Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pookala, a Little Village

Kailash Kher was singing on TV just now. I so love that man's voice! Music is quite something, isn't it? More on that some other time.

I was in pretty bad shape all of last week, down with the viral fever, for the very first time in my life. Touch wood, I almost never fall sick. But this hit like a fireball and I spent a very horrible week feeling all sorry for myself and bored. The bored part was worse than the fever. It got so bad that even I went to the doctor. For those who know me personally, you know how rare that is! Anyway, I got tired of being bored and came home to recuperate.

As happens every time, my parents and I couldn't stay put for a long time and this morning we ended up in a little non-village called Pookala, a good 100 kms from Madikeri. The Akashvani (AIR) station here airs a program where a person goes to the most remotest of the district's villages and hosts a show from there, highlighting the people and their lives there. Pookala was one such village.

There is a fairly good road that goes from Gonikoppal, a sizeable town, to this place, 45 kms away. The road ends in the village, if you can call some 5 houses that. Apparently, the place, nestled below huge mountains that look like walls to the sky, gets 200-250 inches of rain every year. That's a great lot! It was supposed to be the best place to grow cardamom, until disease destroyed most of the plants. Coffee grows poorly here. There are a few houses, very tall trees and an asphalted road that ends at the gate of the village primary school. There is not even one single shop to sell sweets or cigarettes.

Not knowing what to see or do, we followed a board to a home stay called Kadama Kolli where we met a nice friendly woman of the house. Having lived in the district most of my life, it usually takes a lot to surprise me. Pookala did because of its gorgeous hills and the prospect of trekking through forests to reach the open hills from where the view is surely fantastic. It is blissfully quiet, the only sound is that of a pretty little stream. There is supposed to be white water river rafting nearby, but as far as I know, there are no white waters there, nor are there any rapids. But there are pretty huts. It impressed me so much that I immediately made a mental note to plan the next TT trip there.

Villages are not new to me, I live in a little one myself. In Madikeri, I mean. But never have villages ceased to amaze me in the little microcosm they form, a little social setup. I could write a long list of problems in trying to live there, labour issues, lack of accessibility, a great deal of everything that can and does go wrong. But if given a chance, I don't think I would mind at all living the rest of my life in a village.

As it turns out, I am distracted today. The words don't flow out too easy today. I must stop.
I must remember to write about The Gypsy Caravan in a day or two. That's a column. And I am predictably super thrilled. More on that in a while....

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