I love Madikeri, no doubt about it. I was born here and grew up walking its streets, smiling at its people and loving the familiarity of its lanes. When I am at uni, it is the mist coming in through the window, the cold tip of my nose and the utter disregard for my privacy by the people(!!!!!!!!) that I miss the most! My friend Raksha always complains of how you cannot even run away from home in Madikeri. That's the charm of my hometown.
I have lived in cities for short periods but long enough to know the anonymity there. In cities you are just another face in the crowd and that's nice when you are with somebody you dont want to be seen with. But here at home people know when you are ill, they ask how your trip down South India was, vegetable vendors trade recipes, they smile and actually care. Here I have had people think my cousin was my boyfriend when we used to hang out together back in high school. On the other hand, there is this person, a cloth shop owner who literally saw me growing up, who thought of me on his travels and bought me two beautiful mud lamps from distant Kolkata! That's quintessential Madikeri for you, where people know you through your family history, through your politics and your religion, a place where people just dont know how to mind their own business!
I used to hate the sense of being watched that I got and there was a time I couldnt wait to get out. Now that I am out, I know one thing for sure, that no matter where I go to live and work, Madikeri is the place I will come to in the evening of my life, to feel the mist again, to trade recipes and gossip. I know I will come home to smile at everyone again!