Epilogue as Prologue
This trip happened 8 years ago and the travel diary was written more than 7 years ago. Yesterday (10 July 2020) was a day of a coincidence that prompted me to locate my travel diary in my archives and push it to Medium. Here is the coincidence in brief.
We were watching Netflix series on the Ottoman Empire and the final episode came to an end by 20:00 hrs on 10 July 2020. The final scene as the episode ended showed Mehmed seated on a throne in Hagia Sophia, having breached the city walls and entered Constantinople.
December 2019 to March 2020
It is easy to add furniture at home now. I was not so in the 1950s. I wrote about Adding New Furniture at Home in the 1950s in 2017. It was even tougher to add new furniture at home during the days of my grandfather (in 1900s). Lalitha decided to recreate the process of adding new furniture at home in the early 1900s. I agreed to pitch in to help and also document it.
Lalitha has invested enormous time and effort into this exercise. If I put a value to the time and effort that…
March 18th, 2020 onwards . .
Lalitha & I live at Kamala Estate Madakkimala (KEM) in Wayanad district of Kerala. You can read more about KEM in Wayanad Beckons.
KEM is an isolated place, nestled amidst coffee estates. On normal days we wake up to the sound of birds. The chattering of assembling estate workers starts at 07:30 hrs. They put in 8 hours of work (07:30 to 15:30 hrs) in various parts of the estate . A maid helps us with all chores (08:15 to 14:00 hrs). There is a watchman (a tribal) who sets up a guard from…
On January 07, 2020, I was in a cab that had just crossed Srirrangapatna and was heading for Mandya. The driver drew my attention to the speedometer and said, “Sir, I am driving close to 70 kmph. I can see a scooter catching up. It has already overtaken cars trailing us”.
I turned around and saw the scooter gaining on us. The rider was a young girl (not wearing a helmet) and the pillion rider was wearing a helmet.
The driver of my car continued, “I cannot imagine them being safe at this speed and zig-zagging to overtake. Definitely not…
Mission Mazhu-5. December 30, 2019 to January 2, 2020
This was not much of a trek (mere 25 km over 3.5 days). Then why write about it? Because Lalitha (my wife) joined me on this trek and that made it unique.
Lalitha had not yet fully recovered from injuries to her ankle due to a fall during a Trek+Bamboo Rafting @Thekkady. She consulted her orthopaedic who encouraged her to go on the trek but advised her to wear the ankle harness all through.
October 8, 2019 - November 12, 2019
(KEM = Kamala Estate Madakkimala is where I live)
Observing, making notes, taking snaps of happenings around KEM is a habit. So when a little bird made fearless incursions into my verandah and even one incursion into my house I knew it is going to play out something worth monitoring.
October 8, 2019; 11:00 hrs
I was on the verandah when I was called inside for help. A tiny bird had somehow gotten itself inside but was unable to fly out. I clicked a picture before opening all windows to give the bird…
29 September 2019, 14:00 hrs . . . .
I recall noticing a butterfly phenomenon a year or two ago, but no idea of the date or time-of-day. Butterflies in hundreds, nay thousands? Not flitting across, but all intently flying roughly in the same direction. None in the opposite direction. Some sort of migration? My curiosity took me no further that day. Months passed and I was in conversation with an avid nature lover. He talked of migration of butterflies as an annual phenomenon in this region. It brought back memories of witnessing one but not observing more keenly.
From the moment a voice called out “All of you ready? Let’s go” till the end when the ambulance door was banged closed and a voice signalled “Go, go”, the trek-cum-rafting was an experience to remember.
We[#] reported to the Forest office at Kumili by 08:00 hrs and were transported to the boating point in a mini-bus by the Forest Department. We signed some papers, collected the anti-leech socks and a backpack containing breakfast-cum-lunch. As I was wearing the anti-leech socks I could see 2 leeches trying to make their way through the finely knitted fabric from which my…
I ceased to be a ‘Remember the International Women’s Day and wish wife’ type of person since some years. This happened when I was still in Mumbai.
One day I was in office and realized it was International Women’s Day. I thought it will be great way to show Lalitha (my wife) that I care. I called the local Mongini Cake Shop on telephone (those were pre-online ordering days) and ordered a cake and asked it to be delivered home; inscribed “To Lalitha, Happy Women’s Day, from Sudhakar”.
I returned home early that day expecting to see a beaming Lalitha…
Wayanad, Kerala, December 2018
I am not a bird/butterfly/moth/insect watcher. I am not a keen nature observer either. But sometimes things happen in front me and instead of closing my eyes, I watch.
I relocated to Kamala Estate Madakkimala (KEM) from IIT Mumbai in 2014. Wayanad had beckoned me to make that move and since then nature and nature’s creations have never ceased to hold my interest.
Moths of different size, shapes and colors have come visiting KEM. The first one came within days of my moving to Wayanad. I spotted it on the wall as I opened the door…