Dusk…

For me dusk is always mysterious. Even if I don’t worry about ghosts in the backyard or monsters under the bed, i probably still get a little nervous when the sun sets and darkness creeps over the horizon. On the positive side this is the best time time to click mesmerising photos. This is time i usually venture out with my camera hoping to click the creepiness of dusk.

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Dusk comes sooner than expected, the last of the sun’s rays protected behind soft grey cloud. The surroundings takes on the look of an old photograph, every familiar thing a shade of grey. The trees are crazy silhouettes against a newly silver sky. Their branches sway in the wind, creaking into the gusting air. The first sound of the nocturnal animals comes.

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The darkening sky filled with lavender and indigo clouds, cove up the first stars of the night. The last vestiges of the setting sun disappeared over the horizon, the copper hues giving way to a dusty purple scattered with the occasional glitter of a faraway star.

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This is the time i hate to drive, because i feel a bit dizzy or light headed at this time of the day.  I feel this is the dangerous time to be behind the wheel because the lack of light or rays from the low sun can be hazardous. That is all about dusk…

Summer Rain…

April 28th 2017..

Hello World! It is pouring. Yes, it is truly pouring as I write this. Rains are not unusual during this time of the year. After so much summer heat the heavens broke to release a torrent of rain. It’s pouring down over my house and garden with a roar.

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I LOVE rains. The pitter patter of the rain creates a shield around me. I love the rain, I always have. I like it even better with thunder and lightning, but hate the strong winds that cause large scale destruction to crops.

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The rain was warm the thunder deafening and huge lightning bolts flashed and streaked all the way across the sky. Here in Wayanad with today’s pour, it feels a little relaxed. The heavy rains have carved a miniature canyon in the path. Doubtless the soil was made soft by the gentle rainfall the previous week and so was no match for the sudden deluge.

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Trees and plants drenched in the downpour, swaying in the winds, welcoming the summer rains, seems to be in a jovial mood. Hailstones clattered to the ground like marbles spilled from a box. The sound of this rain, so soothing to me, is enough to drown out every other noise. There are no cars, no machinery and certainly no birds. Should the phone ring now I doubt it would cut through…

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I chill out by my window and enjoy watching, hearing and smelling the summer rains. The path through the garden is muddy water in motion, filling deep puddles that hide the ruts of dryer weather.

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To feel it isn’t enjoyment, not fun like the gentle sunshine of springtime, yet it is a part of life and I want to feel it just the same. I want to experience each drop, together and apart, same and different.  I need to be in this, chaotic and wild, just like my mind and soul – like nature looked right into me and pulled the weather out.

Merry Christmas…

Merry Christmas…

It’s already end of  December. Sorry for the lack of posts in 2016. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not going to force myself to write them and have something not worth reading. I have started thinking what is that I really wanted to do.

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In this chilly, misty moon lit night, sitting in my balcony, from a distance I can hear the divine melodies sung by young Carol groups. I can see Christmas stars shining brightly from houses around. Christmas tree in my balcony decorated with gifts reminds me to be like a Christmas Tree – A Christmas Tree, which is evergreen, so refreshing, full of gifts, surprises and so joyful –  A Christmas Tree that elevates the value of life, as in winter what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

Leaders are not born..

(Compiled by Meenakshi Sunil, Student Green Hills Public School, Sultan Battery, Wayanad, Kerala.)

“Leaders are not born but are made by their experiences in life”. To inculcate the leadership qualities in students and to give them a feel of functioning of the administrative body, a school cabinet was formed at The Green Hills Public School and the investiture ceremony was held in July 2016 at the school premises.

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The excitement of the new members was clear as they marched rhythmically to the beats of the school band with their heads held high in pride and confidence, ready to shoulder the responsibilities as student leaders. The office bearers of the four houses were invested ceremoniously with the Chief Guest Honorable District Collector of Wayanad, Sri. Keshavendra Kumar pinning badges and administering Oath of office to the newly appointed members of the Student Council. He congratulated the newly appointed office bearers and reminded them to diligently shoulder responsibilities that lay ahead with dedication and devotion.

