Friday, February 15, 2013

A night which never ends

12.32 am

Rekha Bharadwaj playing in the background.

Tossing and turning, awake and distrustful.
I finally throw off the covers and think what I can do now.
All the books I can read are not with me right now.
I have given up on television so long ago.

I think of cleaning my room but am not annoyed enough.
Get a bar of Toblerone, move quickly to my third one.
Thinking of browsing the net, but what more news will satisfy my curiosity?
So give up on yet another idea, another fleeting thought.

Want to call someone, but have exhausted everyone.
Open the window and the breeze comes in, cheering me up.
My only companion, which wafts in and out carefully.
I think I will trap it somehow but never act on it, like countless others.

12. 40 am

Jagjit Singh takes over

He fills the room with his pain and pathos.
He becomes a part of me and its my voice in the room suddenly.
I realize that we are both alone.
He, running away from grief, I running towards it.

Suddenly I realize that the kind wind is still around.
Engulfing and enlivening everything around.
Suddenly everything seems not so bleak..
I believe that this too shall pass.

I slowly return to where I rose from.
Thinking that one day everything shall come together.
I will assuage the losses and make good all that was not mine.
The kind breeze. A lilting song. A silent hope.

One day, all will be fine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mangalagiri- A mélange of colors

Offering something for everyone, Mangalagiri near Vijayawada has numerous charms in its folds. Rediscover the many charms of a village famous for its saris and temples…

At a distance of 18 kms from Vijayawada, Mangalagiri a place as famous for its temples as for the colorful bouquet of weaves it produces. Time spent in this sleepy village simply flies by, with its quaint streets, friendly villagers and numerous stores selling the famous Mangalari saris. You can visit the temple for a quick darshan, shop at the many stores, simply soak in the clean village air and walk around the countryside and farms.

Things to do in Mangalagiri

-          Panakala Narasimhaswamy temple perched atop the Mangalagiri hills was built in 1650 AD by Raja Vasireddy Venkadri Naidu, the ruler of the town. A splendid gate leads you to the main temple and the entrance is flanked a gigantic chariot or ratham.

Upon inquiry regarding the origins of the name of the temple an interesting story was told to us. The temple got its name from panakam (water mixed with jaggery) served as an offering to the deity. The region was prone to volcanic eruptions in the past due to the abundance of sulphur found in the region. The eruptions were attributed as the angry outbursts of Lord Narasimhaswamy and panakam was poured into the idol’s mouth to placate him. Till date every visitor offers jaggery water to the deity. The temple closes by 4 in the afternoon. 

-          Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple is located at the bottom of the hill and is the first thing you notice the minute you drive into the town with its arresting gopuram which towers over the town. Built in the 16th century by Krishnadevaraya, the temple is beautiful and the intricate carvings on the gopuram speak volumes about the quality of artisans in the past. Walking around the temple transports you to the past with its fallen pillars, stone walls and vast spaces exuding heritage from every corner. 

-          Shopping for handlooms is a major draw. The temple town offers some of the finest cotton saris and fabric to the country and the town is full of stores where you can shop to your heart’s content. For those interested in knowing how the saris are made, a visit to the weavers loom is a must, the weavers are friendly and share interesting anecdotes. It takes about two days to complete a sari and the commonly seen motifs are mango, leaves, flowers and geometric designs. Fab India sources its fabric from here and the most arresting features of Mangalagiri fabric is its mélange of colors- reds, oranges, greens and yellow make the sari as vibrant as a rainbow. Bargaining is tough here as the storekeepers refuse to give in to any tactics employed by even the most seasoned shoppers.
Part of my first ever travel piece!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


What secrets do you behold?
What lies behind the closed exteriors?

I think often of those soulful eyes sought to be mine
I think often of the recherche that ought to be mine

Restless and rancid,
Rancor runs amok

The purposeful silences and invidious glances
The if and buts of a promise never fulfilled

The beauty that lies within you
That which you seek never be known

Strong and Silent
Graceful and Gregarious

A withdrawn you and a withered me
Stare into oblivion fleeing all things glee

Will you not let me in
O my loved one