Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

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© Anuradha Prasad 2019

Nrityagram is a banquet of monsoon-moist earth, rain-washed greenery, and the raucous cries of wild and hidden peacocks.

The dance village/gurukul is silent without its dancers who would ordinarily be practicing Odissi till early afternoon.

At the entrance is an old Beetle, a relic from the past, and a terracotta temple dedicated to the elements. The temple blooms out, encircled by standing stone slabs, Stonehenge-style.

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© Anuradha Prasad 2019

Paths weave between yurt-inspired cottages – homes of residential and visiting dancers, sculptures, thatch-roofed sitting areas, dance halls, and an amphitheater. A pair of dogs lounges in one of the verandahs, silent spectators.

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© Anuradha Prasad 2019

A stray dancer walks by briskly, a backpack slung over her erect spine, her eyes dancing, her lips smiling.

In its early days, the dance village which is the vision-turned-reality of model and danseuse Protima Gauri taught different Indian dances. Today, it is just Odissi that is taught here.

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© Anuradha Prasad 2019

Close to the gated dance village is the grasslands, now closed to the public and once the venue of illegal but ecstatic activities.

If so inclined, there are many opportunities to trespass – it isn’t completely fenced. Mostly it is a large expanse of land with young and short trees, wooly grass, and slender granite pillars boring into the earth making a zig and zag of boundaries. Tampered by these markers of human activity, it isn’t as natural as i had expected.

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© Anuradha Prasad 2019

Nearby is the lake with a walkway whose length is punctuated at one end by a temple. The lake is completely dry now. A line of women stoop, their brown backs making commas, as they pick something off the grassy bed. Teenagers ride in on their motor bikes.

A strong breeze blows over the walkway. We bite into sourdough bread topped with chopped tomatoes tossed in olive oil and cheese slices. Under a bench close by, a stray dog. He rasps, what little life is left in him, clings to him, not letting go just yet.

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© Anuradha Prasad 2019

The tranquil and slow pace of Hesarghatta is hypnotic, lulling me into a state of somnolence which the city shakes off with indifference and without apology when we return into the reach of its ever-extending tentacles.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

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talacauvery, coorg © Anuradha Prasad 2019

a faucet drooled:
slivers of water
circled and halted
at the edge of the
mouth, blooming
a fat drop, that sat
like an old man
pondering before
falling into a rusty
bucket with a soft
thump

thump
thump
thump

in pace with the heart
beating on the monitor
jagged green life
flattening, drowning
the fugitive droplets
with a rattle:
of breath
of heart
of being
strangled.

© Anuradha Prasad 2019

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gopuram © Anuradha Prasad 2018

The greyness of stone at the kanchi kamakshi temple was heavy with occasional contrasts of gleaming brass and pastel.

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lotus offerings © Anuradha Prasad 2018

The granite was inscribed with hymns to the goddess in sanskrit and tamil. There was the surprise of chinese lions, and the jarring of scaffolds and modern inclusions.

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mantap and the holy basil © Anuradha Prasad 2018

The devi was enthroned in the inner sanctum. Unadorned, her energy was potent, intact from intrusions.

© Anuradha Prasad 2018

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image: via pinterest

Bone thin, the madame,
purple-draped, spared the sweat
of summer, her stride and jasmine,
fresh. A ladder of vermilion climbed
her forehead – a morse code of
dot. dot. dash. drop.
holding her up, the madame
but a marionette.

© Anuradha Prasad 2018

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walking a trail through a coffee plantation at the break of dawn © Anuradha Prasad 2018

nothing quite like a holiday in pondichéry – good company, the sea, writing, flaneusing, photography, art, food, books, and conversations.

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© Anuradha Prasad 2018

the sea, my muse, glitters and roars.

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© Anuradha Prasad 2018

dinner in the open courtyards at villa shanti and coromandel café. coffee and barth at the bohemian café des arts. breakfast at bakers street – ms subbalaxmi singing the suprabatham; baguettes, croissants, and easter treats; paintings of the geisha. it can’t get more pondichéry than this.

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the town is very photogenic. the architecture, the exuberant spilling of bougainvillea, the harmony, details – quaint and quirky.

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a quiet moment in the church. at the altar palm strips, fanned out, rose from the orb of a vase. it was palm sunday.

© Anuradha Prasad 2018

mood

Posted: March 23, 2018 in mixed bag, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,
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image: pinterest

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the golden temple, namdroling monastery, byleguppe © Anuradha Prasad, 2017

“The eagle perched above her empty nest
can go now. Because settling in and listening
to what remains of her fading sorrow
is becoming less important
than surfacing elsewhere,
breathing in new air
of a nurturing current
as she regally soars.”

  – Susan Frybort via My VividLife

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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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017

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© Anuradha Prasad, 2017