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Honorable Chairman Sri. V.G. Surendranath and respected principal of Green Hills Public School, Sri. K.V. George presided over the function. Mr. Baiju Paul P.T.A. President and Mr. A.T. Alexander, Headmastereadm was also present on the occasion. After swearing in ceremony there was an interesting interactive session between students and the chief guest.

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Kumari Pavluri Sushhma Seshu of class 12th was selected as the Head Girl and Master Vysakh G. Nair of class 12th was selected as the Head boy.

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The function which was well organized and disciplined reflected the efforts put in by our dear teachers especially Vipin Sir, Priya madam and Sini miss. Though their patience was tested on many occasion during the rehearsals, at the end it paid making the ceremony memorable.

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Also special thanks to our dear photographer Aasish Manoli for providing these photos.

The Deity of “Death”

Death as we all know is inevitable and unfortunate and will surely touch us at one point or another. But death is unfair and cruel when it is sudden because it is unforeseeable and tears family apart since there is no time to say goodbye. For the departed souls dear one’s life is changed for ever.

In Hinduism Yama is the deity of death. He is depicted as dark in colour with red clothes (somewhere black cloths), and seated on a he-buffalo. He holds a noose of rope in one hand to snatch the soul from the body.

Recently an accidental death of a young man who was still building his life left me contemplating the strange way the deity of death operate. My contemplation resulted in the following verses.

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Up in the hills

On a sunny midday,

The deity of death

Snatched another soul.

Hey deity of death

Moving on that shiny black bull,

Spinning your tight noosed rope

Searching for the next one in your roll.

I have something to tell you

Listen with an open heart,

At times you are so cruel

It’s time for you to ponder.

I feel you work at your will

Snatching away precious souls.

You say it’s your duty

But alas!  At times you are so heartless.

You prey on young lively souls

Who live with lots of hopes and goals?

You betray their kith and kin, and leave them in lurch

With your impromptu act.

Why you prey on those noble souls

When there are a lot waiting for you around,

You say it’s your way

But please stop this I pray.

There I saw an ailing old man

Praying for you, to snatch him fast,

And I saw people praying for you

To snatch away a cruel wicked man.

But you rode fast past them

Looking for another noble soul,

Hey deity of death

You are so unfair.

Once I saw your face

Masqueraded behind the black veil,

Tears rolling down your cheeks

When you snatched another noble soul.

I realized you were helpless

You deity of death,

For that’s the way

This whole creation is designed.

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Through the elephant trails..

(Hala..Happy New Year. This is the my first post in 2016. Previous year i couldn’t devout much time to blogging due to my hectic schedules in both personal and professional life. I couldn’t make long trips and was forced to satiate my urge to wander and explore by making short trips in and around my native place Wayanad. So let me hit the blogosphere this year with my short  adventure through elephant trails in a remote area of Wayanad.)

On a chilly Saturday morning i set off my unplanned adventure through unfamiliar forest trails in search of my favourite one’s – Wild Elephants. I was well aware of the fact that it was like searching for danger. As I moved through the narrow, winding forest path my ears strained for the trumpet of a charging elephant from the thick bushes.

 

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Elephant Trails

Though travelling through unfamiliar elephant trails is risky it was an experience to cherish. Sight of fresh dungs, bamboo torn apart,  and the pungent odour of elephants; i expected them at every curve and corner of the narrow potholed road, but this time they evaded me.

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Not the right place to pose for a snap

On the way we stopped and hurriedly clicked some quick snaps. As i posed leaning to a huge tree, i felt something crumbling from the bamboo bushed behind. We sprang towards the auto and moved away.

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Tribal Settlement

Finally i reached an amazingly beautiful tribal settlement amidst thick woods. It is an area of intense human-wild animal conflict.

 

 

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Lovely place to be

Tuskers rampaging paddy fields, chasing school children and ambushing passing vehicles is a daily affair here said the tribe we met here. Sometimes they turn to killers too.

