The subject of this week’s photo challenge, “I’d Rather Be…“, suggests a sense of wanting to be in a different place doing something different. Yes, I would rather be be exploring the world like I was fortunate to be able to do last year – California, Nevada, Missouri, a bike ride in the Canadian Rockies, Ecuador (including the Galapagos), and finally India. But when I see a sunrise like this in front of my own home, I also realize that one does not necessarily have to wander far from home to experience the wonders of this world.
Places in India, especially in the cities, tend to become very crowded during the daytime. We live in one such location in Chennai. You can see a few pictures illustrating the street scene in this older blog that I posted a while back. I used to go up to the terrace of our house and look down on the activity in the street. There were the pedestrians and the numerous two-wheelers – cycles, scooters and motorbikes, and then there were the heavier four-wheelers, be it the cars, the trucks, or the buses. It could be chaos as they all jockeyed to occupy the same space. I saw this person on a motorbike at one point at the corner of the street. There was something about his face that got my attention.Here is a second picture I am submitting for the weekly challenge. Because of the effort level involved, our group tended to get separated as we were climbing Vidhyagiri hill in Shravanabelagola in Karnataka. As illustrated in the picture below, we tended to get surrounded by other groups and sometimes become just another face in the crowd.
My parents’ home in Chennai is not a quiet place. In fact, the noise from the traffic and the people on the street, when combined with the dust raised by the vehicles passing by the front of the home, can make it a place that one may want to escape from under other circumstances.
But that is not necessarily the way I feel when I am here. When I sit down in the verandah beside the garden to read a book, or walk up to the terrace to putter around with my camera, when I hear the sounds of the street, be it the voices of the people speaking in a language that I can barely follow, or the familiar rumble of the engines of the city buses, when I watch the birds flying high overhead in the fading evening light, it is feeling of peace that one experiences. Even if this state of mind is occasionally shattered by the loud honking of an impatient bus or a truck passing by, or by something else, the disturbance quickly fades away as the other sounds of the street once again take over the senses to soothe the soul and bring back that comforting sense of familiarity.
I have arrived at a time of year when the weather is very pleasant. I am avoiding the heat and humidity of summer and the rains of the monsoon. The evening breeze cools the air as I relax in the open spaces of the verandah and the terrace.
I am back in a familiar place that I can call home.
We spent a couple of nights at the Golden Wood Eco Holiday Homes located in the Harley Estate in Sakleshpur in Karnataka. Here are some sample pictures that attempt to capture the spirit of our experience there. (You can click on the pictures to open them up in higher resolution.)
It was the second morning of our stay at the resort. I woke up early to find our friendly neighborhood dog guarding the doorway. It had actually spent some time in the night barking at something or another. It could have been the critters that had been scurrying across the rooftop in the night in their ongoing “rat race”.
I decided to take a walk by myself and headed up the path toward the hilltop house. I had proceeded just a few yards from the house when I heard some excited barking from the area of another house that was under construction. The dog was running away, but it seemed to have changed its mind and before I knew it I found it running towards me on the road. It was all excited and was jumping about and it wanted to go for the walk with me. So I had a companion with me all the way. The dog would rush off into the trees by the path to sniff things, jump ahead and fall behind, but it stayed with me faithfully. I felt safer walking in the woods because of the presence of the dog, and even though I was approaching an area that seemed to be rougher and less used.
The dog returned home with me. There was a bit of excitement when it met the other dog guarding the building we were staying in, but the two did reconcile their differences and play with each other.
The friendly dogs of the estate added to the enjoyment of our stay at Golden Wood.
We made a trip to the Bangalore Soma Vineyards.Back in Bangalore.
Including the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, where I grew up.