Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Enough is Enough!!! After years (not days or months) of procrastination, finally it came to my mind "Enough is Enough". I've been visiting so many places recently, that if I don't write about it, I'll lose track of it.
Writing about Malnad (ಮಲೆನಾಡು(land of mountains) a.k.a ಮಳೆನಾಡು(land of rain)) was in my mind from a long time (also in my drafts :) ). Not only because I'm impressed by it's beauty, also because it has shaped my childhood. I used to spend all my summer/christmas/navarathri holidays during my school days there.
Speaking about MalenaaDu, as per my childhood memories, MalenaaDu is where:
1) Winding roads pierce through dense forests or arecanut plantations.
2) 'malenaaDa giDDa' cattle testing the brakes of pacing vehicles.
3) You see people draped in kambaLi and wearing a manDhaaLe (cap made of arecanut sheet ) moving around during the rainy season. Sadly, these are being replaced by plastic sheets now.
4) My grandmother gets worried in the evening when a cow has not yet come back and says "Mohini has gone and still the cow hasn't come!!! " (where Mohini is the name of the bus. I used to joke with her asking if she had given the cow, the required ticket fare :P . I've always seen my grandmother calculating time based on the bus that passed by. And, the arrival of these buses were awaited as if they were our relatives. " ಗಣೇಶ ಬಂದ್ನಾ ?ಮೋಹಿನಿ ಹೋಯ್ತಾ ? "(has ganesha gone, has mohini gone?) )
5) The bus conductor instead of asking u " ಎಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ?"(where?) asks "ದೂರ? "(far?) (Even the bus conductor doesn't ask where you want to go, as it is considered a bad omen ).
6) There is a temple at every major ghat and the conductor collects donations as the shrine approaches. The bus stops for a couple of minutes within which the bus conductor deposits the collection in the hundi and comes back with some flowers or kumkum prasad and distributes to all the passengers. Considering the difficulty and dangers involved in driving on such tedious paths, it is very important to put ದೇವರ ಮೇಲೆ ಭಾರ .
7) Mountains appear as though on fire during the rainy season (covered by clouds). And it can get wild, wild wet during rainy season.
8) Towns wakeup late and sleep early (not the people).
9) Houses are spaced wide apart. Sometimes a village comprises of only 2-3 houses, where each house can be a couple of kms apart.
10) Late night Yakshagaanas are the only reason for sleeplessness.
11) Immediately after the rains, sun is fully put to work in drying happala, sandige. And, also to dry the dampened and smelling cots, pillows and bedsheets. Where Granny puts the happala, sandige to dry and her grandchildren are given the task of shooing away dogs and crows :)

To summarise, it is a region where people are self-sufficient and prosperous. Nature has given them everything. Their pockets may be empty, but not their bellies.
Sadly, in the recent years one can see drastic changes happening. Excessive usage of plastics, loss of forest cover, forests turning into coffee/tea plantations, hills and mountains being flattened for granite, illegal timber industry are spoiling the "heaven". Adding to all this, Naxal problem. It hurts .... .