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Mathai my auto driver chatting with the tribe man we met.

There goes the only bus that connects the village with the outside world.

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This bus connects the village with the outside world

Inhaled some fresh air, enjoyed the silence, cool breeze and serenity of the place and clicked some quick snaps ensuring the wild ones were not around :).

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Paddy fields amidst thick woods

My auto driver and adventure trips companion waves at me and shouts..It’s time to go back before THEY come..That was a short trip but will be back again for a full day adventure.

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Lovely place with fields in the background

 

 

 

 

 

Out in nature..On a misty morning

It’s a great time to get out in nature on a misty morning. It becomes even greater if this beauty is captured by your lens. So I decided out to venture out close to the woods on a Sunday morning with my daughter, Meenakshi.

First rays of the sun illuminating the horizon

First rays of the sun illuminating the horizon

Just 10 minutes drive from our house and we sighted the first rays of the sun illuminating the horizon filled with mist. We marveled at this sight for a few minutes clicked it and then moved on.

We drove the road running adjacent to the wildlife sanctuary. The roads were empty, visibility was poor due to fog and an impending danger of an elephant stepping into our path drove us a bit of nervous.

Borderline

Borderline

We drove up till the bridge that separates Kerala and Karnataka the two southern states of India. For some reason I didn’t feel like crossing the bridge and enter Karnataka. I always felt comfortable exploring woods in this side of the bridge.

Mesmerizing view

Mesmerizing view

Now the sun is up and the sight of sunrays through the tree trunk passing through the forest was mesmerizing. The scene was perfect backdrop for herds of elephants but we were not lucky enough to catch them basking in the sun; still elusive.

Driving back

Driving back

Now we started driving back and stopped at the little tea/grocery shop overlooking the Ponkuzhi temple. It is owned by Sathyan and this is our favourite hangout during such drives. Sathyan has been living in this area since a long time, braving the frequent ambushes of wild elephant herds, predator attacks and forest fires. We usually sit here for hours listening to his experiences with elephants and leopards.

Sathyan's Place-Exterior view

Sathyan’s Place-Exterior view

Sathyan nodded approvingly with a smile and was busy making tea and coffee for the early morning customers. Tribes living in this part of the forest depends on Sathyan for their daily grocery needs. The pictures that decorates the tea stall are created by Sathyan’s son who is a great painter who have won rewards and recognition in school and college competitions. He studies in Mysore University. He was immersed in his work and didn’t notice me clicking him.

Sathyan busy preparing tea/coffee

Sathyan busy preparing tea/coffee

Sathyan steaming coffee now energized us and we decided to loiter around a bit. Sathyan told us that a herd of elephants had just crossed the road and hence he asked us to be a bit cautious when walking around.

Perfect Coffee..last sip

Perfect Coffee..last sip

NH212 bifurcates the Ponkuzhi temple to a main shrine and a sub-shrine close to tribal hamlets.

Ponkuzhi temple-Main Shrine

Ponkuzhi temple-Main Shrine

We usually walk along the road adjacent to the sub-shrine. But two elderly tribal’s persuaded us back from this since there was chance of elephants in the road, and the visibility was almost zero due to fog.

Fog covered path-dangerous!

Fog covered path-dangerous!

So we clicked some more snaps of the sub-shrine, the weed covered pond, strolled through the meadow enjoying the misty surroundings.

Sub-Shrine, Ponkuzhi temple

Sub-Shrine, Ponkuzhi temple

Surrounded by bamboo forest and full of water throughout the year it is believed that the water in the pond is the result of the falling tears from the eyes of King Rama’s wife Seetha. They were believed to be in this part during their exile in forest for 14 years.

The Pond - Seetha's tears

The Pond – Seetha’s tears

We clicked some more snaps. Crows on power lines, trees on either side of the highway, perfect opportunity to hone my photography skills.

Handicapped by 18-55.

Handicapped by 18-55.

We slowly started driving back energized physically and mentally.

Penultimate click

Final click of the day