were looking at me. I know that you want a story. I know you must have imagined one. Let me tell you, that whatever you imagined is way better and truer than what I have to tell you. Frankly I have nothing to tell you. I got no story to tell you. I wish I had, but no, I don't. You might think I got a dead wife, my kids abandoned me, and I'm wallowing my time away in sorrow. Let me tell you, none of that is true. If I had a story, I wouldn't have been here. "

"When I see people like you, looking at me, my heart goes out to you. I wish I had something to tell you. I wish I could speak to you, something that you don't know, something you would like to know, something only I can tell you, but alas, oh alas. I sit here every day, wishing and willing you to come to me, so that I can tell you something. I want to talk to you, the lot of you, but what can I speak of. I don't have stories of adventure, imagination, optimism. I didn't live that kind of life. I'm an old man. I lived some days, some years, none too memorable."

"Look at me. Do you think I'm hiding something. Heck, I'm not capable of that son. I'm 72 years old. Not the best of the time or age for keeping secrets. I don't have the energy for being enigmatic and sustaining it every day. If my routine interests you, that may be because of your interest in the mundane, the dull, and the unhappening. Who would want to spend their time like that? I wouldn't. Do you?"

"You are the one that should tell me stories, son. I'm sitting here, drinking my time away, seeking stories, yet you come to me for them. You disappoint me, son, and you wasted so much time doing it. You are better than this. You are better than me. Go ahead. Tell me a story. Be a story. I'm all ears. I'm here and I will be drinking to your story. But, son, please, give me a story. That's all I ask. At this age. Go away. This is not the place for you."

"I won't, for once, say please and rob you off your wish to live the life your way. I can only point out to you one of the ways that brought us together on this dull night. How do you feel tonight? Do you want to feel the same tomorrow night? And the day after? It's easy to say yes, and you can sit there, away from me. We can drink our nights away, but never together. You want to talk to me? Know me? Bring me a story. I'm all ears. I'll be here. Let me tell you the last thing. If you got a story to tell me, you won't need me. Don't feed on the old bones, son."

I never saw him again. I wanted to be a story worthy enough to tell him.  

Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2016 by veturisarma


May 17, 2016

When it comes to vacations, like everything else I must add, planning has never worked for me. The plethora of information on flights, hotels, packages and deals have always overwhelmed me whenever I tried to book a vacation. The date always got closer so I had to let my instinct take over, and that was how my wife and I started on the ride to Hyderabad Airport on 1st of October 2015 for our 4 day long vacation to Ooty, Coorg and Mysore.
Jet Airways Web check-in
The flight to Bengaluru from Hyderabad is always a pleasant and easy ride clocking just under an hour. We reached at around 7 AM, to a nice clear weather and an eager looking man in a clean white shirt wearing a broad smile armed with a placard bearing our names. He told that it would take around 6 to 8 hours of ride to Ooty, which was just fine for both of us and we settled into our seats and caught up on some much needed sleep.

Spicejet Airlines
We had breakfast at a hotel of the driver’s choice in Mysore. He showed us the Mysore Palace from the vehicle, though I wanted to go in, he suggested that it will be better left to another day. We didn’t mind it a bit and resumed our sleep. When we woke up the wind was a bit chilly comparatively and we saw greenery all around. The car was traversing its way up on a hilly terrain and I don’t think I have ever seen such bends. The ride up the hill was quite thrilling and dangerous but the driver was obviously a skilled one and he maneuvered the terrain with skill and flair, while talking about the latest Kannada release Uppi 2. Incidentally he didn’t like the movie. I quipped that may be he didn’t get it. I certainly didn’t.

We reached Ooty around lunch time and checked into the hotel. The place was everything that I ever expected from a hill station, complete with chilly climate, unpredictable rains and a Coffee Day right below our hotel room. The places we visited were all standard issue check list stuff like the Botanical Garden, some waterfall whose name I can’t remember, an amusement park kind of place named Jurassic Park where they had imitation dinosaurs made of rubber and leather, but it was the small town ambience and the weather that we enjoyed the most. Unfortunately there was no Wi-Fi at our hotel so we had to retire early, not that I complained. In vacations the days start and end soon unlike my normal days in the cities.

The next day we woke up to more rain, but the driver was right at the entrance of the hotel so we checked out and rushed into the cab for more sightseeing around the Tea Gardens nearby Ooty. The best thing easily about the day was the raw mango slices we ate with a pinch of salt and chili powder, which were the best complements to the weather around. After lunch we told the driver to take the day off and walked along the roads of Ooty taking in the surroundings greedily, though the walk up the hills can sometimes catch you off breath.

Coorg beckoned the next day and the ride downhill from Ooty was another exciting way to spend the early morning from the cozy backseat of our cab driven expertly once again by our driver. His smile never wavered throughout the drive and he was always earnest and eager to suggest us places to eat and visit. We stopped at the Golden Temple at around 8 AM and what I saw was an astonishing sight that was etched in my mind till date. The 60 feet statues at the temple, the resounding conch shells, the exotic chanting were only to be savored and wondered at. I guess I was inside the temple for about an hour, sitting just by myself, marveling at the sight in front. It was a curious experience and unlike other famed Temples I visited, there wasn’t much crowd which made the visit even more peaceful.

Once we moved away from the hotel to the resort, we checked in and went in search of river rappelling which was on my mind for very long time. It didn’t take very long to reach the place but unfortunately rain decided to play spoilsport and the guy in charge of the task told us to wait till he gets another 5 members to start the rappelling. We waited again, first for the rain to abate and then for the other 5 members to join us. An hour passed and we were still at the river while none of the above 2 happened. Just when we were about to leave of exasperation, came another car driven by a group of guys from Mumbai for their bachelor party. Soon we were all dressed up and ready to go and none of us really cared about the rain.

The lifejacket that we were given made me feel somewhat invincible and when the driver stopped rowing and asked us to jump in the water, I was the first to take the plunge. It was a heavenly experience being suspended on water, allowing the tide to take me through. I didn’t know how to swim but the lifejacket took care of everything and ensured I had the time of my life. When we came back after 3 hours, the driver told us all the sightseeing spots would be closed by around 5 PM and we were left nothing to do for the rest of the evening, so we retreated to the resort to some French Fries, Onion Pakoras and Old Monk Rum, reminiscing on three days well spent.

The drive back from Coorg to Bengaluru Airport was a pleasant one, almost picturesque, and certainly quick. Our driver left us at the airport and after an hour of waiting, with content hearts we boarded the flight. Within minutes of landing in Hyderabad and sitting in a cab, we were surrounded by unruly traffic, loud horns, sweltering sweat, reality and life.  


Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by veturisarma

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