Tiger’s Nest

After Mumbai, that helluva trip which wiped my fears clean looking forward to another one.

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The Mountain Kingdom with the handsome King and beautiful Queen. For me it is not so much their Royal Highness as much as this elusive will-o-the-wisp that has caught my whimsical fancy.

Though it is going to be a six-day trip I’m not sure if my luck will hold for me to see this enchanted shrine, something I have wanted to do for as long as I remember.

I have build my fantasies and fancies around this place and the more I read the more fascinated I’m. I don’t know if people out there remember this serial on DD an eon back. It was called Himalay Ki Godh Mein. It was based on stories around the mystical Himalayas and Mt Everest, and all about reincarnations and rebirths.

The flight in and out is supposed to be fraught with danger though tourists visit every year without any major catastrophes.

I’m still writing my last will and testament in case I do not get to visit this earthly abode.

Being of sane mind (sane as any sane person can get I suppose) I bequeath my blog to you, my dear friends, who have visited this blog and shared your thoughts just like I shared mine.

My Vaikunt goes to my mother, my darling heart.

My PF money, if ever I get it, goes to my other half for all the trouble I put him through in the short time frame I know him, poor him. Ye, I love you despite and in spite your dopiness.

My Archies and all my DVDs to my brother, my comrade-in-arms. I’m sure he will also appreciate Word-Viz, not there is much of it but whatever there is is yours my soulmate.

My chocoball to my sweet angel sis, Cass. Sure you will love him. But giving part ownership to mom as well since she needs someone to hold on to and cuddle when I’m no more.

To my grandpa, my anchor – all my books, irrespective of what genre they are. I’m sure you will share some of the books with the other half as well, in case he wants them.

Phew, finally I can say I leave no debts (I hope)….but if I do, well, c’est la vie. There is always another life to repay my debts.

And to my pommie unciezz I leave my strength and my memories and a heartful of love. Thank you cher ami for being my bedrock of strength and eternal hope. Mon dieu vous blessez!!

To all my friends…..thanks for sharing this short life with all its love, laughter, hope and glory. Bless You…

And in case I survive….

aha…..

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Contrived

That’s what I thought when I saw the Santro for the first time. Perhaps, the lack of a driving license explained this as I saw a lady colleague pull into the parking lot in her sparkling new Santro. Perhaps this envy also explained the distaste for the Santro which looked like a ballooned Maruti 800. Years later, I still have that distaste despite the rave reviews.

Realise now that this was in some way due to the lack of disconnect. I had no memories associated with the automobile unlike a 800 or the Raja car-the Ambassador.

Still remember the thrill I had when I sat in the first car, a white Ambassador that looked like a baby dumbo… sturdy, sweet and drew a smile every time I saw it or sat in it.

This was likely more to do with the owner of this White Giant, my uncle. A huge rollicking man with the biggest moush I had ever seen and a snout that matched the moush. Those boiled toffees he carried (Don’t know if you remember this, a Parry’s coconut toffee and a hardboiled toffee in a green wrapper) and the ever-willing chauffeur to us band of rowdy kids. We could soil his Ambassador with our toffee-stained hands and jump up and down on the seats which seemed more a billowy sofa. This was so unlike, years later when an aunt had us wash our hands and wipe our legs before she let us sit in her precious Opel, which was lined with newspapers and plastic covers to protect its interiors against the ‘still’ rowdy band of now-adults.

The Raja Amby bore us around the seven hills to Palani; witnessed many a squabbles among various factions in our HUF (around 30 of us at any point in time). Our beloved ambassador was a part of the family till we lost THE Man to cancer.

One of the hilarious and memorable trips was a road trip to our village and from there to several villages across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and almost Kerala as we renewed acquaintance with family members we never knew existed. Our Amby bore us valiantly as we criss-crossed paddy fields, water-bodies, tranquil peanut fields and merry sun flower farms, vast tracts of greenery that seemed endless and serene; indulged our gourmet selves with idlies, pongals, dosas and vadas along shacks on the roadside (naa, we were too young and foolhardy to know gastro or dilli-belly was) with water from the nearest brooks; We took bath in huge water tanks meant to irrigate the fields and little rivulets our states seem to have which got our naïve selves debating why we still complain of water shortage and droughts.

Our road trip in this sturdy giant had us appreciate nature and its many-splendoured spectacles. We lost count of the number of peacocks, mongoose and foxes we saw along the way. Not to mention wild fowls, a few snakes, egrets, cormorants, ducks and our friend The Jumbo..