memories of family outings.....

Wednesday

Doing-Nothing in Kodaikanal

When we go to Kodaikanal, we do nothing.
We like Doing- Nothing in Kodai.
So, we usually choose to go there in a season when 'doing nothing' is fun. The Xmas Season.
Its merry to bundle up in woollies and go and sit among some Idli-Poo ( "Idli Flowers "= white hydrangea) patches and watch our conversation emerge as visible speech bubbles of condensation in the heavy , chilled air.
Its nice not to have to jostle with holidaying busloads of excited tourists in the Botanical Gardens ; Its nice to watch the hide and seek game the Pillar Rocks play ( now-you-see-it-now-you-don't) ; its nice to hog the road along Bear Shola without fear of traffic.

Its invigorating to explore mud lanes and "cuttings" breaking off the tar road and leading into clumps of houses , some perched on wonky ledges, some lurching over slopes.
Its equally exciting to walk into unknown thickets of skyscraper trees and gather a bagful of perfectly sculpted pine cones.
And to admire wild flowers.
And to spy on insects.
And to discover lichens.
And to smell aromatic plants ( this one, above, smelt like rosemary).
And to get a scare when a cow's head appears without announcement, suddenly out of the fog.
The Xmas before last, son and I wandered into a small hillock of undulating terrain, " enclosed" by crumbly bits of an old compound wall in a region we are not very familiar with. At the summit stood an old church, partially hidden by trees. Quite abandoned. Gloomy looking. Total silence. A grubby wooden signboard said "German Church". Had never seen this church before, though we usually make many trips to town for provisions along the road that skirts the mound. As we ambled up towards the building , a heavy cloud of mist descended on it and suddenly, it did not look exploration-worthy at all. In fact, it started looking sinister. So, we quietly retreated by the slope behind it only to discover a huge wooden bellhouse with an imprisoned bell standing at the bottom of the 'estate' wearing an equally sinister look. Darkening clouds and the unfamiliar path beyond the crumbly wall din't cheer us at all. Forgot flowers, lichens, insects et al and hurried towards the faint sound of cow- bells that signified civilization. ( But din't forget to get these two snaps.)

"Doing Nothing" is done best in The Silent Forest. It is so truly, gloriously, deafeningly SILENT that you can hear the rustle of a pine needle under the hop of a stick insect. Here you can sit and day-dream , day-dream and day-dream yourself into a trance.
A pity we are not going there this season. So, just remembered the joys of the Christmas Past !

Happy X'mas . Peace on Earth & Goodwill to all.

(Photos by Son, Guhan).

14 comments:

JC said...

Nice photographs, and wonderful description as usual, brought to my mind the line, to the effect, "Where even sun can't reach/ poet reaches there", and my childhood visits to hills (Almora, Nainital, etc)...

YOSEE said...

Thank you for the kind words, JC.

JC said...

Yosee, the nice picture of the spider's web brought to mind how it would have been seen by the wise ancients as reflecting the image of the eight-handed Ma Durga and Her creation of Maya, that is, the illusory 'material world' that's difficult for 'us' the ordinary humans to overcome!

Kamini Dandapani said...

Sounds like the perfect vacation! A very happy New Year to you, your family and all your readers, and looking forward to more fun reads on your site next year!
Kamini.

JC said...

And the apparently silent bell appears to say "Ring out the old / Ring in the new"!

Best wishes for a Very Happy New Year to all!

YOSEE said...

Kamini & JC :
Thank you. My good wishes to you too ; have a great 2011.

Team G Square said...

great photos and happy new year ...

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Happy New Year, wishing you on your blog to you and to all your readers. Hope we all have a peaceful year ahead. Thanks for your support on FB and Gangetic DOlphins page.

Chitra said...

A beautiful 'coffee table post' with lovely pictures and a few spine chilling pictures too !

Wish you a very happy and lovely new year.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of nature.
Wish you Happy and Prosperous New Year.

YOSEE said...

Team G, Capt. Anup, Chitra and Rajesh :
Thank you all, for your good wishes . Seasons greetings to all of you .

Indrani said...

Great shots, doing nothing is fun at times. :)
Wish you A Very Happy New Year!

YOSEE said...

Indrani : Thank you. Have a great 2011.

Team G Square said...

Happy Makara Sanakranthi festival to you and your family .