Wednesday, June 25, 2008
But, here’s the catch: There are no decent hotels on offer. One would imagine that a town by the sea will have hotel rooms looking out to the sea. I was disappointed. Lonely Planet in hand, I checked out the first hotel. Firstly, no sea view, no nothing. The more expensive rooms were okay – so I asked to have a look at the cheaper rooms. They led me through a narrow corridor on the first floor on the other side of the hotel. One of the doors was open. A board outside announced services of a palmist! I glance inside to see the fortune teller – pot bellied middle aged male, ochre robes beads, tilak and all. And I beat a hasty retreat. Strange men in strange robes as neighbours will not do. It doesn’t help that the room the boy shows me sheets with holes in them.
So, I leave my bags there, tell them I’ll be back soon, take some reccos from them where I can get a sea facing room and off I go, hopping into the first auto I see. Enter Karnataka and the language of signboards changes suddenly from English to Kannada. Men wear kumkum, women wear the orange flower in the hair, the bus has a puja with bright yellow flowers, the lungi appears. I see a non-descript building, I cannot read the board but I can tell it is a govt building. The auto man tells me it’s the PWD guest house. So we go have a chat. Yes, rooms are available – Rs 100 per day, but you must get persmission from the PWD office in town. The auto guy takes me willingly. About 11 am in the morning, the all male-office is surprised to see a female unescorted visitor. I tell them my request. First, they are bewildered. Then, they say its election time, so they are expecting guests, they need to check. A flurry of activity. Phone calls are made. A young man asks me to write an application. I do that. Couple of minutes later, he calls the guest house and I have a room.
I thought about it: The men could have said no, we don’t have room – too bad. But they made so much effort to see if it was possible to get me a room. Something like – a woman lands at your door seeking shelter – we cannot turn her away. With my metro mindset I would probably have done that if I was in their place. But they didn’t. When I reach the guest house I find the auto guy doesn’t overcharge for taking him on a spin around town, and the guest house has given me its best room.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Ravibala Shenoy works as a reference librarian at a large public library in Illinois and writes book reviews for Library Journal. Her writings have also been published in The Chicago Tribune, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and The Times of India.
RAVIBALA SHENOY, Jul 07, 2007
The night is pitch dark.
Shri Ganeshaya Namaha, Kartik Krishna Dvadashi, Saka 1821 [November 28, 1899].
With this invocation I write in the light of the mashal. The dry palm leaves emit more smoke than light as they burn. I am sitting in the unwalled shed near the water ramp waiting for the sailboat that will take me to Karwar. The boat is supposed to arrive in Kharge from Kadra after midnight, but there's no telling when it will come.
The air vibrates with the sound of insects. Small creatures, waghonyo, with tiger stripes on their backs, are crawling all over this shed.
Tonight, I am on my way to the Karwar harbor from where the steamer to Mumbai departs in the morning. Why am I leaving? I am finished with Kharge. There is an island in the middle of the Kali River called Ulge. To go there one has take a coracle from Kharge. If two people sit in the boat along with the boatman, the boat sinks to about four fingers from the level of the river. A raging current can tip the boat in such a way that you feel that at any moment the water will rush in. That is how I feel, and why I must leave Kharge. I have told no one that I am leaving home.
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Thursday, June 5, 2008
This landscape, set in a beautiful small fishing village called Kadwad is situated on the outskirts of Karwar. Karwar is a rapidly expanding town on India's West coast. The painting can evoke longings for an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
As a way of life, fishermen set out to catch fish early in the morning before sunrise. Around mid morning they typically have a break to socialise and have a bite to eat for brunch. It is at this time of day that this panorama was captured.
More Paintings of Dattanand Shirodkar - Links :-
Dawn in Kadwad
Sunrise at Kadwad
Daybreak at Kadwad
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