A heritage site, the Bhoga Nandishwara temple is a Shiva temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills. The original temple dates back to the 9th century. There are numerous granite nandi (bull) idols here, sacred to Shiva as it was his choice of transport. Since it was first built, the temple complex has seen renovations made by ruling dynasties.

The temple complex follows a Dravidian style of architecture. So you’ll see sandstone pillars, temples, relief carvings, mantapas (outdoor halls, a kind of gazebo, where dances, music, and festivities were hosted), and dhwaja stambas (high pillars that are believed to protect temples from lightning apart from carrying a religious significance).

A highlight is the large kalyani (pool). The water is a startling green against the grey-beige symmetry of steps descending into it. Some say it is rain water that collects here; others that it is fed by an underground river, and could be the origin of the Dakshina Pinakini river.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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Ephemeral hieroglyphs,
infinite destinies,
them,
stars.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

 

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The long shadows
of my mind’s night
my true

north.

I brew the
alchemy of wisdom
healed by my

heart.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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The fever of sleep
in my skin

tugs me in gently.
Falling in,

the dark sea dances
me a fata morgana

of wrath and peace
of peace and wrath.

I have strayed
away and into

the duality of being;
all is dark, all is dance.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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I

The bonfire –
a witch’s hat of
twigs, branches –
crackles eating spitting
exhaling
smoke-choked
once upon a times.

II

The eye of the sun
looks over
the ash-grey threshold.

In the wake
of surging orange,
a spreading sky stain
of cerulean,

a birthing of new
ever afters.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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Night flashed its silver searchlight
on the beasts of memory
arriving in fragments
disconnected, static
moving in pictures
frame by frame
dead but for
the energy.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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The night you saw
me
by the moon-silvered
stream,

was I the
dream,
or were you
moving
through me,

deep
under my
closed
eyelids making
night.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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A firefly sailed
out of the black
heart of a green tree,
a spark adrift.

Night made beautiful.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

 

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

books

Loved the narrative voice in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and reading Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep was like reading a movie. Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Diary offered more than a glimpse of the writer’s intense writing process. James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man didn’t really capture my imagination until the later pages. There were two books about genocide, a nonfiction Elie Wiesel’s Night and fiction, Edna O’Brien’s Little Red Chairs that moved between Ireland, London and Bosnia. Jack London’s The Call of the Wild evokes the inherent wildness in us. Orhan Pahmuk’s A Strangeness in My Mind takes us into the life and mind of a boza seller who married the wrong girl and loved the right one. Vivek Shanbag’s Ghachar Ghochar, a translation from the Kannada, promised Chekhov-like writing, and came with a live ant (!) Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was about how a woman turns vegetarian, taking it to the extreme, and the way she affects her husband, brother-in-law, and sister.

Andre Breton’s Nadja is surrealism personified, and Katie Daisy’s How to be a Wildflower is a vibrant treat. The insights in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own are still relevant, and the honesty and courage in Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water has made her one of my favourite writers. Read Neruda’s Selected Poems, and 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair aloud in Spanish and English to taste the textures in their entirety. Sarita Mandanna’s Tiger Hills brought alive Coorg, and there was a whiff of Gone with the Wind in its pages. Melina Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi made me realise that this was the first book of fiction I have read that was set in Australia. I read Vita Sackville-West’s Joan of Arc the first week of May; the same time in the 15th century, Jeanne brought about the fall of Orleans. It was on May 30 that she was burnt at the stake.

Stories on screen –

movies

Telly

© Anuradha Prasad, 2017