A Place That Spells Peace..

21 11 2008

And a memory that I would treasure for a life time. It took me an year to discover this beautiful sojourn in the Bangalore city. Yes, I am talking about the same good old Kempfort ShivMandir on airport road in Bangalore.

Now, you might ask me why is it so special for me? Its because it gifted me a peaceful and serene memory at the darkest hour of the day. I was exhausted and drained from the day to day turmoil of the work, and all I wanted at night is some place to relax and reflect in peace with a close friend. And a thought crossed my mind to venture to this place, and we were amply rewarded as we walked in just when the last aarti of the temple was about to commence. The night turned radiant and I was spellbound to watch the mighty magnificence of the prayer. The feeling was beyond an expression that words could lace and the divine solace that enveloped me was soothing and comforting in gentle grace. There I was, at peace with myself, in unison with the environment, and God.

I would never claim to be a traditional theist, yet I avow by the faith and belief that makes a place of worship divine. What are rituals, if they don’t enhance and  magnify the inner hope and faith. What are temples, if they don’t stand as a testament of faith. I believe. How powerful that expression could be! I realize it whenever I visit a temple, for always it calms my mind and brings peace.  The sheer might of faith enlivens the God for me.

After so many days, the experience still remains just a thought away, like a fond caress of a gentle breeze. After discovering this little alcove, which is the only peaceful temple that I have known to be open for 24 hours throughout the day, I am sure to garner further memories.

P.S.: Thanks to Srijith for this beautiful capture.





Cicada Resorts, Kabini

7 08 2008

After about six hours of tiring ride from Bangalore, we landed in this paradise. A little drizzle, coconut grooves, mountain bikes, tiled cottages, overlooking the Kabini riverside, chirping birds, cozy hammocks, gentle wafting breeze.. What could I ask for more? Enveloped in the lazy comfort of nature, I discovered the pleasure of doing nothing.

Somehow strangely, it made me nostalgic of my quaint little town Rajahmundry that overlooks the serene Godavari. For sometime, I tried to convince myself I am not living my dream.

I guess its been a long time since my mind and soul are this quiet.. Coming here made me realize how desperately I needed this break. 🙂 I basked in the sheer pleasure of relaxing by the riverside and indulging in the simple activities. What I loved the most? Let me count..

Cycling by the riverside

Its been a long time since I last cycled in the woods. Biking along the uneven roads, doing the balancing act, rushing uphill and enjoying the pull of the downward ride, rush of adrenaline, and the enveloping calmth afterward.. Is that a cyclist’s high?

Lazing in the Hammock

Away from civilization, and yet so near to all the modern comforts. That’s the blend of experience that you get in resorts located in pristine locations. I must have spent some quality hours on this hammock by the riverside, in the soothing symphony of the birds.

Jeep Safari by the Nagarhole National Park

Jungle Safari by the river side, along the sides of Kabini River is a refreshing journey in the wilderness, especially in the wilderness. We spotted herds of agile deers sprinting over the grasslands, and some wild elephants too. At the end of the trip, we did stop at a place where domesticated elephants are groomed. What struck me was the huge difference in their body language. A wild elephant looks spirited and in ease with the life and self, whilst the domesticated elephant looks much more resigned with life in spirit and action. That’s a serious thought to ponder there, for somehow, I had a feeling that these animals would anyday trade a risky life of freedom in wilderness where they had to fight for survival every moment, to a sheltered and secured life of bondage. Now I wonder, why do we act different and pretend that we are insanely wise, trading our life’s longings and dreams to conventional wisdom? Somehow, spotting those wood spirits soothed my soul like nothing could, especially on a lovely morning.

A Place That Spells Peace..

And lives upto it too. No blaring horns, no loud music, all you can find is the sound of silence and your own heart beat. I loved being there for a weekend, and could only bring back those beautiful memories of paradise.





In Pursuit of Happiness..

11 03 2008

There is a moment in that movie where Will Smith says, “It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?”. That did made me ponder about the futility thats inherent in the pursuit of happiness. Yet, I shut my inner voice to indulge in that movie, as I loved the father and son chemistry very much there.

I get quizzical when people come and tell me that they are in pursuit of these. Happiness. Joy. Laughter. Peace. Through out life, they keep these very things that they long for at bay running after materialistic pursuits , trying to ensure that they would be eternally happy ensconced in luxury in the end. Finally, most of them end up rudely surprised by the bout of misery and dissatisfaction that surmount them even after reaching the pinnacle of achievement. What went wrong? How could these tremendously intelligent people miss the bus of holistic Life?

This nagging thought is consuming me in all intensity. Though I can debate endlessly about the origin and location of happiness and proclaim holy statements that look with in one self, what makes me wonder is the continuity of effort that happiness demands. My moods, and state of mind are in constant flux, and there are always things that can make me rattled or cheesed off on a daily basis. It really requires detachment, determination and a great deal of focus to keep up my cool in times of crisis and uncertainty.

