Friday, 31 July 2009

Suzumi - Ikebana - Spiritual Journey

July 31, 2009

Suzumi - Ikebana - Spiritual Journey

I love flowers. If the flower arrangements represent Nature and her elements, then I fall in love with the arrangements. For me, something spiritual lies in each of the flower arrangements. It's difficult to explain, but, yes, it's spiritual for me.

Whenever I am a little low, one of the things I do to brighten up is that I flip through a book that has lovely pictures of colorful flowers and their arrangements. On the pages of the book, the colors blend so beautifully with its descriptions. I really pep up!

We got an opportunity to visit an exotic Ikebana exhibition, which was held at Ladies Club, Infantry Road, Bangalore. The Sogetsu School of Ikebana conducted this exhibition in the aid of an Abalashrama on D. V. G Road, Bangalore.

Elaborate ikebana filled the entire hall. Messages about peace and global warming were placed in front of a few arrangements. The concept behind each of the ikebana was amazing. I must appreciate the creativeness of the ladies. You will agree with me when you see a few photos of the ikebana.

If you are at Bangalore during August 15th, do not miss to visit Lalbagh Flower Show. This show will also exhibit some stunning ikebana. I have watched the women give their passion a form using flowers and Nature's elements. It's beautiful.


Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kanva Reservoir - By Chance!

Authored on July 30, 2009

Kanva Reservoir - By Chance!

One Sunday morning, Ram and I decided to drive out of Bangalore, explore the outskirts. We were off on Mysore road though our destination was not Mysore. We touched Bidadi - once upon a time, my father's ancestors owned some portion of this place and had donated lands for improvement of the place (I believe). My father very proudly recollects his memories of his grand parents and his childhood friends, and about their adventures near the railway tracks. Those days people enjoyed small thrills in life!

Whenever we drove by Bidadi, we stopped at a hotel near the police station (I think the name was Revanna's Thatte Idli Hotel or something), eat Thatte Idlis and drink hot filter coffee, and then continue our journey. Once papa and I walked to the railway station to see the Gulganji tree and to collect a few Gulganji, fallen on the ground. I think I still have those Gujganji at my parents' house. Bidadi was still a cute place then.

Today, you find many hotels along the roadside, modernized houses, lesser trees, neater bus stands, and so on. Oh, yes, you can see Toyota and Coca-Cola manufacturing units. And you are correct, you can also enjoy a day's outing at Innovative Film City.

This time around, we didn't stop at Bidadi, but continued to Ramanagara. This place is famous for silk. You can see mulberry bushes and breeding of silk worms. At the market, you can see people carrying bags of cocoons. After these cocoons get processed, voila, you get silk and the silks gets woven into pretty sarees. It's not as easy as I write here; during my childhood, we saw a silk processing unit at Ooty. The cocoons were put in boiling water, and then layers of silk can be extracted just like a cotton candy!

Before I digress further, let me drive back on our track. This place is also famous for hills, rock climbing, and left overs of the movie, Sholay. It's fun to drive around or just climb one of the hills. Most of the fun is lost when you see litter everywhere or people throwing beer cans or food wastes. Near the mosque on the highway you find fresh cucumbers - they melt in your mouth. Don't forget to taste them. During summer, this place hosts loads of watermelon. You also find baskets of custard apples along the roadside. Go on, and taste them.

We drove past Kamat Lokaruchi,, decided to stop on our way back. We reached Channapattana - land of toys. We visited Meenakshi Handicrafts, bought a few wooden items and sandal incense sticks. The toys displayed in the shop were a feast to the eyes - revisiting one's childhood. It's sad that we don't encourage our kids to play with such toys. Oh, yes, we need to save trees; adapt to world of plastic and metal.

A few kilometers from here you see sign boards guiding you towards Kanva reservoir. Well, this reservoir is about 60 plus kilometers from Bangalore. The almost made road cuts across a village and farms or cultivated lands. The rustic houses have cattle, creepers of flowers or vegetables, and aroma of hay. Lovely! The cattle own the roads, and you have to wait for them to cross the roads.

As we drove, a big cobra crossed our way. Ram hit the brakes of our Scorpio. We got out to see whether the snake escaped. It did escape. Beautiful snake with shiny skin! When we reached the reservoir, we were suprised to see very few people around, and the neatly painted reservoir. We walked hand-in-hand on the walk path. Awesome breeze and romantic weather! The photos give you a glimpse of the reservoir.

Seeping in the silent melodies of the water, we drove back to Kamat Lokaruchi. We had delicious Obbattu, maddur vadas, basundi, sugarcane juice, and buttermilk. Whew... We roamed around in the Janapada Loka, saw pottery making, but could not visit the museum. Light drizzle showered on us like chocolate scrappings on ice cream! We sat for a while, and then bought pottery from the lady (Anasuya). This lady gave me an idol of Lord Ganesh, free of cost. Wow... Eventful day, I say!

As we drove back, we revisited all the places that we had passed by. Nothing had changed, except our perception. It's nice to be on a path of unplanned exploration. What unfolds can be mysterious, thrilling, and also mesmerizing. You never know! :)

So, go on, explore your destinations.


Asha Ram