Have been preoccupied with material matters, though very important for us as a family.
Our travel by train to Bangalore was a pleasure. The berths were three – tiered and booked too but there was no one to occupy. For a journey that took 36 hours, it was a happy turn. The girl who chose to sit with us, from her place in another coupe, read her way through. A young couple across the aisle developed differences that showed. But they made up in the morning. And I wouldn’t hide my cheer. There was not a moment of unease. The weather was salubrious, especially after Jhansi. The mode still held me in awe, as the train negotiated the curves and the engine cranked up raw power to gain speed. At bends, I could see the serpentine line of coaches. And the pace was simply thrilling, as the wheels spun at their max and left the ground blurred.
The best, of course, was gazing at the countryside … the villages, small towns, green fields, children at play, women at work, men on bicycles, hills peeking into the clouds, and cattle grazing lazily. The sight would refresh every couple of minutes and I was always looking forward for more, even during night hours. Facing against the wind, I’d never let the window drop. The rain occasionally forced a draw down but more because I would find strange looks from others so ill-prepared to appreciate a middle-aged man taking its spatter on his face !
Rural Bangalore is heavenly with greens, teak, palm, mango, guava, plantains and a whole range of short and tall others that I could not make out. Days were cool, mostly with a caressing breeze. Within the city, the Cubbon and Lalbagh gardens were huge. The Someshwara Temple was old, in the middle of a face-lift then, but the one dedicated to Meenakshi was a joy. Food was always wholesome and cost little.
Bangalore has grown manifold, rather many many fold, since I was here in 70s. Yet there was more method to it than what I’d seen in Delhi, Gurgaon and now in Ghaziabad. I was told, rules prohibited any colonisation over most part between the city and Kanakapura, a small town some 70 km away. What met the eye on city roads was both soothing and heart-warming. As the pic below shows …
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Before I move on to a few more thoughts, let me suggest a blog write that left me delighted. It served values that speech is meant for. Let’s stop the babble and read this excellent piece : Islam and Freedom of Opinion @ http://francishunt.blogspot.in/2012/09/islam-and-freedom-of-opinion.html?spref=fb
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