Two days back, I was very unhappy about a certain situation. My mind and emotions were really disturbed and then, in an attempt to tease myself out of thought and in pursuit of peace, I went to Ragi Gudda Temple. Even, the God couldn’t numb my worry and a little reflection told me that I desperately needed an attitude change more than the location or work. Probably seeking pleasure or happiness would inherently invite misery along. For, I believe that any activity inbuilt with a sense of purpose is a blend of pain and gain. We struggle, and we learn. We cry and we earn. We can only try to attempt a state of mind which can rival the lotus leaf that can stay untouched by the water even in the middle of a pond. We can be happy only if we choose to be happy. And that requires a constant effort indeed. For now, let me try to digest Karma Yoga (The Yoga of Action) of Swami Vivekananda which advocates about the pursuit of knowledge instead of pleasure. Hoping to garner some reflection there.





Ragi Gudda Temple..

3 03 2008

This temple is one of my favorites in Bangalore. Its truly a no brainer to guess why though. A little temple on hill surrounded by loads of Gods, Ample space, limited crowd, well planned design and peaceful environment. What more can I ask for? I loved the beauty of those bougainvillea arcades that envelop the devotees on their way to God. For those fashioning a little trek, a small route is paved on the rocky terrain to climb atop. But that wouldn’t allow you a direct entry to the temple, unless the door is open or the Pujari takes mercy on your knocking, of course. 🙂

Ragi Gudda Temple

There is this little anecdote thats oft told in my household. For an innocuous inquiry about – “Grandma why are all these temples located on hills? Why do Gods make us climb so much? – earned me an answer – “Earlier all the temples were located on same plane little one. But as mankind grew, they sinned a lot and the land in which they lived has fallen down due to the burden of their sins. Hence we feel Gods are located on hills.” That sounded a reason good enough at those carefree times.

Sometimes, the little effort that we put into and the huge bang that we make about visiting temples can make me dazed. For those who care to follow, I can recount at least 20 instructions on the top of my head. Take Tirupati for instance. Many families that I know have this temple in their travel agenda, even when its not easy to climb up the seven hills on foot route. Guess pain is gain at those times. Guess the effort that we expend nurtures peace in a way. Guess these are those little practices in our religion that teaches restraint in a way.





Divine Solace..

5 02 2008

Prayers are those little affirmations that we indulge with ourselves. Thanking all those elements of chance, circumstances, being grateful to the Higher Self for the amazing experiences I had, while reaffirming my faith in the spirit of life offers me the strength to hold on to dance through the rhythms of life. How can I lace words to explain the peace that I enjoy in the temple premises and the divine solace that envelops in my mind for those moments?

I love visiting this local Venkateswara temple just beside my house, whenever I can make it. The way they dress up the lord with flowers and ornaments is breathtaking to watch. Is it called divine beauty? Though there is a a little feeling in heart that I am limiting the existence of lord to a stone idol by doing so, yet the high faith that I place in the ritual of decoration and the fuss that happens in following the age old rituals of chanting and worship does soothe the mind. Nothing can match the feeling of peace when I lay in surrender in front of the Idol thanking him for this for this life, and this chance to savor the splendor of soulful beauty that this Universe holds.

Though all these raging debates that I have with myself on faith, divinity and belief systems, I could never offer a logical and rational explanation for the peace that enlivens those little places of worship. Yet, who needs logic anyway? There are life’s lessons which appear right in the moment that you need it the most. Sometimes, it feels as if the entire life rolls in appreciating a handful of cliche’s.. Hmmm





A Little Sunbeam In A Winter’s Day…

9 12 2007

A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter’s day..

Thats what I long for in namma Bengaluru. Days are cold and the air is chilled, and all that heart longs for is a little sunshine. All the beauty of life comes alive for me when I feel the joyful warmth of sun soaking into my skin, and the mild dancing sunbeams stealing a kiss on my forehead over a warm caress on a chilled misty morning. Bathing over the gentle sun rays, and taking a long saunter while sipping steaming coffee in a peaceful way..

Umm.. My moments of bliss in this garden city.





What is Peace?

18 03 2005

I really don’t know if peace for many means absence of conflict or bliss of pure joy and love. I can’t really say if peace for somebody means absence of something or eternal happiness. For, I can’t really know the value of peace without conflict, and for me peace is a state of mind and an attitude to don even in conflict.

If one has to have a simple cottage or to need a hilly region for a peaceful life, I really doubt whether he can ever achieve it as he believe that peace exists as an external entity and its location goes on shifting as we go closer searching it.. All I can say is that a little bit of introspection and a little of awareness may give a different perspective in understanding what’s PEACE for an individual.. An answer to be found within oneself.. A pursuit to be done alone into oneself…